How to get rid of damp smell after a leak
A Guide to Fixing Leaks
Leaks in your home can lead to a range of problems, including rising water bills even though you’re sure that you are not using any more water than usual, and problems with damp and mould. Depending on the severity and the location of the leak, it may also lead to water damage to the walls, flooring, and furniture in your home. Leaks can happen for a range of different reasons and it might be a small leak from internal pipes that cause damage in increments over time, or huge burst pipes that wreak havoc in your home. If you have a leak in your home, finding and fixing it is going to be the first step in getting rid of any damp problems that it has led to.
Signs Your Home Has a Leak
Leaks in the home might not always be immediately obvious, and many homeowners might go weeks or even months before they realise that something is wrong. In many cases, wet patches on your walls or ceilings or damp might be one of the first problems that you notice to indicate that there is a leak. Some other signs to look out for include hearing the sound of dripping or running water in your home even though you are not running any taps, water bills that are higher than usual, especially if you are on a water meter, and patches of your paint or wallpaper peeling or flaking away.
What Kind of Damp Can a Leak Lead To?
A leak in your home can cause several damp patches in the affected area. Damp that is caused by leaks tends to be localised to that particular area and does not usually spread, which is why it’s often the first indicator that something is wrong in the home. Leaks that are located in the plumbing or heating system of the home, for example, might show up as damp patches in the walls of the neighbouring rooms or on the ceilings below the affected area. The damp patches might look darker than the rest of the ceiling or wall or may sometimes have a yellowish or brown tinge. If woodwork is affected by the leak, you might notice wet rot in the surrounding woodwork, which usually occurs when the wood is exposed to high amounts of moisture.
Can Leaking Gutters Cause Damp?
Leaking gutters can certainly be one of the biggest causes of damp. The damp that is caused by leaking gutters will most usually show up as damp patches on the ceilings of your home; however, it can also lead to penetrating damp which will show up on the internal walls. Penetrating damp is a type of damp that occurs when water from the outside gets into the inside of the house through the external walls where it penetrates deeply into the brickwork. This type of damp might become a problem if you have leaking gutters and your walls have not been treated with any damp-proofing solution or if there are cracks in the external walls for the water to easily get in through. Since gutters are designed to direct the water from the rainfall away from your home, any leaks or other problems with the gutters should be rectified as quickly as possible since they will often cause the water to be drained in the opposite direction – towards your home where it can lead to damp and mould.
How to Find a Leak
If you have a leak in your home that has led to damp, it’s usually fairly easy to tell where the leak is coming from by simply figuring out what is in that specific area. Usually there will be pipes, radiators, showers, baths, toilets or a bathroom or kitchen sink in the area where the leak could be coming from. However, if you have not yet spotted any damp patches but have noticed some other tell-tale signs of a leak in your home, it might be harder to detect if it the leak is internal. A professional can help you find the source of the leak by using specialised tools to find damp in the walls that is not yet visible and other leak detection strategies.
How Do I Get Rid of Damp Smell After a Leak?
After a leak that has caused damp in the home, there is likely to be a distinct smell of damp and moisture in the room. This is not a pleasant smell, so it’s no surprise that most people want to rid their home of it as soon as possible. First of all, it’s important to make sure that the leak has been detected and repaired by a professional to eliminate the risk of more moisture occurring and leading to further damp. You might also want to treat the affected area with mould cleaning spray to get rid of any mould that might have formed in the area. Finally, allow the area to completely dry out before taking any further steps. This might take a few days, so it’s important to be patient and give it time; however, you can try and speed the process up by making sure that the room is well ventilated or using a heater to keep the room warm and encourage the damp areas to dry quicker.
How to Get Rid of Damp Smell After a Serious Leak
In some cases, a serious leak in your home could lead to damp that might damage the wall or ceiling beyond repair. In this case, you will need to have the affected area replaced, which is usually done through plastering or adding new plasterboard depending on the type of wall that has been affected. This might be a more expensive job than simply allowing it to dry out, but it’s often an effective way to get rid of the damp smell and make sure that your home gets back to normal as quickly as possible. If you are not sure of the extent of the damage that has been done to your ceiling or wall because of the leak, it’s worth asking a professional to come and inspect the area to let you know what type of treatment or repairs are going to be the most effective in rectifying the problem.
How to Get Rid of Damp Smell After Water Leak – Repainting
Not only does damp smell musty and nasty in your home, but it can also look seriously unsightly and dirty. So, it’s no surprise if you are ready with your paint tray and roller to get it covered up and forget that it ever happened. However, it is sadly not always that simple. If you have a wall or ceiling that is affected by damp, you will need to make sure that repainting is the final part of the process. Don’t start painting over the area until you are sure that the cause of the damp has been completely repaired. If the leak is still left unchecked, chances are that it won’t be long before the damp begins to reoccur right through your fresh paint or wallpaper and ruin all your hard work.
Treating the Walls After Damp
Once the leak has been dealt with and your walls are dry, you might want to consider using a damp-proofing paint or undercoat to seal the wall and help to repel any future moisture. Damp-proof undercoat is designed to go on before the paint and will provide a dry, white, moisture-free surface for you to paint over. You can also get specially designed moisture-repelling paints – these are often sold in the kitchen, bathroom, or durable ranges of most popular paint brands – which can also help to protect against any further damp reoccurrence.
How to Prevent Leaks
Once you’ve fixed the problem, it’s likely that you will want to do whatever you can to avoid it from happening again in the future. Not only can leaks be expensive to repair but they can also cause damage to the home and ruin your décor, causing hard work for you in the future or even more expense if you are planning to pay a decorator. Thankfully, there are several ways to prevent leaks in the home. Regular maintenance of your plumbing and heating systems, gutters and roof is essential for keeping the risk of leaks to a minimum. In addition, it’s also wise to keep all your pipes well-insulated, since cold pipes are a common cause of leaks and water damage in the home. They can cause the water inside to freeze which ultimately leads to an excess of pressure that will crack the pipe and cause water running through it in the future to leak out.
Leaks in the home can lead to several problems including damp and mould on your walls and ceiling. If you have noticed a damp patch that is localised to one area or keeps coming back even after you treat it, there’s a high chance that you are dealing with a leak. Since leaks can cause serious water damage over time even if they are small and difficult to notice, it’s important to have this problem dealt with quickly.