A Damp meter (also known as a moisture meter) is an essential tool to our leak detection equipment and is used to detect moisture content in materials to identify potential problems and damage to structures from moisture build up. Our leak detection engineers measure levels of moisture on surfaces such as walls and floors to help them trace back the source of a water leak. Rising damp, penetrating damp and condensation are the three most common types of damp for residential properties. Various tests carried out in our leak detection survey will be able to identify which type of damp is affecting your property.
PENETRATING DAMP is caused by water leaking through walls. This type of damp may expand across your walls or ceiling, moving horizontally. Penetrating damp is usually caused by structural problems in a building, such as faulty guttering or roofing, or cracks in the walls, allowing walls or roofs to be regularly soaked with water. It can also be caused by internal leaks, such as pipes under the sink or bath. Symptoms of penetrating damp often show up through damp patches on walls or ceilings, which may darken when it rains. You are more likely to get penetrating damp if you live in an older building with solid walls, as cavity walls provide some protection.
CONDENSATION DAMP is caused by moist air condensing on walls, particularly in rooms with a lot of air moisture, such as kitchens and bathrooms. It’s mainly, but not always, a winter problem, as at this time of year walls are much colder than the air inside. Symptoms of condensation You may notice water droplets on windows or walls, see dark mould appearing, particularly on glass or around windows, and/or notice an unpleasant smell. If left untreated, condensation can damage paint and plaster and cause window frames to decay, so when you see it form you should wipe it away with a cloth.
RISING DAMP is caused by ground water moving up through a wall or floor. Most walls and floors allow some water in, but it is usually stopped from causing damage by a barrier called a damp-proof course or damp-proof membrane. Rising damp can also happen when there is a lack of drainage, or the level of the ground outside your home is higher than your damp-proof course, allowing water to get above it. Symptoms of rising damp; you may notice damaged skirting boards or plaster, as well as peeling paint and wallpaper, often with wet patches.