Damp incurring on the skirting board of a house

How to Treat Damp Skirting Boards?

Key Takeaways

Early Detection is Crucial: Regularly inspect your home for signs of damp, such as wet areas, degraded wallpaper, or mouldy smells. Detecting moisture early allows for a more effective strategy to address the issue. Improve Ventilation: Enhance home ventilation, especially in areas prone to moisture, like bathrooms and kitchens. Use extractor fans, wipe window condensation, open windows frequently, and incorporate air vents for better airflow. Use Damp-Proof Paints and Materials: Apply external silicone water-repellent fluid or damp-proof exterior paint to ageing bricks. Seek expert advice to choose the right solution for your home's age and materials. Prevent Skirting Board Rot: Eliminate the source of moisture causing rot growth to prevent future deterioration of skirting boards. Conduct a thorough damp survey by a PCA-accredited firm to specifically identify rising damp, and address the root cause.   Skirting boards are standard in the United Kingdom, and they might be one of the most essential structural parts because they catch the eyes of the guests who enter the house. Due to this reason, skirting boards need to be cleaned all the time. They have to be free of any damage or erosion. However, what if the skirting boards in your house are suffering from a damp problem? Well, that's a pretty big issue going on. Damp has the potential to eat away the entire house's structure, and when it comes to skirting boards, it's just the beginning. After skirting boards are all eaten away, damp starts running through walls, ceilings, and the entire house. So, if you want to stop the rising damp from destroying your home, just fix and contain it in the skirting board region without it turning into an escalated situation. But how would you do that? How would you treat the damp stains in the skirting boards? Let's find out. A damp survey getting done  

How to Treat Rising Damp from Skirting Boards?

To get rid of damp from the skirting boards in your house, the rapid detection of moisture and signs of rising damp will allow for an easier strategy preparation. So, examine your surroundings for apparent indicators, such as damp or wet areas, wallpaper degradation, and plaster fragmentation on your walls. Also, keep an eye out for olfactory cues such as musty aromas, decaying wood features such as skirting boards, and the appearance of mould or mildew on various surfaces such as floors, walls, or ceilings in your home. Here's what else to do to get rid of rising damp smell from skirting boards:

Ventilation Must Be Ramped Up

Moisture accumulation is the most common cause of damp issues, but it's also the easiest to fix. You can often resolve it inexpensively and quickly, sometimes without professional assistance. To address condensation, improve your home's ventilation. Bathrooms and kitchens generate the most moisture, so consider installing extractor fans to reduce condensation. A lot of damp in a house Here are some tips to minimize condensation:
  • Wipe away window condensation regularly using a towel, tissues, or a squeegee for open windows. Consider a window vacuum for efficient cleaning.
  • Open windows frequently, especially during activities like cooking, washing up, or showering.
  • Dry clothes outdoors on sunny days instead of using an indoor clothes rail.
  • Add window vents to the tops of window frames.
  • Incorporate air bricks into outside walls.
  • Install air vents in internal walls and seal chimneys for better airflow.
  • Fit roof ventilation tiles to allow air circulation through the loft.

The Gutter System Must Be Fine

Penetrating damp occurs when water seeps through walls due to structural issues like faulty guttering, cracks in external walls, or roofing issues. A defective guttering system also affects the skirt boards of the house and can cause damp. Fixing it can be a simple and cost-effective DIY task. Start by identifying the problem and then decide if professional assistance is necessary. Common indicators of penetrating damp include discoloured interior walls, mould, damp patches, water droplets, blistered or damaged plaster above, and wet surfaces. Check for exterior sources, such as cracks in gutters and downpipes, as they may be causing the issue. Repairing these external elements could resolve the problem. Damaged wall due to excess moisture content

Use Damp Proof Paints and Materials

Ageing bricks, with increasing porosity, represent a possible entry route for water into your home, endangering its structural integrity. If this problem arises, the recommended course of action may include contemplating brick replacement. Alternatively, a more straightforward solution is to apply an external silicone water-repellent fluid or limewash to the bricks. This procedure efficiently seals the walls, restoring their impermeability while also improving breathability. Another approach for proactive defence is to use damp-proof exterior paint. However, before taking any action, it is recommended that you get expert advice to determine the best solution matched to your home's age and building materials. Damp issue around the skirting boards

Check the DPC or Damp-Proof Course of the House

In the case of rising damp, it is critical to first determine the presence of a damp-proof course (DPC) within your home. These structural components are specially designed to reduce groundwater intrusion into ground-level walls or floors. In 1875, legislation was passed mandating the use of DPCs in new residential structures. As a result, homes built before this legal milestone are unlikely to include these safeguards. Scan the bottom area of the exterior wall for a modest, slim strip to help identify a damp-proof course. Nonetheless, it is recommended that a certified expert confirm this identification while also determining the presence of a damp-proof course or cavity wall. If your home has a damp-proof course but you still have damp-related problems, it is possible that these protective measures have deteriorated or worn over time. If their operational efficiency is impaired, it is necessary to take corrective action, such as repairing or completely replacing these critical structural components, to restore their effectiveness in avoiding moisture. Damp issue occuring in the house

Repair the Damp-Proof Course

The standard approach for fixing a missing or degraded damp-proof course is to perforate holes in your wall and inject damp-proof cream. Another approach is to carve grooves in the brickwork and use a physical damp-proof course rather than a chemical one. Installing new skirting boards due to older ones getting damaged

Check the Level of the Floor With Respect to the Outer Ground Level

If you are experiencing damp-related issues despite the existence of an excellent damp-proof course, it is possible that the problem is caused by soil elevation outside the building that exceeds the acceptable threshold of 15cm above ground level. The remedial treatment includes removing excess soil on the exterior side of the damp-affected wall and lowering it to a level lower than the damp-proof course's prescribed level. This work may be completed on your own, or you can hire a competent expert to complete it with precision and efficiency. Mould just above the skirting boards

Check if there's Any Rotting

Timber decay, which poses a threat to your home's structural integrity, is caused mainly by excessive wetness or inadequate ventilation. If you suspect decay, it is critical that you get experienced specialists to resolve the issue. Wet rot, which thrives in constantly moist timber conditions, has specific symptoms: the appearance of black fungus, noticeable softness and discolouration in the wood, and the presence of a musty, damp stench. Notably, wet rot restricts its advancement to timber and does not infiltrate masonry, and it stops when the moisture source is removed. In contrast, dry rot, which prefers lower moisture thresholds, is more intrusive, spreading its impact to non-timber substrates such as plaster and brickwork. Indicative characteristics include the emergence of white or orange growths, the breakdown of lumber with deep fractures, and a mushroom-like odour. Peeling of paint work due to rising damp

Use Dehumidifiers

Dehumidifiers absorb moisture from the air, making them especially useful for drying clothing inside and reducing high humidity caused by everyday activities like showering and cooking. Significant concerns such as skirt board damp, tide marks on walls, condensation on windows, the presence of mould spores in shower areas, or a pervasive musty odour can be easily handled by using a humidifier. Peeling plaster work due to damp issue  

Is Damp a Serious Issue?

Damp, in addition to being an aesthetically unpleasant nuisance, offers a complex threat, including significant health problems and the possibility of timber degradation, which results in increased heat loss owing to increased wall conductivity. Timely identification of the typical symptoms of growing damp is critical, as a general rule states that resolving such difficulties quickly reduces the chance of subsequent damage, hence lowering future treatment costs. Furthermore, the consequences of growing damp go beyond ordinary nuisance, acting as a trigger for serious structural issues within your building. Prolonged exposure of structural timber to moist circumstances creates a breeding environment for wood-boring pests like woodworm or subtle fungal infections like wet rot or dry rot, increasing the complexity of possible property issues. Rising damp and moisture on a wall  

How to Stop Skirting Board Rot?

To prevent the outbreak of wet or dry rot and protect your skirting boards, it is essential to methodically eliminate the source of moisture that acts as a catalyst for rot growth. If the problem of rising damp within your walls persists, just replacing the skirting boards will not be enough. The new skirting boards will inevitably deteriorate, just like the ones before them, unless the persistent moisture problem is resolved. The best option for ensuring that the root cause is fully addressed is to arrange for a thorough damp survey to be undertaken by a Property Care Association (PCA)-accredited firm. Damp Surveyors Ltd. suggests that the evaluation has the potential to precisely define the extent and type of rot on your property. Furthermore, it accurately determines the underlying cause of the rot, resulting in the development of an extensive report following the survey. This study explains the best course of action for treating damp conditions and then repairing or replacing the timber components that are susceptible to the damaging effects of rot. Rising damp on a wall in a house  

The Bottom Line

The significance of maintaining pristine skirting boards in a UK household cannot be overstated, given their prominent role in shaping guests' perceptions. The pivotal nature of skirting boards extends beyond aesthetics, as any damp-related issues can cascade into a broader structural threat to the entire house. Damp, if left unchecked, possesses the insidious potential to compromise not only the skirting boards but also infiltrate walls and ceilings and ultimately jeopardize the overall structural integrity of the residence.  

What can you do with damp on skirting boards?

If you have damp on skirting boards, it is essential to address the underlying cause of the moisture to prevent further damage. Firstly, identify and fix any sources of water ingress, such as leaks or condensation. Ensure proper ventilation in the affected area to reduce humidity levels. Once the root cause is addressed, you can treat the damp on skirting boards by allowing them to dry thoroughly. Use a dehumidifier or fans to expedite the drying process. If the skirting boards are stained or damaged, consider repainting or applying a moisture-resistant sealant to protect them in the future.

What happens if the skirting board gets wet?

When a skirting board gets wet, it can lead to various issues, including damage to the paint or finish, warping of the wood, and the potential growth of mould and mildew. It is crucial to identify and eliminate the source of water promptly. Dry the wet skirting board thoroughly, and if it has absorbed a significant amount of water, consider replacing it to prevent long-term damage.

Why do you keep getting mould on your skirting board?

The recurring presence of mould on skirting boards is often a result of persistent damp conditions. Mould thrives in environments with high humidity and poor ventilation. To address this problem, improve the ventilation in the affected area by using fans or opening windows. Identify and fix any leaks contributing to damp and ensure that the room is adequately heated to reduce condensation. Regular cleaning with mould-killing solutions, such as a mixture of water and vinegar or commercial mould removers, can help prevent mould growth on skirting boards.

What is the best way to remove mould from skirting boards?

To remove mould from skirting boards, start by protecting yourself with appropriate safety gear such as a mask and gloves. Mix water with mild detergent and make a solution, or use a commercial mould cleaner. Apply the solution that you made to the affected areas using a cloth or sponge, scrubbing lightly to remove the mould. For stubborn mould, consider using a mixture of water and white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. After cleaning, ensure the skirting boards are thoroughly dry.

Table of Contents

Sam Fitzgerald – CSRT Damp Surveyor

Sam Fitzgerald – CSRT Damp Surveyor

Author – CSRT Damp Surveyor
Sam is a highly qualified and seasoned damp surveyor with over ten years of specialised experience. With a strong academic foundation in building surveying and numerous professional certifications, Sam has established himself as an authority in the field of damp diagnosis and remediation.

At Damp Surveyors Ltd, Sam applies his extensive knowledge to help homeowners across the UK address and solve their damp issues effectively. His approach combines cutting-edge techniques with a commitment to honest, client-focused service, ensuring that every survey and recommendation is tailored to the specific needs of the property.

As a thought leader, Sam’s insights into damp prevention and treatment have been featured in industry publications, underscoring his role as a trusted expert dedicated to maintaining the integrity and comfort of your home.

Testing device for measuring dampness in a house

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  • Exclusive 3 Free Quotes: We offer a one-of-a-kind optional service where you not only get our top-notch damp survey but also receive 3 free quotes from vetted local companies, giving you peace of mind by saving you thousands on getting the most competitive quotes, and also time researching and contacting other reputable companies.
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