Chimney Damp? Don’t let it ruin your Christmas

Chimneys suffering from damp are a common thing, whether in use or not, and especially being so open to the elements. Damp can occur because of the moisture and sulfates that combine to form weak acids that attack brickwork, lime and mortar joints. It can also be caused when a chimney is sealed and the moisture becomes trapped within. More common however is typical British rain, condensation or salts contaminating.

chimneyIf the chimney pot is uncapped, this means rain can enter down the flue, through defective lead flashing’s or through the actual chimney wall its self.

Burning fuel in a chimney can often lead to condensation issues as the fuel burnt produces a large quantity of water vapor.

Salt contamination in the plaster of a wall can also cause damp. This is more common in older chimneys and it can be the result of coal previously being burnt in the fireplace. Coal contains salt minerals like nitrates, chlorides and sulfates that can migrate from the brickwork into the wall plaster. These damp patches can often worsen when the weather does.

Check out your chimney

There are several ways to identify whether your chimney is suffering from damp. Here are a few ways:

  1. A simple and common thing to firstly start of with is to check your gutters. Especially through the winter months, leaves and other debris tend to gather in the gutters, forcing water to go where it shouldn’t. If the wall in which the water is running down has any cracks or damage this well cause damage to the chimney breast and create damp.
  2. Check the lead flashing, tiles and loft space to see if there is any damage. Again water coming through will have disastrous effects on the chimney. chimney crack - mortar
  3. Has the chimney had a previous damp proof course installed? Some older properties were built without one, which again may be contributing to the damage.
  4. Check any mortar around the chimney, if cracked this again will allow water to penetrate.

For more advice on any of the above contact us today to request your free survey.

 

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Smell Damp? – Destroy today!

Living in a damp home isn’t ideal. Not only does damp cause sickness but the smell can also be unbearable! Here we have put together a list of our favourite tips and tricks on how to remove that damp smell from within your home. Mould on clothing - smell

Our Top Tips & Tricks for Damp Smells:

1: If clothing or fabrics are giving your nose a hard time, try using white vinegar or baking powder.

Vinegar has a number of benefits when used for washing fabrics as it can be used as a stain remover, a fabric softener and also whiten materials, all whilst killing that musty damp odour. Win Win! Along with vinegar, baking powder also have many similar properties, again including stain and odour removal, brightening whites and finally and most beneficial, baking powder is a mild antiseptic which discourages the growth of bacteria!

By simply using one cup of either, this is enough to wash one load of damp clothes and have them smelling fresh in no time!

2: Another great use of baking powder is if you find that your walls seem to have a damp smell, mixing baking powder with warm water will help remove any mould and damp and absorb the smell. smell

3: We are loving baking powder in this post, which is why we have found another use for it! By placing a box or plate of baking powder in the most affected areas of the home, this will again absorb any foul smells that may be lingering. Leave the baking powder for 24 hours and repeat a few months later for the best effect.

If you don’t have any baking powder to hand but perhaps some cat litter…that works great too!

4: Lemony fresh! Lemon and lemon peel is great for getting rid of that damp smell. Give your home that fresh scent by boiling lemon peel and use lemon water in a squeeze bottle, spraying where the must is located. An open window of fan will help circulate the fresh scent around.

5: Last but not least and by far the simplest, locate the damp and the smell and open windows and doors then clean the affected area with water and bleach. Sometimes all it takes to remove the musty smell is the fresh circulation of air!

Following the above steps will help remove the smell of damp but make sure to try and keep your home as well ventilated as possible.

 

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Wipe out condensation for good

Mould spores

Condensation and mould spores forming

Did you know around 1 in 5 households suffer from condensation?

It’s getting to that time of year again, Christmas is on the horizon, late nights and warm weather something of a distant memory.

But with the colder winter weather around the corner, is your home ready?

Ways to reduce condensation within the home

Almost nobody wants to wake up first thing in the morning and have to worry about going round the whole house having to wipe down windows and any surfaces that may have gotten wet. Similarly not worry about the rising costs of having to have a humidifier plugged in 24/7.

So for that reason here we have a few short term solutions to help reduce condensation within your home:

1: Did you know house pets and plants contribute to moisture within the air?

Moving house plants away from windows will help stop condensation from forming

It may sound strange but fish tanks and aquariums will give out a lot of moisture. Cover them in order to prevent any excess moisture. As well as fish tanks and aquariums, plants also give out moisture and especially when located on windowsills or in corners the problem may be worse. If you seem to be having issues, try moving plants away from corners and windows, as this will allow air to circulate more freely.

2: Avoid overfilling cupboards and wardrobes. Again, any moisture that is within the air tends to settle on surfaces where it cannot circulate freely. This not only means solid surfaces but clothing as well. Buy ensuring cupboards and wardrobes are open this will help prevent damp patches occurring and helping keep mould at bay, as well as keeping your clothes fresher for longer!

Opening windows allows air to circulate more freely

3: This may sound odd when the weather outside is freezing, but if you find yourself in a particular room more often, opening the window slightly will again help reduce condensation by keeping the air flowing within the property. Breathing is a major contributing factor to condensation.

4: Making sure your property is well ventilated will also help reduce condensation dramatically. Making sure your home has an energy efficient extractor fan in the kitchen and bathroom will make a considerable difference in these two rooms where moisture is produced the most!

5: Following on from making sure the property is well ventilated, make sure that if you have a washing machine or tumble dryer, these too are also correctly ventilated. If not, you could be finding yourself venting out two litres of water into the air!

6: Drying clothes indoors isn’t always ideal, however if you need to, try putting them in the bathroom, with the extractor fan on if you have one, or with the window open fully until dried.

7: Furniture also pushed up against the wall can have a negative impact on the air circulating around your home. Leave at least 50mm between in order to allow the air to keep moving freely.

8: Don’t leave any surfaces wet! If you don’t have adequate ventilation and water begins to sit on surfaces, when left this can become a breeding ground for mould and cause further problems.

Wipe down any wet surfaces to stop mould from growing

 

I have tried all the above, what next?

Don’t panic. There are several other options to consider! A popular service we provide is installing the  CAN-ECO-HC is at the height of Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) technology!

The hall control unit has the added benefit of all system controls being sited in the ceiling diffuser meaning easy access for you, the homeowner. This is a unique system which has functions such as a lock feature, a digital display and manual control to increase/decrease the volume of airflow entering the property.

The Cannon-Eco range cures condensation dampness and removes allergens and pollutants from the home with this low-energy ventilation system. From the inventors of PIV offering whole home ventilation suitable for all properties with a loft space. You’ll benefit from improved indoor air quality as pollutants, allergens, odours and humidity are removed from the air you breathe.

Installed in the loft out of sight and with no holes to knock through walls, this is the perfect solution for homes looking for a ventilation solution!

What are the Benefits of the CAN-ECO-HC PIV? 

Cures Condensation Dampness
• PIV removes humidity from the air, preventing mould growth

Condensation

CAN-ECO-HC-Cannon-PIV which is installed to remove condensation

Improves Indoor Air Quality
• G4 filters inside the unit prevent external pollutants such as pollen and traffic fumes from entering the home, as well as expelling internal pollutants caused by cooking and cleaning

Radon Gas Control
• Helps reduce and maintain low Radon gas levels

Health Benefits
• Clinically proven to help allergy and asthma sufferers

Fixed Heat Recovery
• Minimises loss of heat in the loft by recirculating the air, saving energy

Improved Usability
• Easy access to system controls in ceiling diffuser- a feature unique to Nuaire

System Standby In Summer Months
• When the loft temperature exceeds 23°C

Warranty
• 7 year warranty; 1 year parts and labour, remaining years parts only

Check out the previous post on Positive Input Ventilation Systems for more information and to contact us today.