Can blocked drains cause damp?

January 12, 2021

Damp in your home is a significant problem that can cause lasting damage to your home and health. When most people think of the causes of damp problems they usually think about condensation or heavy rain penetration, however blocked drains are a very common cause of damp.

Drainage system issues can spread rising and penetrating damp and wet rot which whilst invisible at first can slowly infiltrate the walls and floors, creating a moisture-filled environment for damp and mould to spread which can cause structural damage to the home. Damp and mould can also cause and aggravate health issues, especially respiratory problems such as asthma and weaken the immune system.

What is the difference between rising and penetrating damp?

Damp problems are categorised in terms of severity and there is a difference in rising and penetrating damp, penetrating damp moves horizontally along walls and ceilings, whilst rising damp in the home moves vertically.

What are the signs of damp?

By recognising the signs of damp, you can act before it has a chance to spread through your home. Common issues include:

  • Dark spots or discoloured, wet looking damp patches on walls.
  • Cold, clammy walls
  • A musty, damp smell.
  • Mould appearing on walls, ceilings and surfaces.
  • Peeling wallpaper in wet rooms of the home, such as kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Lots of condensation, especially on the windows.

What to do if you spot damp in the home?

If you spot any damp, the first thing you should do is try to work out what has caused it. This includes checking:

  • Downpipes and gutters – This is the most common cause of damp and can also be quite easy to spot as the damp marks will probably be isolated to one specific area. However rainwater can force itself out of the pipe joint which can cause extensive damp in your home. Both of these can be fixed by replacing fault sections of the pipe.
  • Cracked or damaged drains – Another common cause can be a cracked or damaged drain which can be caused by a variety of things, from simply corrosion of the pipes, to tree root ingress to even underground movement. A cracked or damaged drain will usually show itself with foul smells, localised wet patches and sinkholes.
  • Blocked drains or downpipes – if the pipe itself isn’t damaged, then the drain pipe may be blocked – mainly as a result of things being flushed down the drain which shouldn’t be (check out our top 10 causes of blocked drains here). This can cause debris to build up over time which can add pressure to the pipes and reduce the flow efficiency of your drainage problems.
  • Leaking radiators – You should also check your radiators are not leaking as this can be an often overlooked cause of damp which does not show itself until the problem is severe.

After checking for the common signs, do you now think you should have damp in your home, then it is essential to give a local drainage professional a call to find and diagnose your drainage issues.

Here, at Argo Drains, we have over 25 years experience in providing emergency drain unblocking and repair, from our bases in Lichfield and Stoke on Trent throughout the West Midlands. If you would like to speak to us about your damp issue then please call our 24/7 emergency telephone number on 0121 663 6683.