Damp patches on walls?
Layers of paint flaking?
Fungus like spots on the ceiling?
Powdery mildew on walls?
It’s a sign your house is vying for your undivided attention; it’s time to put your blinkers on.
Every once in a while we wake up to the news of a building crumbling down or walls crashing down. Age of the building aside, have you ever wondered what is the root cause of this self-inflicted mishap? Walls are the mirrors of a house; they reflect the best, and the worst of a home.
Let me recount an incident from a month ago when the sun was blazing bright in the middle of December. An apartment on the ground floor in the building we live received showers inside the house. Within hours, the house was flooded with water causing extensive damage to woodwork and furniture. Where did the water come from? Further investigation revealed that the floor of the house above had cracks in the bathroom. Water seeped through cracks in the brickwork across the floor before finally giving away at a weak spot in the ceiling of the ground floor house.
Nothing can be more apt than the old adage that a stitch in time saves nine when it comes to walls. Neglect walls that require repair and be prepared to burn a hole in the pocket.
Two common issues encountered with walls are dampness and cracks.
When to worry:
Dampness in walls: Any signs of wetness, dripping water through glass roofs or tiles, paint peeling off, or mildew deposits on walls is reason enough to be worried. There can be many causes of dampness such as:
1. Dampness on the ceiling could be because of lack of waterproofing or poor waterproofing on the floor above.
2. Grouting that has come off in the floor above or cracked floor tiles in the house above you.
3. Cracked roof tiles.
4. Dampness around specific spots in the interior walls could be caused by rainwater seeping through external walls because of cracks.
5. Is there waterlogging along the perimeter of the house? Ensure the water drains out completely.
Cracks: It’s normal for cracks to appear in new homes within the first year as building materials contract and expand with seasonal changes in temperature and moisture content. The cracks often surface around the window frames as the frames are fixed after masonry work is completed, but, if the cracks on the wall are wider and deeper, then it is a cause for concern as it could be indicative of structural issues.
What are the effects of dampness and cracks in walls:
The long-term effects of dampness in walls can vary in intensity from paint peeling off to gradual weakening of the structure. Not just that, dampness and mold formation also have adverse effects on health such as recurring throat infections, allergies and wheezing.
How to fix dampness in walls:
A number of products are available based in one’s budget and ease of application. One can choose between Dr. Fixit Wonderproof 1&2 and Dr. Fixit Dampguard based on the severity of dampness. The epoxy-based waterproof coating of these solutions makes them superior over conventional solutions of cement based putty or oil based primer. The advantage is existing plaster need not be removed to apply the waterproof coating.
How to seal cracks in walls:
It is advisable to use Dr. Fixit Silicone Sealantin to seal the gaps around windows.
Clean walls are a reflection of our cleaning habits. Walls laden with dust, grime, dampness, cracks, sketches can be a dampener to the overall aesthetics of a home. So, shall we get into action before it’s too late?