Although they seem very similar, damp and condensation are different issues and require different solutions. Hence, there is also a big difference between damp proof paint and anti-condensation paint. It does boil down to the same thing: moisture is either finding a way into your property or cannot find a way out. A healthy property needs to breathe, with good air flow and ventilation. A little dampness and moisture is natural, it’s when the excess has nowhere to go that the problems start. To understand what type of paint you need, damp resistant or condensation resistant, you will first need to understand which of the two issues you are actually dealing with.
Damp or condensation?
Damp is caused when the building structure is lacking protection from moisture coming from outdoors. This could be a crack in the wall or a damaged roof tile that has been compromised and is letting rain in instead of keeping the rain out. Thus damp is caused from water or moisture finding its way into your property when it shouldn’t have.
Condensation is caused by a lack of ventilation or little movement of air. Condensation is most common in areas with poorer air circulation, such as bathrooms or kitchens. You can tell by your windows and walls whether certain rooms have optimal ventilation. If there is an issue with the air flow, your windows will very easily fog up and you will find droplets forming on your walls and ceilings that will be difficult to get rid off again. Thus, condensation is caused from water not finding its way out of your property.
Whether you are dealing with damp or condensation, the implications and resulting issues are similar. Both problems can cause mould to form. Mould thrives in humid, warm environments, and so it loves places that are damp or have condensation. The mould will not just be limited to your walls, but could also spread to your plasterwork, furniture, and clothing. On top of that, mould is detrimental to your health and could cause health issues related to your lungs and airways. If you already have a weakened immune system, mould could create even bigger issues. On top of that, the mould could also create a rather unpleasant odour. The good news is; these are issues that can be tackled!
How to tackle damp issues?
A tell-tale sign for damp is often peeling wallpaper and crumbling plaster. This is a big indicator that there is a source of wetness penetrating your walls and creating problems. Often, this is caused by an external source. For example, a broken roof tile, overflowing gutters, a badly fitted window. Dampness can also crawl its way up, so if you have a badly insulated basement, it’s important to keep an eye on this. You could be dealing with dampness long before you realise, as it could take a while for a damp patch to show on your walls for example. Dampness can usually be smelled before you can actually see it. So if you are dealing with a persistent stale and stuffy smell, dampness could be the cause!
If you are dealing with some type of leak that is allowing water and moisture in when it should be watertight, a paint like Zinsser Watertite is a great solution for internal usage. This damp resistant paint is designed to keep water out your property, can be applied to wet areas and helps to protect your property from fungal degradation. On top of that, Zinsser Watertite paint comes in a wide variety of colours. If you are dealing with a leaky roof that is letting water in, Rust-Oleum’s Waterproof Roof Paint will be a great solution. This waterproofing paint can also be applied directly to wet areas and in any weather conditions, so it’s perfect for quick repairs. It creates a protective elastic coating that keeps the water out. Both of these anti-damp paints will help you battle the issues that arise from damp. However, it is still important to ensure you tackle the cause for the dampness as the paint will only help to a certain point.
How to tackle condensation?
If your exterior is watertight and so the moisture is coming from somewhere indoors, you are dealing with a condensation issue. Condensation is in big part an air circulation issue, where the moisture is unable to leave your property, resulting in droplets on your wall, windows and ceilings and it could also cause spotty mildew. Condensation is most common in rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms, but condensation could also wreak havoc in chimneys or even under your laminate or wooden floors when they are tightly fitted and leave no room for air circulation.
A combination of improved heating and air circulation will help solve issues with condensation, and industry experts including Best Heating are on hand to advise you on the best type of installed or portable radiators for short and long term solutions. There are also various paints designed to work against condensation. A great anti-condensation paint is Thermilate InsOpaint Anti-Condensation Paint. Not only does it come in a variety of colours and in a 5l tin, but this condensation proof paint also works against issues like mould, blistering and cracking paint, discoloured walls, stains and peeling wallpaper. It only takes two coats for this paint to create a thermal insulation and a long-lasting resistance against mould. This paint can be used both on walls as well as ceilings. If you only need a small amount of anti-condensation paint and colour is not important, then Rawlins Paints also stock Coo-Var Anti-Condensation Paint, which only comes in white, but is stocked in 1l and 2.5l tins. This paint also provides protection against condensation and is ideal for smaller projects in bathrooms, kitchens or laundry rooms.
Condensation and damp, stains and watermarks are frustrating issues to deal with when they arise. However, don’t despair! There are various solutions that you can carry out yourselves to help minimise the risk of damp and condensation. If you require any further assistance when you are dealing with a damp or condensation problem and would like additional assistance to choose the right products, give our Technical Team a call, or drop us a line, for the latest information on the products available.