Builder shares ‘smart’ trick for finding out if damp and mould is getting worse at home

A builder from Stoke-on-Trent has shared handy advice for homeowners or renters looking to find out if damp or mould is getting worse in their homes.

John Sale from Fenton-based HYPE Building, has many success stories where he has entered properties with no obvious cause of damp – and always gets to the bottom of it in the end.

Recently, the builder was called to a really tricky property where damp had been found, and the owner had called out both roofers and plumbers to find the issue. They were all unsuccessful, but he deciphered the cause.

Damp and mould is a real problem during winter, when heating inside homes clashes with the cold outside air and causes condensation.

It can not only wreak havoc on your health, but potentially cost thousands of pounds to fix cracked brickwork.

Luckily, John took his time and managed to get to the root of the issue – but first commended the owner on how they managed to find out that damp was spreading.

Uploading a video to the HYPE Building YouTube channel, he first pointed out the main signs of damp within the home – damp patches on the wall and mould starting to form.

To make sure, he used a damp meter, which showed that water had been trickling down the wall.

Then he shared how the owner had managed to find out that the damp was spreading. They had made scribbles on the wall with pencil to show where the damp had formed in the beginning.

He explained: “What the owner has actually done that is quite smart, is that they have drawn pencil marks to show where the damp was ending, so they can monitor if it’s getting worse or not. That’s smart, I like that, because that helps me.”

After establishing that the damp problem is worsening, John went through a process of elimination to find out the cause.

There are many potential causes of damp – from poor ventilation to plumbing issues and excess moisture.

But because the boiler in this home was dry, and there were no plumbing or flooring issues, it had baffled many experts.

John eventually found out that there although there is no usable chimney in the house, there was a cowl on the outside of the building.

A chimney cowl is typically fitted to stop rain entry – but this particular one needed fixing.

He revealed how when water was running down the side of the house, it was trickling into a big gap around the cowl.

John simply needed to add cement mixture to cover the hole – and stop water getting into the house.