If you are buying a selling a property you may have seen on the survey report the ominous sounding words “Water ingress was noted to the….[front elevation etc]”. You are forgiven if that was your first time reading that phrase; I am not sure if I had heard it prior to entering the damp proofing industry. So, what is water ingress and should you be concerned?
Definition Of Water Ingress
It is really that simple. The key thing to note is that water will be entering the building from outside and therefore we are usually looking for either holes in the walls or roof, or gutters which have been leaking for a long time causing a continual wet stain on the walls. Your survey report should ideally contain more clarification on the approximate location of the water ingress and we always suggest speaking with your building surveyor for further clarification if it is not clear in the report. It is often the case that the building surveyor will only know the rough location so they may suggest contacting a damp specialist such as Damp Genius for further investigation.
Why Does Water Ingress Matter?
The biggest risk of water ingress is the timbers in the building, such as joists/floorboards/roof timbers, getting wet enough that Dry Rot can grow. This wood rotting fungus is extremely destructive with repairs often running into thousands of pounds. We have seen many instances where ten minutes spent unblocking a section of guttering would have prevented £££’s of damage from Dry Rot.
Mould on the outside of a wall can indicate the start of a larger problem inside the property such as Dry Rot shown above. The mould often indicates that water is becoming trapped on the wall which can lead to the render cracking and falling off the wall. Internally it may be possible to see salt staining on the the wall and damp patches which appear during periods of heavy rain.
Causes Of Water Ingress
There are several causes of water ingress which seem to come up time and time again. Often these are easily fixable but sometimes you may need a specialist such as a roofer, plasterer or damp specialist.
- Blown or damaged external render can let water through. It tends to trap water in bubbles which then slowly penetrates the building.
- Holes in a roof are a common cause of wet roof timbers.
- Leaking or overflowing guttering can cause water to run down a wall, over time this water will seep inside the building.
- Poor pointing on the brickwork is a common reason for water ingress.
- A blocked cavity can cause water to bridge across from the outside wall to the internal wall.
- Chimneys often have split or weed cracked flashing which lets water into the building.
- Faulty or damaged seals around doors and windows can let water through in bad weather.
How To Treat Water Ingress
Regular building maintenance is the key to ensuring that water ingress does not become a problem for your property. Checks should look for signs of mould or green moss growing on walls, blocked gutters, cracked tiles, or gaps in the mortar between bricks.
Many of the causes of water ingress can be tackled by a competent DIY’er, however, should you want a specialist damp survey to identify the cause of the water ingress the Damp Genius would be happy to help. You can contact us here or use the form on this page.