Causes of Dampness

The author of this blog is Venu, a trained and certified home inspector working at HomeInspeKtor. You can get in touch with him here.

Dampness is one of the important aspects to keep in mind throughout the construction life cycle of a building. If neglected, it can affect the structure adversely and create unhygienic conditions for its occupants. The following are the major causes of dampness:

Dampness image
Dampness in a basement pillar
Dampness in walls
Dampness in a bedroom
  • Capillary action – If the groundwater table is high, it will affect the foundation since the building material used for foundation absorbs the water from the ground by capillary action.
  • Poor quality material – Poor quality construction material often becomes a cause of dampness.
  • Inadequate roof slope – Rain water can penetrate through a poor quality roof. Inadequate roof slope or defective junction between roof slab and parapet wall may also attract and cause dampness.
  • Improper filling of cavities – Cavities and areas kept for erection of scaffolding which later are left unfinished can become a source of attracting and storing moisture leading to moisture.
  • Sub standard plumbing fixtures – Wet areas of buildings (such as kitchens, bathrooms) having sub standard plumbing fittings/fixtures can also be a source of dampness.
  • Leaking and clogged pipes – Waste water, rain water, or water supply pipes can all allow water to enter the walls if the plumbing system is not unclogged or maintained regularly.
Dampness in walls
Dampness in the bathroom

 As can be seen, there are multiple causes of dampness in a building. If dampness is suspected, it is important to get a trained inspector to review the areas in question and do a root cause analysis immediately. If not, these structures will deteriorate with time and create serious health risks for occupants.

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