Guide to preventing damp


Prevent Damp

To keep your house dry, warm, and free from mould, it is essential to keep it as watertight as possible. There are a few key areas where water can enter your house, and its important to understand what these areas are, and what checks you can perform to ensure everything is as it should be.


External Checks

On your external walls, check to see if there is evidence of any of the following:

  • Are the windows and window frames in good condition? Check for signs of rot in wooden windows also gaps around the window frames that could be letting in cold air and damp.
  • Mortar in brickwork – is it up to scratch? Mortar joints should not have pieces missing or be eroded, this can cause structural weaknesses and penetrating damp.
  • Does your property have damp proof course and is it working effectively? Look for a line of plastic bedded into the mortar joint approximately 150mm above you external ground level. In older buildings this could be a line of bitumen or even slate.
  • Are any air bricks blocked? Look for bricks with horizontal holes in them normally placed at approximately 150mm above the external ground level, they should be free from blockages and obstructions to allow air movement through them.

Check your roof to find out if there are any of the following issues:

  • Are your gutters blocked or broken? Leaves and debris can collect in gutters causing them to block, once blocked water overflows and often runs down walls creating moss and algae down the wall and possibly internal damp patches.
  • Do you have any missing, broken or out of place tiles? Check for spaces on your roof where tile should be, they may have been displaced by storms or heavy winds.
  • Is the chimney and its surround in good condition? Flashing around the chimney should be sealed into the chimney and flat over the tiles. Any lifting or damaged flashing should be replaced immediately to stop roof leaks.

It’s also important to be aware that if you have any climbing plants on your house, they could be hiding some of the above problems. Roots of trees near to your home may also cause damage to your foundations or damp proof courses.


Internal Checks

Internally, there are a few areas to look out for:

  • Check windows and walls for condensation. Normally you will see water drops on windows or cold surfaces, in more severe cases you may even experience black mould on various substrates. Kitchens and bathrooms are the areas where condensation is most likely to form due to cooking washing and drying of clothes. If you spot condensation, it is important to take positive steps to control the condensation. This can be done by installing ventilation systems to control the relative humidity (amount of moisture in the air) and using anti mould products to remove mould and stop it occurring the future.
  • Is all your plumbing in good condition? Is there any damage or are there any visible cracks or leaks around sinks or toilets? Damp patches across floors and on walls can quite easily be from a leaking or damaged pipes. Normally damp patches will look like dark areas on walls, floors and even ceilings. Often once the leak has been rectified the damp patch will disappear. If the leak has been prevalent for a long time this may have caused rot within timber that will require remedial treatment by a professional.

If you spot any internal or external problems, it is important to take steps straight away to dry out any damp, and prevent further problems. Where they is any doubt about the causes source or risks associated with water ingress, talk to a specialist.

How to remove paint from a door

paint stripper

Things You’ll Need

  • Paint remover
  • Newspaper
  • Paint brush
  • Gloves
  • Safety mask
  • Scraper
  • Sand paper
  • Trash bags or  plastic


1 Prepare your work area. If possible, this is an outside job. If you can take  the door outside you will prevent fumes from the paint remover from overwhelming  your home. If removing the paint outside is not an option, make sure you have a  work area with lots of windows that can be opened. Lay out trash bags or other  plastic in the area you are working in and over that lay newspapers in several  layers. This will help protect the floor you are working  on.

2 Put on your own safety gear. This should include gloves and a face mask.  Appropriate items for this particular job are sold at local home improvement  stores. Breathing the fumes from the paint remover is not healthy. Make sure you  read all safety precautions and directions on the paint  remover.

3 Brush on a layer of paint remover. Work on one side of the door at a time.  You will have to give the paint remover time to work. Follow the guidelines on  the can. The amount of time needed will be listed and can vary depending on how  many layers of paint are on the door.

4 Use the scraper to carefully begin lifting the paint from the door. Make sure  you have a save container to put the paint scraps in. Old paint cans that still  have the lids are perfect for this. Make sure the cans are disposed of  properly.

5 Be prepared to do some sanding. Paint is likely to linger in cracks and  crevices and can be difficult to remove. Try sanding it. Another good tip is to  use a butter knife or metal file to remove paint from the  cracks.

6 Allow the door to completely dry before beginning the same process with the  other side. Flip the door over carefully and begin again on the other side.  Allow both sides to dry completely before doing any painting or staining to the  door. If the paint remover is not completely dry, it can interfere with the new  paint.

Video of Draining and Refilling Central Heating System

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What you need drain and then refill a central heathing system:

  • A hose
  • A jubilee clip
  • A damp cloth
  • A radiator key
  • A screwdriver

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How to fit skirting boards

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What you need to complete this DIY project:

  • Drill
  • Saw
  • Mitre block or Mitre saw
  • Hammer
  • Screws
  • An adhesive
  • Panel pins
  • Measuring tape
  • Caulk or decorators filler
  • Wood fillers
  • Skirting boards
  • Multipurpose detector
  • Coping saw
  • Planer

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Do it yourself cutting ceramic tiles

Measuring and marking the tiles

When cutting tiles, wear safety glasses as the ceramic surface can produce sharp splinters. The tiles around the edge of the main area will need to be cut, as will tiles to fit the contours of other items like washbasins and pipes.
There are several ways of cutting tiles.
When measuring tiles to be cut, remember to allow for the grout line between it and the next tile. Where walls are reaonably square, a quick way of measuring them is to hold it back to front, one edge against the wall, and mark it a grout line width from the adjacent whole tile.

Straight cuts in tiles

Use a tile cutter to score the surface along the cut line.
Hold a straight edge along the line to be cut and run the cutter along this. Then, holding the tile over a small wooden batten, snap the tile along this line.
Where the offcut is narrow, the snapping process will be very difficult. In this case, use a pair of pliers to gradually nibble away the offcut working slowly towards the scored line.

Tile cutters and saws

If you have several cuts to do, you may find a cutting jig easier. This consists of a cutting wheel mounted on a runner to score the surface, a bed on which there is an adjustable guide and also, usually, a system for snapping the tiles.
Measure the size of tile required.

Set the tile in the jig and adjust the guide to the appropriate measurement.
Score the tile surface by running the wheel along its guide.
Snap the tile using the lever.

At the top end of the range is a diamond wet saw. This is capable of accurate and efficient cutting.