With winter approaching, cold and wet conditions can leave your home’s external walls exposed to moisture and the risk of saturation.
This can lead to problems with condensation, damp and heat escaping - making your house feel chillier, and potentially requiring pricey repairs in future.
If your house has solid wall construction (such as single skin brick or stone), it's more at risk, according to Berwyn Evans of Rentokil Property Care.
“These walls are more likely to fall victim to penetrating damp, which is most often caused by exposure to prevailing winds that drive rain into the masonry, as they do not have a cavity,” he explains.
“They are also harder to insulate, meaning they are likely to stay cold and become cold spots for condensation to form.”
So how can we prepare our homes to keep them weatherproof? Berwyn shares his tips.
1. Apply external wall cream
“External wall creams can help improve the thermal resistance of masonry by forming a water-repellent barrier against penetrating damp, and can reduce heat loss in single skin masonry. This is essential in older buildings, where conventional insulation is not possible,” says Berwyn.
“These external wall creams act as a water-repellent treatment for brick, concrete and stone, and are colourless, so they won’t change the appearance of your external walls.”
Make sure you choose a product offering long-lasting protection – good external wall creams can provide a barrier for up to 25 years.
2. Use anti-condensation paint
Damp walls tend to be colder than dry walls, which can result in condensation forming on the inside.
“Using an anti-condensation paint on the internal walls combats the build-up of condensation by insulating the cold wall surface from the warmer room air, and reflecting heat back in the direction it came from,” says Berwyn.
“This reduces the formation of water droplets and inhibits the growth of mould.”
3. Call in an expert to conduct a damp survey
If you've tried DIY solutions and are still experiencing damp issues with your external walls, you might need to enlist professional help from a trained damp expert.
"They can perform a damp assessment on your building and provide you with a report on risk-areas and solutions. They can also advise you on whether repairs to the mortar or rainwater goods may be required, before the application of a protective wall cream,” Berwyn adds.