Damp is a nuisance. It looks nasty and can cause some pretty annoying problems. It can also be difficult to get rid of. So can you just paint over it, or do you need to fix the damp before you get painting?
What is Damp? And Does My Home Have Any?
First thing's first - let’s explain what we mean by damp. Damp is any unwanted moisture entering a building or structure like your home. Damp is normally caused by poor ventilation, or external weatherproofing letting us down.
Most people would notice some visible sign of damp, like discolouration, mould or flaking and bubbling paint. Put your hand against the wall - does it feel cold and/or wet? If so, there's a good chance you do have damp.
If you are looking to see if you have damp on your ceiling, the most obvious sign will be its colour. If it starts to show signs of discolouration, like yellowing or ring marks, again you could be dealing with damp.
Should You Paint Over Damp?
The short answer is no - painting over damp is a short term fix at best. At worst, it can end up making the problem a bigger and ultimately a nightmare.
While you can buy damp proof paint, or waterproof paint, this paint is not going to stop the damp that is already there (even if it says it is in some cases) - but rather to stop new damp from appearing. The damp that is already there will most likely still be able to grow and cause damage beneath your layer of paint. It can also stop the walls from breathing which makes the damp issue even worse, and lead to bubbles in the paint or even mould.
You're much better off tackling the source of the damp, before looking to sort the cosmetic part out with a paint solution. We'll get to that now...
Some Ways To Prevent or Get Rid of Damp:
So you want to get to the root of the issue, and make sure you're preventing damp from coming back. Here are some solutions:
If You Do Decide To Paint Over Damp
If you decide that painting over damp is the best plan for you (in spite of our warning...) make sure that you are using specialist waterproof paint.
Waterproof paints create a seal which stops damp from entering the interior. However, as we’ve just said, moisture can still build up behind the paint and continue to cause damage.
So, while waterproof paint may be a good short term fix, it’s always best to stop the damp itself so as not to deal with problems later on.
So now you know! Get rid of your damp through the above methods, and make sure to use one of COAT's Moisture Proof Soft Sheen paints in future for rooms exposed to water or humidity.