Damp is one of those problems that we all come across at some point. It’s a troublesome problem that can lead to further complications if not treated properly.
If you are looking at decorating, especially with painting, it is essential that you deal with damp walls before you paint them. If you simply paint on damp walls, you will find the paint does not dry properly, and will peel very quickly.
Fortunately, dealing with damp walls before painting is not difficult, and we have a few tips – outlined below – that will help you get the job done with the best possible results. We start with advice about getting to the root of the problem.
Find the Source of the Damp
The most important step to take if you suspect or identify damp is to find out what is causing it. There is no point in prepping a damp wall without doing so, as the damp will invariably reoccur. Damp has various causes: the most common of these being infiltration of water from outside the house.
Damage to the fabrication of the building – cracks in the brickwork and so on – may let water through, which causes dampness inside.
There are certain products you can use to correct such problems – bituminous paint on the wall will protect against dampness – but it may be best to get an expert to survey the problem and advise on the best way to deal with it.
Damp can also be caused by exhaust gases from appliances, and can also be the cause of mould, which is our next subject.
Dealing With Mould
Once you have identified the cause of the damp and had it rectified, you need to check that the walls are not mouldy.
Mould is a fungus that grows in the very circumstances that damp often presents, and it can spread very quickly. It is easy to spot, and – once you have dealt with the damp – also easy to deal with.
The best ways to remove mould are to apply diluted bleach to the area with a soft brush or a cloth, and this will kill the mould and wipe it away, or to use hydrogen peroxide as the solution.
With the mould removed, you need to wash down the wall with water, and leave it to dry before painting. Making sure your wall is dry is very important; painting on even a slightly damp wall will give you a very poor result.
Preparing the Wall
If you wish, there is a product known as chlorinated rubber paint that you can apply to the spots where the damp patches have been.
This paint will effectively seal the area, and ensure that the damp will be dealt with permanently. This is recommended should you have had to remove serious damp.
Now that you have dealt with damp, and removed the mould, and your walls are dry and damp-free, you need to wash them properly to remove any dust or debris that may be present.
Even the smallest and least noticeable debris on your wall will result in an uneven finish, so make sure you take some time to prepare the walls properly, ensuring they are as smooth as is possible.
Painting the Wall
Now that you’ve prepared the wall properly, you’re ready to paint, but what’s the best way to do it?
A traditional brush or roller approach is fine for smaller areas, and rollers can do the job quite quickly, but prepare for a lot of mess with both options. There will be drips and runs with the brush or roller method, and you’ll find it quite a strain to get anything more than a few square yards covered.
So what is the alternative?
You may have seen them used commercially, but now you can buy a paint sprayer for domestic use, and you will find that thanks to clever technology, you don’t need a compressor so you can use your sprayer wherever.
If you’re looking for advice, Wagner are considered one of the best DIY paint sprayer brands and have a wide range of models to cover EVERY budget.
Paint sprayers are far more efficient than the traditional methods of painting, produce less waste and cover wide areas in a short time. They also provide a very smooth, professional-level finish, especially if you are prepared to practice the technique before tackling your walls.
However, even a paint sprayer will not produce excellent results on damp walls, so you need to follow the procedures we have mentioned above to make sure your walls are ready for painting.