Rosamond (Roz) Artis Director, Scottish Lime Centre recommends reading ‘The Warm Dry Home’ by Pete Ward – a long time anti ‘damp industry’ campaigner. It sheds light on the causes of damp, its effect in building fabric and on our health. The book also deals with the causes of condensation which are little understood by the lay person.
This book explains the history of the ‘damp industry’ in the UK (we are almost the only country in the world with this phenomenon) and seeks to explain the different types of dampness and the great myth of ‘rising damp’ which doesn’t even exist!
The author gives a fascinating explanation of the ‘science of water’ (which is the only ‘chemical that can exist in 3 states – a gas, liquid and solid) and is “the single most destructive force that causes decay and deterioration of a building.”
Put very succinctly, Pete Ward explains in a very relatable way “what really causes dampness in buildings, (which are): Physical faults that let water in; whether or not it is built with breathable materials (in the context of a traditional building) and what we actually do inside buildings to create moisture from our lifestyle.”
This book goes onto give very practical advice on what to look for when dealing with dampness in buildings and how to fix issues without having to resort to chemical injections, tanking or timber treatments.
There are very good graphics and photographs to vividly illustrate examples of science, problems and appropriate solutions and make the whole experience a thoroughly informative read on all sorts of levels. Put simply – this book does what it says on the tin, and should be a ‘must’ for all homeowners, architects, surveyors, engineers, contractors and environmental health officers!
The Warm Dry Home – A practical guide to understanding the causes and solutions of damp in buildings by Pete Ward, Heritage House, (ISBN 978 – 1 – 7391164 – 0 – 8) is priced at £30 and is available from www.heritage-house.org.