Damp is more commonly associated with poorly ventilated homes that, more often than not, are not fitted with central heating — but it is also an issue that affects many commercial properties in the UK.

Depending on the business and type of property, whether it is a store or an office block, both staff and customers will regularly be inside the building. Staff members should feel proud of their surroundings, while customers should feel welcomed by their environment.

If your commercial property is suffering from damp, it is essential that the issue is dealt with sooner rather than later.


What is Damp?

Damp comes in three main forms, which are:

  • Condensation
  • Rising Damp
  • Penetrating Damp

The most common of these types is condensation, which is the cause of roughly three quarters of damp cases in the UK. This is when there is an excess of water vapour in the atmosphere as a result of poor ventilation and cold air.

In households, the kitchen and bathroom are the usual suspects to suffer from damp issues due to running water in those rooms. That is not to say that these are the only rooms at risk, as this is also true for rooms that are not regularly used and are not heated.

With this in mind, businesses that use water — such as hairdressers — and are based on the ground floor are most at risk. The same can also be said about garages and warehouses, as these premises usually have limited heating systems in place.

Poor Reflection

A commercial property with a damp problem projects poorly on the business. It looks dirty and presents a negative image which makes any visitor and customer believe that staff do not care for their surroundings.

More than just the damage to the building, the harm to a company’s reputation has to be considered. News spreads quickly, especially when it is negative, and your business can easily get caught in a losing battle commercially, as well as from a health and safety perspective.


In the event of damp in a property, there are a number of precautions that can be taken, however; some solutions only treat the symptoms rather than the problem itself.

Dehumidifiers are an example of a temporary solution that simply helps to contain the damp issue as opposed to treating it. That is not to say that they should not be utilised where possible, though, as they can play a key role in containing the effects of condensation by absorbing vapour in the air.

When searching for a permanent solution to treat issues such as condensation and rising damp, it is important to survey the affected areas and diagnose the root cause. This will help in gaining accurate quotations from damp proofing companies that will look to install ventilation systems in the building. In more severe cases, it may be necessary to carry out work in the walls of the property and the building’s DPC (damp proof course).

Tenant and Landlord

Depending on the terms of the lease, the landlord is usually responsible for any treatment needed in the event of damp. The tenant, however, has the responsibility to contain the issue, using solutions such as dehumidifiers and ventilating the premises as best as possible (opening windows etc …).

Before signing a lease, tenants should ask questions about the property’s history and specifically ask about any damp issues. The landlord, then, has to provide the history of the property and highlight any issues and work that has been carried out.

Damp is a common issue that affects plenty of properties and, if dealt with quickly and efficiently, is a simple issue to resolve, making it all the more important to address before becoming a major problem for the business.