What causes water seepage in walls and what’s the solution?

Wondering what causes wall seepage and how to tackle this issue? Here’s a guide to help maintain your walls. Have you noticed your walls looking damp, puffed, leaky ...

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Wondering what causes wall seepage and how to tackle this issue? Here’s a guide to help maintain your walls.

Have you noticed your walls looking damp, puffed, leaky or mouldy in places? This is essentially the result of water seepage in walls, causing unpleasant outcomes. Did you know, as per Vastu, having wall seepage could signify ill health and poor finances? While this problem is often seasonal in India, knowing its causes, effects, and solutions is essential. Read to know more.  

What are the causes of water seepage in walls?

  1. Inadequate waterproofing during construction
  2. Poor exterior wall paint and plaster
  3. Weather-related wear and tear
  4. Faulty pipes or plumbing
  5. Moisture build-up
  6. Gaps in window frames

Wall seepage can happen due to a number of factors, making it a common phenomenon in several Indian homes. We look at some of the most prominent causes of water seepage in walls. 

water seepage in walls

Inadequate waterproofing during construction

To survive for several decades, any building’s or home’s foundation must be strong. This also includes ensuring the walls are well protected. Waterproofing them during the construction phase can help prevent water seepage at a later stage, as it helps seal the walls from direct exposure by forming a protective layer over them. 

Poor exterior wall paint and plaster

Did you know the paint used inside your room differs from the paint used on the exterior walls? This is because its composition is not the same, and walls outside your home require thicker, more resistant paint that can prevent it from harsh weather. If you use low-quality or the incorrect type of paint on the walls, water will likely start seeping in over time, making your walls damp or wet. 

Weather-related wear and tear

External conditions like rain, moisture and humidity are also causes of water seepage in walls, leading to the appearance of cracks as the building gets old. Adequate maintenance every few years can slow its wear and tear and delay wall seepage. 

Faulty pipes or plumbing

Leaky taps that drip water, faulty pipes, incorrect plumbing or even cracks around your sanitaryware can cause the water to seep in through the gaps. Filling up these gaps and getting the pipes checked at the earliest can prevent further damage. 

Gaps in window frames

Moisture build-up

Water seepage in walls is also caused when a room has a lot of moisture and little or no ventilation. This is why the walls of bathrooms or tiny kitchens are most prone to water seepage. To reduce moisture build-up, consider adding exhaust fans to these rooms and try to keep the spaces as ventilated as possible.

Gaps in window frames

Wall seepage can also occur if your window and door frames are not properly fitted, leaving slight gaps for the water to seep inside. Over a period of time, the walls become damp due to the seepage, causing cracks and even mould build-up. Getting them refitted or filling up the gaps is important to prevent this from worsening. 

It leaves behind stains on your walls

Effects of water seepage in walls

  1. Water seepage makes your room musty
  2. It leaves behind stains on your walls
  3. Water seepage causes mould buildup
  4. Water seepage can damage electronics and furniture
  5. It weakens wall strength

The ill effects of water seepage in walls are many.

Water seepage makes your room musty

Remember how that hostel room, whose walls were damp even in peak summer, smelled? Water seepage makes the walls of your home damp, and that leaves behind an unpleasant odour. The musty, mouldy smell you’ve been living with is most definitely because of water seepage in the walls.

It leaves behind stains on your walls

Wall seepage also leads to paint and wallpaper peeling, puffed or cracked walls, etc. While you can conceal it in some places by placing a furniture piece or hanging wall art over it, it will only increase until the problem is resolved. 

Treat cracks

Water seepage causes mould buildup

Water seepage in walls has serious health implications too. Mould is a common problem in houses with water seepage and can lead to health problems including breathing issues, dizziness, and blurry vision.

Water seepage can damage electronics and furniture

Water seepage is not just harmful to your walls and your health, it also adversely affects other materials such as wood, timber, iron and metal, causing them to rot or rust in the process. Prolonged exposure to wall seepage in the rooms will also set a damp smell in your furnishings.

It weakens wall strength

Water seepage in walls, if ignored for a long time, can affect the integrity of the wall. When water enters the wall, it not only makes it damp but also affects its chemical composition, weakening the structure bit by bit over time. 

Wall seepage solutions

  1. Treat cracks
  2. Stop dampness by waterproofing
  3. Use good quality paint
  4. Fix leaky pipes and fixtures
  5. Build a cavity wall
  6. Add a wall panel

If your walls are showing signs of water seepage, here’s what you need to do to fix the issue.

Treat cracks

One of the first things to do is to stop further wall seepage and you can achieve this by fixing the cracks that have appeared on the walls. Check near doors and window frames and seal them by filling them with putty or plaster. 

Treat cracks

Stop dampness by waterproofing

Waterproofing is another effective way of stopping water from seeping in further. This preventive method stops wall seepage in its tracks and also improves the appearance of your walls. Get a professional to provide this service if your walls are looking damp or leaky.

Use good quality paint

If your walls are due a paint job, it is essential that you select a paint that is high quality, durable and also water-resistant, preventing wall seepage to an extent. Ask a professional for the best type of paint suited for your walls both inside and outside, and get them to do the job using their expertise. 

Use good quality paint

Fix leaky pipes and fixtures

Getting your pipes checked for any leaks or cracks and getting them fixed with the right paint and sealant is equally important to prevent water seepage in walls. Check faucets in the bathrooms and kitchen and keep these zones well-ventilated to prevent moisture buildup.

Build a cavity wall

In extreme cases of water seepage in walls, your contractor may suggest building a cavity wall that can help prevent seepage from external sources. This wall shields the main wall from the harsh weather and keeps it safe in turn. This, however, requires civil work and is best-suited for individual homes that are in the construction phase.

Add a wall panel

Wall panelling involves fixing a decorative that is also protective material over your existing walls to give them a refreshed look. It comes in different material options and is a good option to undo the effects of wall seepage. But remember to get the water seepage issue fixed before you opt for wall panels to prevent further damage underneath. 

Add a wall panel

Urban Company (UC) also offers different paint and repair services that can help keep your walls free of water seepage, making them look appealing and healthy.

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