Dealing with Damp in your Static Caravan
Static Caravan Maintenance: Dealing with Damp
Damp can be a major concern for static caravan owners, especially at this time of year. Damp can affect both old and new caravans, cause superficial damage to the caravan interior or, if allowed to continue, it can affect the wooden framework of a caravan. Also, damp problems are unlikely to be covered by your static caravan insurance, so it’s important to be aware of damp and know how to prevent it. Taking some simple steps to prevent damp in your static caravan can help to avoid some costly repair bills. We’ll come onto preventing damp later, firstly we look at how to identify damp in your static caravan.
How to Check Whether your Static Caravan is Damp
- Does it smell damp? A musty or mouldy smell inside your static caravan can indicate that it is damp. You might notice the smell if the caravan has not been used for a while, and if it persists, it’s important to address the damp problem.
- Are there any dark patches on ceilings, walls or floors? Check behind (unfitted) furniture and in corners. These dark patches could be water stains.
- Is there any black mould present? This is often around doors or window seals in a static caravan or in the bathroom.
- Check around plumbing pipework, sinks, basins, or shower trays to see if any water could have escaped in these areas.
- What do the walls feel like? Are they damp to the touch? Also, a dry wall feels solid and if you knock the wall, it gives a hard sound. However, a damp wall may feel spongy or soft and gives a dull thud if you knock it. This could indicate a much more significant damp problem.
Treating Damp in your Static Caravan
There are different ways to treat damp in your static caravan and these depend on what has caused it. Check over your static caravan thoroughly and identify all the areas of concern. You may need to use a few approaches to tackle the problem. Many are straightforward and inexpensive and if used early enough, they are usually very effective.
- Black Mould in your Static Caravan
Black mould can be a symptom of condensation causing damp within your static caravan. It’s important to address both the mould and the condensation. You can buy a household mould removal spray, which is an anti-fungal product and usually very effective. Alternatively you can make your own cleaning solution with warm water, washing up liquid or vinegar.
- Condensation in your Static Caravan
An electric dehumidifier is a very effective way of dealing with condensation in your static caravan. It extracts water from the air into a reservoir inside the dehumidifier. This reservoir needs to be emptied on a regular basis, so make sure that it is not left unattended for long periods of time. Some dehumidifiers have an automatic cut-off so they will stop working when the reservoir is full.
If the problem is less severe, you can use dehumidifying crystals, or even cat litter, to absorb moisture from the air inside your static caravan.
- Leaks from Pipework, Door or Window Seals in your Static Caravan
Once you have identified the source of the leak, you may be able to apply a sealant to solve the problem. Alternatively, you may need to contact a plumber to repair or replace the pipework, shower, or whatever is causing the leak.
- Leaking Roof
Damp caused by a leaking roof is likely to require the help of a specialist. You may also want to consult a professional when it comes to drying out your static caravan under these circumstances.
Preventing Damp in your Static Caravan
The best way to deal with damp is to prevent it happening in the first place. Condensation is one of the easiest causes of damp to avoid and there are some simple steps you can take.
- Produce less moisture – simple things like keeping the lids on pans while you’re cooking, drying clothes outside your static caravan, if you have a tumble drier vent it to the outside.
- Increase ventilation – open the windows after you’ve had a shower, or when cooking, use an extractor fan and make sure airways and grates aren’t blocked.
- Use a dehumidifier on a timer switch so that you can control the length of time it operates to avoid a build-up of water in the reservoir.
- If you’re not using your static caravan for an extended period of time, remove all bedding and make sure there is no water in the shower tray or sinks.
- Check on your caravan when you can. Of course, you may not have been able to visit your static caravan as often as you were planning to due to Covid-19 restrictions. However, going to check on it for any signs of damp and giving it a good airing ever so often will help to keep your caravan in good order.