A major problem of living and caravanning in the UK is the wet weather we experience. Often having to heat caravans and motorhomes, sometimes even in the summer months. Combine that with high levels of humidity, especially if you don’t ventilate your van properly, can increase your chances of your van getting damp areas.
With damp, you might only see a small patch in a corner, or behind a wardrobe in your caravan, but it’s what’s lurking behind that panel is the actual issue. Plus the longer you leave it, the worse it will get and potentially be very expensive to repair.
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Get The Damp Problem Full Assessed
If you are going to take your van to a caravan repair company, make sure they do a thorough assessment first. If they are up to the job, they should know the common water ingress points of all major motorhomes and caravan makes and models. You want to see the real extent of the damp and a fully transparent quote for the cost of their assessment and all the repair work. Question and query anything in the contract and quote you don’t understand. This will help you avoid nasty financial surprises before you can get your van back.
Various Stages Of Damp In Your Caravan
One misconception is that damp smells, and that it will be easy to notice in your caravan. However, unless the wood behind the panel it is rotting, you will not smell anything. How do you know when it is time to call the professionals for repairs then?
There are three primary stages covering caravan damp repairs.
1st. Stage – Check for Signs of Water Ingress in Your Caravan
There are no visible signs of damp in your caravan or urgent repairs needed. Maybe you just want to have a detailed service and you feel it’s prudent to have your van checked out for damp, to prevent more serious repairs from being necessary at a later date. The only way to find out is to use a moisture meter.
If they find moisture it will at best require minor repair work, such as resealing any damaged joint, typically windows or awnings rails. This is usually in caravans a few years old.
2nd. Stage – Time for Caravan Repair
If you have not been servicing your caravan regularly and missed a few chances to have minor repairs dealt with, you might see small patches of damp or even a sign of it in the wallboards.
The areas around the damp in your caravan will need a new seal. For example, the windows, awning rails and possibly a roof light. It depends on the features you have in your caravan. If the damage is in the wallboard panel, then you will need to remove the panel and replace the affected area. This kind of repair will be more expensive but depends on the total area of wallboard replacement.
3rd. Stage – Damp Repair Might Not Help
This is the stage where you have not paid to have a single repair carried out and damp has now become a serious issue in your caravan and caused real damage. You will smell the damp, and the walls will be soft to touch. You will see it on the walls and by damp spots. Because you can smell damp, then the wood behind the panels is already rotting.
The caravan is in this state because of years of neglect and lack of repairs. If it’s like this, then economically it makes little sense to carry out any repairs to the damage caused to the caravan.
In summary, if you are planning to buy a used caravan, ensure you have a thorough damp check, to make sure there are no underlying problems that will require costly repairs once you’ve handed over your money. Organise a pre-purchase inspection of all aspects of the caravan which includes a damp check.
If you already own one, then incorporate annual damp checks in your usual servicing regimen. There will be some costs, but if you catch a damp issue early enough, it’s far less to replace some seals and avoid the high caravan damp repair cost.
If you don’t do this, then you have the unpleasant choice of living with the damp and devaluing your investment every year. Plus, once you know there’s damp, it’s going to drive you mad thinking about it.