A major problem of living and caravanning in the UK is the wet weather we experience. Often having to heat caravans, 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, but it’s what’s lurking behind that is the actual issue. Plus the longer you leave it, the worse it will get and potentially be very expensive to repair.
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 caravan makes and models. You want to see the real extent of the damp and a fully transparent quote for all the work. No nasty financial surprises before you can get your van back.
Various Stages Of Damp In Your Caravan
One misconception is that damp smells, but unless the wood behind it is rotting, you will not small anything.
There are three primary stages covering caravan damp repairs.
There are no visible signs of damp. Maybe you just want to have a detailed service and you feel it’s prudent to have your van checked out for damp. The only way to find out is to use a moisture meter.
If they find moisture it probably entails some resealing, typically windows or awnings rails. This is usually in caravans a few years old.
If you have not been servicing regularly and missed a few, you might see small patches of damp or even some signs in the wallboards.
The areas around the damp will require re-sealing. For example, the windows, awning rails and possibly a roof light. If it’s in the wallboard, then you will need to remove and replace the affected area. This will be more expensive but depends on the total area of wallboard replacement.
This is the stage where damp has now become a serious issue. 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. If it’s like this, then economically it makes little sense to repair the caravan.
In summary, if you are planning to buy a used caravan, ensure you have a thorough damp check. Organise a pre-purchase inspection of all aspects of the caravan which includes a damp check.
If you already have your own van, 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 do some minor work.
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.