Rising damp is an issue that has the potential to affect any building. It is a particular problem in older houses where the original rising damp treatment (or damp proof course) has become damaged or where the ground level around a property has been raised with the addition of a new path or drive way.
Over time, water from the ground works its ways through the brick work, stone work or through the softer mortar that holds the brick work together. This ground water often contains soluble salts which are deposited on the surfaces of the walls as they dry out. In turn, these salts draw moisture from the atmosphere giving a permanent damp feeling to the wall and producing one of the key indicators to help identify rising damp.
How rising damp occurs
Practically all buildings are surrounded by natural moisture that is trying to get into the dry structure of the building. Materials such as stone and brick are naturally porous and will soak up moisture like a sponge without the aid of a damp proof membrane. When a building is constructed, a preventative course of rising damp treatment is generally installed in the form of a damp proof course into the walls to prevent rising damp appearing however, when this treatment does not exist or becomes damaged the most common result is rising damp.
Why rising damp can be a problem
Rising damp is unsightly, potentially unhealthy, often leads to timber decay in older properties and causes heat loss due to the increased conductivity of the walls. If you identify rising damp, a general rule of thumb is the sooner you start thinking about treatment, the lower the cost and potential damage. Often, the easiest and most reliable way to do this is to contact a specialist rising damp contractor familiar with rising damp problems who is qualified within rising damp treatments.
How to spot rising damp
Identifying a rising damp issue can usually be done by looking for visual clues and by touch. Tell tale signs of rising damp include a "tide-mark" on the wall above skirting boards of up to 1 metre, peeling wallpaper and possibly white efflorescent salts which have been drawn out of the brickwork by the water.
For more information on how to spot rising damp, visit our how to identify rising damp web page.
How to fix a rising damp problem
Firstly, consider if the rising damp (damp proofing) barrier is really to blame. Sometimes, new external features such as a flowerbed or patio may be installed above the rising damp barrier causing rising damp to occur. By lowering these features to below the damp barrier you could cure a rising damp problem by allowing the area to dry out naturally from opening windows and heating the room.
However, if the rising damp barrier has failed, modern techniques employed by rising damp specialists are very successful and a property survey will reveal the extent of any problem with the recommended and most appropriate rising damp treatment. This could either be the injection of water repellent chemicals into the brick work or the fitting of a new physical damp proof membrane to the area with the removal and replacement of any affected plaster work and damaged timber.
To find out more, visit the following web page
Rising damp treatment & solutions
Rising damp treatment and solutions to help solve a rising damp issue.Rising damp treatment
Rising damp survey
Still unsure if you have a rising damp problem or another damp related problem. Contract Wise Property Care for a no obligation damp survey.Rising damp property survey
Speak to a rising damp specialist
As rising damp can be expensive to repair, it is important to correctly identify a rising damp problem before going ahead with a form of damp treatment. If you suspect a rising damp problem within your property, call 0800 65 22 678 or click to find your local branch and speak to local rising damp specialist. Alternatively, if you have a question, contact us online or arrange a rising damp survey.
With our 20 year property repair guarantee, you will have the peace of mind that your rising damp problems will soon be over.
Further information about rising damp
For more information on rising damp or other damp related issues, check out the following web pages:
- What is rising damp?: Find out more about what rising damp is and how the problem may have occurred. Check out our 'what is rising damp' web page.
- How to identify rising damp: Not sure what to look out for with rising damp? Check out our guide to identifying rising damp.
- PCA explains rising damp: The Property Care Associations (PCA) explains rising damp and why it happens.
- Damp proofing: Unsure is your problem is rising damp? Check out our damp proofing web page to help you identify your damp problem.