What is rising damp

Explaining rising damp, how it happens & how to identify it


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What exactly is rising damp?

What is rising damp? This is one of the most common questions we are asked at Wise Property Care. In short, rising damp in buildings occurs when water from the ground rises up through the bricks and mortar of a building by capillary action. In simple terms, the water rises up the porous wall of a building in the same way water is soaked up by a sponge in a sink.

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What is rising damp – why it happens?

Any masonry structure unprotected by a properly installed course to prevent rising damp is susceptible to natural rising damp. Damp will rise by capillary action through the pores of the masonry seeking a means of evaporation. 

The moisture will continue to rise until it reaches a height where, unless no evaporation is possible, gravity takes over and pulls it down again. This height is seldom more than 1.20m, although deposits of ‘salts’ may be found higher in the internal or external wall, often driven there by the use of non-breathing plasters, renders, ‘tanking’, paints or vinyl wall papers.

HOW TO Identify rising damp in internal walls

The tell tale signs of rising damp in internal walls  include a "tide-mark" on the wall above skirting boards of up to 1 metre however, it is important to remember that there are many forms of damp that can affect a property.  Check out our guide to how to identify rising damp for more information.

Signs of rising damp

(click on images above for hi-res version)

PCA explains rising damp

Still a little unsure about what is rising damp? View a video from the governing body of the damp industry.

PCA explains rising damp

Rising damp treatment

Want to learn more on how to treat rising damp? Check out our guide on rising damp treatments and solutions.

Rising damp treatment

Speak to a specialist about rising damp 

If you want to speak to a specialist about rising damp treatment in internal walls or external walls, call Wise Property Care on 0800 65 22 678 or click to find your local branch

Alternatively, scroll down to use our contact form and we will organise one of our specialists to call and speak to you at a time convenient for yourself.

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