Rising damp is caused by moisture rising through the porous masonry from the ground, this typically occurs in older homes. As opposed to older properties, damp proof courses are built into the newer/more modern properties. Rising damp is a problem that can affect any building, whether it be commercial or residential, it is unsightly, potentially unhealthy, can often lead to timber decay and cause heat loss due to the increased conductivity of the walls. Rising damp can lead to visible damp patches, salt-contamination and crumbling plaster on interior walls.
Identification of Rising Damp
- A ‘tide mark’ on the affected wall
- Damaged skirting boards/floorboards
- Crumbling plaster and peeling wallpaper
What causes Rising Damp?
- No damp proof course (dpc)
- The existing damp proof course is ineffective: this is typically due to age or the original use of poor external materials.
- High ground levels
If you suspect that your DPC has been compromised, you should request a damp survey as remedial action is required as soon as possible, continued presence of dampness on the upper walls will lead to the deterioration of brickwork, internal plaster and deco. The internal plasterwork in your property can break down quickly when exposed to such dampness, replacement of this plaster is usually required to some degree.
Rising damp tends to be higher in situations in which evaporation is withdrawn:
- Unheated homes, evaporation is lower in unheated/unoccupied homes than in heated homes
- Winter vs Summer, damp tends to rise higher during the wetter and colder winter months, rising damp will often rise higher in colder conditions.
- Northerly Aspect, height of rise tends to be higher on walls in the Northern Hemisphere as these walls are cooler than those in the Southern Hemisphere.
Effects of Rising Damp
- Health aspects – excessive amounts of dampness can affect a property occupant’s health so we would highly advise that if you think that you may have rising damp, contact us for a survey, so we can check out for you and carry out the necessary damp proofing works to avoid any health risks.
- Decorative spoiling, the moisture and ground salts can lead to wallpaper peeling and deteriorating and paint blistering
To determine the full extent of the damp and the appropriate method of treatment, we would suggest getting a damp survey. The knowledge of a fully qualified and expert surveyor can be the difference between a correct and incorrect diagnosis and treatment suggestion for the damp, saving you possibly hundreds of pounds.