Unsightly and potentially unhealthy, rising damp is a particular problem that affects older properties where the damp proof course has become damaged often leading to timber decay within a property structure. However, it is not uncommon to find rising damp in newer properties where inadequate damp proof courses have been installed.
Why rising damp happens
All buildings are surrounded by moisture that is trying to get into the dry structure of the property. However, if your property defensives are inadequate, this is when damp problems such as rising damp occur.
When a building is constructed, a rising damp treatment is generally installed in the form of a damp proof course in the walls to prevent rising damp appearing however, when this treatment does not exist, becomes damaged or the ground level around your property is raised above the damp proof course level, the most common result is rising damp.
How to spot rising damp
Unlike other forms of dampness, rising damp can be fairly straight forward to recognise. The most important thing to note is that rising damp only occurs at ground level as it is the moisture drawn from the soil around your property that is causing the problem. If it is the case your damp problem is occurring on the first floor or above, you may have another damp problem such as condensation. Check out our damp proofing web page to help identify your damp problem.
Other usual signs of rising damp include a "tide-mark" on the wall above skirting boards of up to 1 metre, mould growth, peeling wallpaper, and sometimes white fluffy efflorescent salts that actually are drawn out of the brickwork by the water. However, if you are unsure that you have a rising damp problem, its always best to consult an expert. For help identifying rising damp, contact White Preservation for free and impartial advice.
Fixing rising damp
To fix a rising damp problem, we first need to discover how the rising damp problem occurred. Once identified, fixing rising damp usually involves repairing the existing damp proof course or installing a new one. This is usually done by drilling holes in a band around the affected wall and injecting a retrofit chemical, an osmotic solution or a physical damp proof membrane (depending on how the original rising damp problem occurred). Afterwards, any salt contaminated plasterwork is removed and replaced with specialist salt retardant plaster to prevent any salts in the original plaster absorbing moisture from the air and ground.
Speak to a rising damp expert
Before going ahead with any rising damp treatment, it is important to correctly identify if you have a rising damp problem. Even more importantly, it is critical that you implement the correct rising damp treatment in the right manor. If you don't, you can do more damage than good.
If you are unsure or if you suspect your property may require rising damp treatment, call White Preservation today on 08000 147 170 or click to request our survey and we will arrange for one of our rising damp experts to call or visit you at a time convenient for yourself. With our 20 year Repair Guarantee, you will have the piece of mind that your rising damp problem will soon be over.
Find out more about rising damp
- What is rising damp?: Find out more about what rising damp is and how the problem may have occurred. Check out the Wise Property Care 'what is rising damp' web page.
- How to identify rising damp: Not sure what to look out for with rising damp? Check out the Wise Property Care guide to identifying rising damp.
- PCA explains rising damp: The Property Care Associations (PCA) explains rising damp and why it happens.