What Is Rising Damp?

Mar 21, 2018 | Damp Proofing | 0 comments

Rising damp is one of the types of damp issues (aside from condensation, penetrating damp and damp from plumbing leaks) found in houses or buildings. As the name suggests, this damp problem happens when water rises from the ground through the floors or walls of a structure.

How does this happen? Water goes up because of capillary action, when liquid spontaneously ascend or flow through porous materials or narrow spaces. In rising damp, think of the porous floors and walls of your house as a sponge that soaks up water. Hence, if there is water on the ground, your floor and walls will absorb it.

The water or moisture may continue to rise until it evaporates. The type of wall covering and the temperature of the surroundings are some of the factors that affect the rate of evaporation. The rise may also stop when water runs out or when gravity becomes strong enough to pull it down. Oftentimes, water does not rise beyond 36 inches above the ground.

What Causes Rising Damp?

Since rising damp has been a known problem for many years already, a solution – the installation of a damp proof course – has been created to prevent it. Most, if not all, modern or new houses have DPC. Hence, rising damp is more prevalent in old houses where DPCs were not installed.

However, this damp issue can still be observed in newly built houses. This happens when the DPC is damaged or not properly installed.

What Are the Signs of Rising Damp?

The most common sign is the presence of tide marks which are often about a metre above the skirting board. Sometimes, damp patches are seen instead of tide marks. These patches or staining are coloured brown or yellow. They also appear one metre above the skirting just like tide marks.

The water rising on the wall contains salts. When water evaporates, salts which appear white and fluffy are deposited in the plaster or left on the surface. These deposits also contribute to the debonding of plaster and the lifting of paint from the surface, resulting in blistering patches on the wall. Externally, the salt deposits can leave white stains on the wall.

Another telltale sign of rising damp is blistering or peeling wallpaper. For this case, the wallpaper’s corner becomes curved up. Also, the first area that comes loose is the part near the skirting board.

It is also not unusual for timbre affected by rising damp to rot, especially if the problem has been around for quite some time. So, check skirting boards if they have cracks or are crumbling. Also, look for fungi growing on them.

How Do You Treat Rising Damp?

Rising damp needs to be treated immediately to prevent it from causing damage to your property which can be costly to repair. However, do not treat the damp without identifying its cause first. Furthermore, never use quick fixes as these won’t eliminate the problem. In fact, they can even exacerbate it which would eventually lead to more expenses for you.

To accurately determine the cause of the rising damp, let a professional damp surveyor inspect your property. Based on the surveyor’s findings, a recommendation is going to be made as to what the best treatment is for the problem. The different rising damp treatments available include mortar injection, chemical injection, electro-osmosis and the installation of physical DPCs.

Treating rising damp doesn’t end with the insertion of chemical or electroosmotic DPC. Contaminated plaster must also be removed and replaced with a new one to completely eradicate the dampness and salt deposits.

Rising damp is an easily solvable problem. However, treating it is not a task meant for amateurs. If you want a long-lasting solution, make sure you hire professionals to damp-proof your house.

To learn more about how we treat rising damp, call us at 01 – 8417716 (telephone) or 086 – 7907555 (mobile) today.

Photo by Tim Gillin Photocopier Service Contracts – What You Need to Know