Wall showing signs of Rising Damp

Rising damp

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Rising damp

Rising damp is a unsightly form of dampness that can affect not only the health of your property, but given the extent of the rising damp issue, can potentially affect the health of any residents if not appropriately treated.

Most common within older properties where the original damp proof course may be failing or damaged, rising damp can lead to the break down of the wall plaster resulting in damaged internal decorations, skirting boards and walls.

How does rising damp occur?

Rising damp occurs when groundwater moisture is drawn into the porous brick of a property and travels up the walls using a process known as capillary action.

During construction, a rising damp barrier (or damp proof course) should be installed into a mortar joint of low level brickwork to prevent water from being absorbed and travelling through the brickwork to causing rising damp.  Over time however, these original treatments for rising damp either begin to breakdown or are damaged leading to the rising damp barrier eventually failing and allowing for moisture to travel through the brickwork or masonry leading to the typical tell tale signs of rising damp.

Why is rising damp a problem?

Although rising damp is a relatively slow process, rising damp can eventually damage wall plaster and decor. It could affect the overall structure of your property if not adequately treated potentially leading to timber decay such as wet rot,  dry rot, other forms of dampness such as condensation and heat loss.

If damage has occurred to the rising damp barrier, a rising damp treatments can be carried out by a rising damp specialist who will be able to evaluate the extent the problem and recommend an appropriate solution.

How do I know if it is rising damp?

It is important to note that different forms of damp have different characteristics. If you suspect you have a rising damp issue, there are some tell tale rising damp visual clues you can use to help identify the issue prior to you contacting a rising damp specialist.  They include:  

  • Damp stains and water marks up to 1 metre high on the wall
  • Flaky/peeling wallpaper possibly lifting away from the walls
  • Skirting boards showing signs of decay
  • Rotting floorboards 
  • Plaster that has become contaminated with salt or bubbled and cracked
  • Wall feels damp to touch

How to treat rising damp?

Before assuming there has been a failure with the original damp proof course, we would always stress to look out for any other conditions that may be causing a problem. Look out for the following:

  • Anything that may be bridging over the rising damp barrier, such as flower beds or a new path, new patio
  • Anything that may have caused damage to the rising damp barrier

Be aware of ways moisture could potentially penetrate your property whether it’s from the roof and guttering to raising the ground level.  Performing regular checks to your property can stop a problem before it becomes an issue.

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Need help? Contact us about your rising damp

We understand that that within your home or property, damp or any other form of remedial works can be particularly stressful. If it is the case that you do suspect you may have a rising damp issue, then we are here to help.

Our internal term will be able to give you some help and advice and our fully qualified surveyors will be able to outline the severity of the rising damp problems on your property and recommend the most appropriate course of action.

Feel free to contact your local Peter Cox branch or give us a call on 0800 633 5712.

Alternatively use our online contact form below to get professional advice from one of our experts.

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