Rising damp

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Rising damp

Rising damp is an unsightly and potentially serious problem that can create damp and mouldy environments in the home and lead to damaged walls and skirting boards.
Although more common in older properties, rising damp can affect any property, however there are a variety of rising damp treatments and solutions available to return your home to its natural dry and habitable condition. Read on for more rising damp information or get in touch using the contact form below if you suspect you noticed the signs of rising damp in your building.

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What is rising damp?

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 cause rising damp.  Over time however, these original damp proof courses 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, it can create an unpleasant damp atmosphere, lead to the appearance of salt deposits and mould on walls, and 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 or dry rot.

If damage has occurred to the rising damp barrier, remedial damp proof course can be installed by a rising damp specialist who will be able to evaluate the extent the problem and recommend an appropriate solution.

Do I have rising damp? Spot the signs

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 ways moisture could potentially penetrate your property whether it’s from the roof and guttering or anything that has caused a bridge from the ground to above the original damp proof course such as a raised driveway or improvement works.

If professional treatment is required then there are a variety of ways to resolve the problem depending on your preference and property type. The most common approach is to contact a professional to install a remedial damp proof course. You can find out more about this rising damp solution and others by clicking the ‘rising damp treatment’ option below.

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Need help? Contact us about your rising damp

If you suspect that 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 determine the cause of the problem and recommend the most appropriate course of action. If necessary we have a team of experienced technicains ready to get started resolving the issue for you 

Get in touch with your local Peter Cox branch or give us a call on 0800 633 5712. Alternatively, book a no obligation survey online using the button below.