Common signs of Rising Damp

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What does rising damp look like?

Are you trying to understand what exactly does rising damp look like and whether you have an issue? For most non trained professionals, spotting the signs of rising damp can be difficult if you do not know what you are looking for.

To give you a clearer idea as to what rising damp looks like and whether your property may be suffering from rising damp, check out our rising damp identification guide below.  

If you are still struggling to identify the issue, then feel free to contact us for help and advice.

Alternatively, if the pictures and images below look similar to an issue you are experiencing and you suspect rising damp, why not visit our rising damp treatment page.

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Tell tale signs of what rising damp looks like

If you notice all or any of the following symptoms appearing in your property then they could be an indication that the building is suffering from rising damp. 

"Tide-marks”/damp-staining

The most common sign of rising damp is a “tide-mark” or damp staining along the bottom of the wall sitting approx 1 metre above the skirting boards. As the water evaporates from the brickwork, a tide-mark appears that typically feels damp to touch. The tide mark is often in association with ground salts that have been absorbed into the plaster (see the next tell tale sign).

If a tide mark isn’t visible, yellowish-brown damp stains may appear along the skirting board. This is typically another sign of the moisture within the walls evaporating.

Salt in the plaster

As the moisture rises from the ground by capillary action, the water contains salt washed out from the brick onto the plaster often leaving walls damp to touch. As the water evaporates, the salt fragments are left leaving a residue and creating fluffy white deposits. The salt draws moisture from the air leaving a permanent damp smell within the walls. Salt in the plaster is almost uniquely an indicator to rising damp and is a very common sign.

Decaying skirting boards

Dependant on how long you have had the rising damp issue, It is possible for skirting boards to begin to rot from the overexposure to water. Things to look out for include:

  • skirting board crumbling
  • visible cracks in the skirting boards?
  • paintwork peeling or flaking

Also be aware of any exposed timbers around the area as this could potentially lead to further problems with wet rot or dry rot if left untreated.

Peeling wallpaper

The increase of moisture within the wall(s) can cause wallpaper to start peeling away from the wall, particularly around the skirting board or up to 1 metre from the skirting board.

Peeling paper can be an indication of condensation issues but by feeling the wall with your hand you may be able to hear the paper crack and crumble due to the salts behind the wall paper drying.

Black mould

Dependent on the amount of moisture there is within the wall and the humidity of the property, black mould can be an indication that there is a form of dampness in your property. If the black mould is located along the skirting board and does not affect other areas of the property, it could be a sign of rising damp.

Rising damp images

What rising damp looks like

Other factors to consider  - what does rising damp look like?

It is important to know that rising damp will only penetrate the lower ground floors of properties; this is due to rising damp drawing moisture from the ground below and gravity impacting on the rate rising damp rises. If you have an issue with damp in higher levels of your property, it could be an issue with condensation or penetrating damp.

Misdiagnosis - wrongly identifying rising damp

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to hear about rising damp being misdiagnosed. Inexperience with identifying rising damp and a reliance on guides such as the one above can never replace year of experience from professionals in the industry. Our strongest advice is that if after reading this page that you suspect you may have a rising damp but are unsure, prior to organising any form of rising damp treatment, consider organising a rising damp survey and have a professional take a look to determine the issue and the best approach to repair. It may just save you time, money and overall peace of mind.  

If it is the case that you you suspect it is no longer a rising damp issue but another form of dampness, then click to visit our web page on the signs of damp to help you identify the issue.

Still unsure and need help? Chat to a rising damp expert

If after reading our page on what rising damp looks like and how to identify it that you are still unsure...don’t fret. We are here to help!

Simply pick up the phone and give us a call on 0800 633 5712 or contact us on one of our local branch numbers. Alternatively, for some help and advice or if you want to organise a rising damp survey, get in touch using our contact form below.Our experts can offer helpful friendly advice on how to treat rising damp.
 

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