Rising damp the term commonly applied to the slow movement of water via a capillary action as it moves upwards on the lower sections of interior walls in a building. It has been widely observed as a phenomenon for a couple of centuries at least, and there is evidence that even the Ancient Greeks and Romans had noticed the problem, and understood the process.
The easiest sign of rising damp in a residence is the tell-tale tide mark that you will see lower down on any affected wall. This line is caused by chlorides, nitrates, and other soluble salts present in the groundwater. As the water itself evaporates, these mineral salts are left behind, deposited at the rising damp’s peak height.
Although the symptoms of rising damp might appear similar to those of ordinary damp, the cause is very different and requires a different approach from regular damp treatments.
The first thing to do is to see if a damp proof course (DPC) has been previously installed. This effectively cuts off the rising damp at the point in the brickwork where the course is installed. Since most modern houses will already have had one of these as part of their general construction and upkeep, it is unlikely (but not unheard of) that this will be the main issue.
More likely is that the damp has been causing outside elements bridging the existing damp proof course. This means that whatever is creating the moisture outside the home (soil in a flower bed, for instance) has been piled up in such a manner that it is now over the height of the original DPC. In such a case, lowering the flower bed is often the simplest solution.
Another solution is to inject damp proofing liquids or creams directly into the bricks or mortar of the affected wall, creating an impermeable barrier for rising damp. A similar process involves the insertion of specially formulated damp proofing rods directly into the mortar that performs the same function as the cream or liquid injection.
When inspecting any damp in your home, our job is to determine the nature of the moisture build-up – that is, whether it is surface or rising damp. Once we are satisfied with the cause, we can create an appropriate solution to deal with it.
Our team are highly-trained professionals, and have many years of experience with rising damp, all across the Essex coast, from our office in Rochford to clients in Southend and Westcliff, who regularly recommend us to their friends and families.