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Rising Damp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rising Damp

How do I know if
my house has
rising damp?
What’s causing it?

Rising damp is a term used to describe the process by which porous masonry such as stone, mortar and brick, absorbs water from the ground. ‘Damp’ is literally sucked up from the ground by your masonry’s capillaries. Most masonry, even modern air-fired bricks, are full of them turning them into sponges.

Problems occur when your home’s masonry has sucked up too much moisture (and the destructive salts within) but has no way to let it go.

Left untreated, the damp can become a threat to the structural integrity of your home, your health and the health of your family.

If you want to learn how to identify rising damp and what causes it, read on.

How do I know if my house has rising damp?

What’s causing it?

Rising damp is a term used to describe the process by which porous masonry such as stone, mortar and brick, absorbs water from the ground. ‘Damp’ is literally sucked up from the ground by your masonry’s capillaries. Most masonry, even modern air-fired bricks, are full of them turning them into sponges.

Problems occur when your home’s masonry has sucked up too much moisture (and the destructive salts within) but has no way to let it go.

Left untreated, the damp can become a threat to the structural integrity of your home, your health and the health of your family.

If you want to learn how to identify rising damp and what causes it, read on.

What are the signs of rising damp?

Flaking, Blistering or Powdery Paint and Cracks

Flaking and Blistering Paint

One of the easiest ways to spot rising damp is to look out for flaking, blistering or powdery paint. Paint needs a dry surface to adhere to but damp works against this. As your porous masonry walls absorb water out of the ground, the walls become drenched with liquid, salts and minerals. This damp interferes with the surface the paint is trying to adhere to, causing major damage to the aesthetic quality of your walls.

Yellow or brown stains as a result of rising damp

Yellow or Brown Tide-like Stains

If your walls are showing yellow, wavy, tide-like stains, it’s likely you have a damp issue. When porous masonry soaks up water, it draws salts and minerals out of the ground too. The wavy stains indicate that some of the moisture has had a chance to dry a little. The yellow, tide-like stains are the salts and minerals left behind. But don’t be fooled. Your porous masonry will still be soaked through and damaged on the inside.

Structural damage to brickwork due to rising damp

Structural Damage

One of the simplest ways to spot rising damp is to look for structural damage to your walls. Having drawn water out of the ground, your masonry has trapped salts and minerals. Under varying weather conditions over time, the salts and minerals expand and try to work their way out of the masonry. This causes it to disintegrate into dust from the inside out. The salts and minerals also eat away at the mortar joins between bricks, turning your home’s walls into a crumbling mess.

Mould developing on a masonry wall

Mould

Deep down in the foundations of your home, the moisture that your porous masonry has drawn from the ground has nowhere to escape. As a result of being unable to dry up, the base of both your interior and exterior walls may have developed a dark green or even black mould. If you spot mould localised around the base of your interior walls, the likelihood of rising damp is high.

Struggling with rising damp around your home?

Do you need an effective rising damp repair solution?

What are the leading causes of rising damp?

damp1

A Corroded Membrane

During the initial construction phase of your home, the builders would have installed a damp proof coursing in your home’s walls. The damp proof coursing shields your porous masonry from moisture and salts. It stops the damp and salts from rising in their tracks.

However, few damp courses last forever. Naturally, over decades, the bitumen, plastic, slate or tin membrane corrodes from age, wear and tear. Water and salts travel through to your walls and they soak it up like a sponge.

damp2

Poor Drainage

Broken and leaking pipes, unconnected downpipes, leaking roof gutters and nearby overflowing stormwater drains can all be causes of rising damp. Because these pipes aren’t functioning as they should, they’re effectively directing water around and into the foundations of your home.

The excessive water around and under your home has nowhere to escape. The only place it can go is into the thirsty masonry and cause rising damp. You can also get rising damp if your home happens to be at the bottom of a slope with no drainage system to help run the rainwater off. Rising damp will also occur when the ground level has been raised higher than the original damp proof coursing level.

Poor Sub-floor Ventilation

Poor Sub-floor Ventilation

If your home is consistently ventilated it might be able to keep some of the superficial effects of rising damp at bay — for a little while. But if your home is poorly ventilated, it will trap the moisture your masonry has sucked out of the ground. This will put your home on a speedier path towards developing more serious symptoms of rising damp.

Need a solution for rising damp now?

If your walls are starting to look ugly due to flaking, blistering paint, tide-like stains or even mould, it’s likely your home is suffering from rising damp/p>

We’d love to help you fix it. We can start with a FREE damp assessment.

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