Rising Damp are not welcome words for any homeowner. A dampness problem of any type isn’t good news but rising damp can be particularly troublesome which is why it has such a bad reputation. If you have a modern home, you’ll usually have the safety net of a damp-proof course (DPC) in place to limit the damage, but if you have an older property, built before 1875, this protective barrier is unlikely to be in place.
Building work or altering the ground level can sometimes damage the damp proof course, or raising the floor level above the protective layer can stop it from doing its job too. Older properties may have a breached DPC such as a gap in the slate which was commonly used when damp courses were first introduced.
There are many types of dampness we can encounter in our properties, so here’s the lowdown on rising damp to help answer a few questions you may have…
The name kind of gives it away doesn’t it? Rising damp is moisture contained in the materials of your wall – like a sponge. Bricks, cement and mortar are all full of porous capillaries which suck up the damp sources like mini straws, so they start to fill up, and the continuous moisture source creeps it’s way up the walls and porous surfaces it comes into contact with.
Because the damp areas are permanently moist, this then encourages mould to grow and this mould eats away at the walls and timber structures.
Rising Damp has many of its own signature signs where you’ll know it’s a rising damp problem you have on your hands:
As you can see, many of these symptoms on their own would present a problem, but some would cause the structural integrity of your property to be compromised. It’s always advisable to seek the advice of an expert if you suspect a rising damp issue, so get in touch and we can talk you through the symptoms of your property and help you decide on the best course of remedial action.
One of the most common problems we encounter is a damp misdiagnosis. Many damp problems have their own set of issues which, if not dealt with properly will result in the damp problem returning before too long.
Before you can correctly treat rising damp, you need to ensure you’ve established that it is in fact rising damp, and you also need to find the source of the problem. You’ve probably heard of the phrase ‘papering over the cracks’ and this is exactly what you’d be doing if you try to fix a damp problem without removing the issue which is feeding it.
There are many DIY rising damp treatments available, but we’d always recommend consulting a damp expert for a survey, as the treatment may look better for a short while with a DIY fix, but the treatment may actually be masking further damage happening behind the scenes.
You’ll also need to be certain that the mould spores are treated effectively as they can cause health problems if you’re regularly inhaling the irritants and in some cases toxic substances in the spores.
Consulting an expert is the best way to find the source of, and remedy a rising damp problem. To book a site survey, consultation and no obligation quotation for our damp proofing services throughout London, please click here or call 0208 959 6424.