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.
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.
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 fungus to grow and this fungus eats away at the walls and timber structures.
Do I have Rising Damp in my residence?
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.
Initially it may be difficult to recognise the signs of damp – they become more prominent over time. If you are not sure, it’s best to contact a professional to conduct a survey for you.