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Rising Damp

Rising Damp

What is Rising Dampness?

Rising Dampness can arise for various reasons - the failure of an exisitng damp proof course (dpc), bridging due to the raising of external or internal floor levels, or in older buildings, the complete absence of a damp proof course. Brick, stone and mortar are porous allowing damp from the ground to rise by capillary action*, carrying with it ground salts including chlorides and nitrates. These salts from the ground can absorb moisture from the atmosphere leading to wall dampness in conditions of high relative humidity. Also they can ruin decorations, internal plasterwork and woodwork.

* Capillary action- the flow of liquids through porous materials in this instance.

Have you got Rising Dampness?

Thankfully, it is fairly straightforward to tell if your property needs rising dampness treatment. Obvious signs to look out for are a "tidal mark" on the problem wall upto 1m in height. The reason that rising dampness usually never travels any higher is because the forces of gravity do not allow it. Peeling wallpaper or rotten skiritng boards are another way to tell along with a fluffy white powder " effloresence" accumulating on the surface. This is salt from the brickwork or ground water that has been drawn to the surface.

Solution(s) for Rising Dampness In Walls:

1) Repair Old Damp Proof course (if one is present) i.e. slate/tile/bitumen/plastic

2) Inject new Chemical Damp Proof Course (most popular method)- damp proofing

3) Install Electro Osmosis ( an electric based system that inlcudes wire and anodes inserted into the wall to divert risng dampness)

Solution(s) for Rising Dampness In floors:

1) Epoxy Floor Resin. Coating the floor in two coats of resin willl allow the floor to breathe but no physical moisture to pass making your floor touch dry reducing damage to floor coverings e.g. Laminates or carpet.

2) Install a plastic floor membrane and use waterproof tape at edges.

3) Dig up old floor and relay a new concrete floor to current building regulations.

Please note: that in the vast number of rising dampness cases the plasterwork has to be removed to usually 300mm past last damp readings (please see specialist plastering and rendering services sections), but in some cases just an injection damp proof course is okay because the plasterwork has not been salt contaminated.

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  • Drilling the Damp Proof Course (DPC)

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18 January 2021
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