What is Rising Damp?
Rising Damp is caused by ground water seepage into the walls or foundation of a property at ground level. Rising Damp can be associated with areas that have a high water table and can happen in an area suddenly after years of not having issues. Moisture will travel up the porous parts of the wall and soak the bricks and mortar through the process of capillary action. This means that the water soaks up the wall through the porous areas generally in the mortar joints until it reaches your plasterwork and then becomes visible. Damp will usually not rise higher than 1.4 meters (or 4 ft 6in) due to the effects of gravity. Rising Damp can commonly occur at times when your local areas water table has risen and your property has no or insufficient damp proof course (DPC).
What effects can it have?
Along with some health issues due to the effect of dampness, rising damp can have a major effect on the structure of the property if left untreated. You will notice Rising Damp by “tide marks” on the base of the wall above the skirting level. It can lead to paint and plaster falling off the walls as well as issues like mould and musty odours. Rising Damp will also decay any wall based timers in the affected area. If left untreated this can lead to the weakening of the wall based timbers which are at risk of being infected by Dry Rot and Wet Rot. Usually the timbers will be integral to the structure of the building so it’s imperative that the Rising Damp be stopped and any rotten timbers be treated or replaced. In some severe cases a structural engineer may need to be consulted to ensure the long term integrity of the building.