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Properties may be susceptible to rising damp if the building doesn’t have a Damp Proof Course (DPC) or has suffered damage. Also, if the interior or exterior ground level is raised, this can make existing DPCs less effective or render them useless.
Rising damp can cause a range of problems, including health issues, heat loss and damage to timbers.
To check for rising damp, look for:
- Wallpaper peeling or falling off
- Tidemarks on the walls
- Damp patches, mould or stains
- Rotting or decaying skirting boards
Rising Damp Treatment
The best way to treat rising damp is to repair the existing Damp Proof Course (DPC) or install a new one. The process involves drilling holes in the wall to inject a damp proof membrane into it, followed by replacement of any damaged plaster.
Once damp has been eliminated, we can set up an invisible barrier against further rising damp. This is achieved by injecting a concentrated reactive solution into the wall that forms an invisible barrier against further rising damp.
Anything that meets the wall at a higher level than the Damp Proof Course can form a 'bridge'. This allows water to bypass the DPC and eventually infiltrate the inside of the house.
Symptoms can be much the same as rising damp.
To check for bridging damp.
Check your outdoor ground level is not above the Damp Proof Course and consider the effects of external structures such as stairs.
Check your neighbour's home. If your houses are attached in any way, this may lead to bridging. Check their DPC is present, above ground level, not higher than yours and not bypassed by external structures.
Internal Bridging should also be considered. It’s possible for bridges to occur within a wall cavity, often caused by trapped debris from the initial construction. Significant debris allows moisture to wick through and bypass the DPC.
Bridging damp treatment
Treatment for bridging damp usually involves rectifying the root cause of the bridging. In some cases a new DPC can be created at a higher level.
Driving rain on properties near the sea or in exposed areas can suffer damp penetration from the relentless moisture. Symptoms may only be noticeable during wet weather, but it can cause long term problems with roofs, ceilings and walls.
Penetrating damp is most commonly caused by one of two factors:
- Problems with the building, like a loose slate, blocked gutter or cracks in the walls.
- plumbing issues such as blocked drainpipes.
To check for Penetrating Damp
A watermark might appear on an interior wall, growing as water continues to enter. If you live in an exposed location, does the watermark get worse in bad weather?
When there are problems with the roof or gutter, rainwater is in regular contact with the wall causing visible saturation internally.
Penetrating damp is more common in properties over 60 years old with solid walls. On these, moisture is absorbed inwards through a process called thermal diversion. New builds with cavity walls offers more protection.