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What is rising damp?

What is Rising Damp?

What is Rising Damp?

What is rising damp?  It is a very common question and you are not the only one trying to figure out ‘what is rising damp’?  In short, rising damp in buildings occurs when water from the ground rises up through the bricks and mortar of a building by capillary action, it’s like a sponge soaking up the surrounding water. Poorly installed DPC (damp proof course) is mainly the cause of rising damp in buildings. Some builders don’t even install a DPC (damp proof course)!!!

Any masonry structure, unprotected by a properly installed DPC (damp proof) course, is susceptible to rising damp.  Rising damp will rise by capillary action through the pores of the masonry, seeking a means of evaporation.

The moisture will continue to rise until it reaches a height where, unless no evaporation is possible, gravity takes over and pulls it down again. This height is seldom more than 1.20m. Deposits of ‘salts’ may be found higher in the wall, often driven there by the use of non-breathing plasters, renders, ‘tanking’, paints or vinyl wall papers.

Rising Damp Visible

Mould visible (rising damp)

Tide mark visible (rising damp)

Signs of rising damp include a “tide-mark” on the wall above skirting boards of up to 1, 2 meter however, it is important to remember that there are many forms of damp that can affect a building.  Different types of damp includes: Rising damp, penetrating damp, lateral damp and descending damp.


Rising Damp Visible on plinth area

Mould and salts visible on face brick  wall

Video demonstration on rising damp

Still a little unsure about what is rising damp?  View this video http://youtu.be/aGlRDZo2_Eo

Rising damp treatment

There are different ways to treat specific rising damp e.g. internal / external, boarder walls etc.