Rising damp is the vertical movement of water from the ground up the lower sections of a property’s walls. An electrical charge draws the moisture up the wall through capillaries. The water travels through brick, stone and mortar, bringing with it nitrates and chloride salts from the ground.

The damp can rise to around 1 metre above ground level and the salts it carries are hygroscopic, meaning they absorb moisture from the air. In time the moisture can create tidemarks on the affected walls, as the salts rise to the surface of the plaster, absorbing moisture from the air and keeping the wall damp.

When rising damp is identified it is imperative it is treated as quickly as possible, as it can cause significant damage to your wall fabric and germination of wood destroying rot which can seriously damage structural timbers if left untreated.

Each case of damp will differ, but you may identify rising damp by one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Wallpaper becoming unstuck from the wall
  • Paint not sticking to the surface of the walls or flaking
  • Stains at the bottom of your walls
  • Tidemarks on the surface of the walls
  • Deteriorating plaster
  • White powder/salt crystals appearing on the walls
  • Visible damp or wet patches
  • Crumbling mortar or masonry on the exterior of the building
  • Rusting steel and iron fasteners

If the damp marks in your property are higher than 1 metre above the floor, there may also be penetrating damp issues. We would recommend that you seek advice from a professional as soon as you notice any symptoms of damp.

Most properties are fitted with a damp proof course 150 mm above ground level during construction. The damp proof course acts as a protective barrier against moisture rising from the ground.

If the damp proof course is incorrectly installed, has degraded over time, become damaged or has been bridged by changes in ground level then this could lead to a rising damp issue.

Rising damp tidemark

In most cases, rising damp will not exceed 1 metre in height, but with the right site conditions it can reach higher.

If you are concerned about rising damp in your property, contact us today to speak with one of our specialist surveyors.

Here at Richardson & Starling, we have been treating damp for more than 80 years. We always start our treatment with a survey to correctly identify the type and cause of damp.

In the case of rising damp, we would apply one of the following rising damp treatment options:

  • Inject a damp proof course system using a damp proofing cream
  • Install a damp proof membrane to prevent the drying wall from affecting the interior wall fabric and decoration
  • Injection of a mortar damp proof course or other damp proof solutions dependent on the wall construction
  • Electrical-osmotic systems that uses electrical currents to draw the water back down the capillaries

A property’s damp proof course is the best defence against rising damp. Older buildings without a damp proof course or a damaged DPC are susceptible to rising damp. This damp may reduce in the hot summer months and become very destructive in the damp months however this property defect requires an effective solution to protect your property by installing an effective damp proof course.

For properties that have an effective damp proof course, exterior ground level management, where soil and water are prevented from exceeding the level of the damp proof course must be maintained.

A property’s damp proof course should be positioned not less than 150 mm above ground level, which means that the exterior ground level must be maintained at a level below the damp proof course.

With this in mind, all soil levels and raised flower beds or patios should be below this level and surface water drainage will also require to be management. With the UK’s wet climate, it is important that adequate drainage is put in place around the property boundary to ensure that surface water can effectively drain away, preventing a build-up of water at the foot of the property wall.

There are two main types of damp proof course: the construction DPC barrier and remedial DPC treatment. The DPC barrier is fitted when the building is first constructed and forms a waterproof layer at a minimum of 150 mm above ground level.

The remedial DPC is a damp treatment system that is injected into the wall to stop damp from rising in the walls of a property. In addition, damp proofing specialist may cover the interior surface of the damp wall with a damp proofing membrane to protect the wall in the drying out period which could take years

Our damp specialists will install the appropriate remedial damp proof course to remedy the damp problem in your property.

damp proof course installation

Damp proof injection is a fast and cost-effective rising damp treatment. Holes are drilled into the affected walls, affected plaster and any fixtures and fittings are removed and a silicone-based solution is injected into the wall. The solution diffuses into the wall and forms a moisture repellent damp-proof course.

This versatile rising damp treatment can be applied by our specialist teams, even in the most severe cases and is covered by our 30-year guarantee.

Rising damp course installation into a wall

Our rising damp treatments are supported with a 30-year guarantee which is transferrable to any new owner. If during your damp proofing works, our specialists encountered and repair any timber issues such as dry or wet rot, then these structural timber repairs will also be covered with our 30-year rot guarantee giving you complete peace of mind.

As well as our rising damp guarantee, we also offer a 10-year guarantee for basement waterproofing and a 5-year guarantee for penetrating damp works. In addition, your remedial repairs can be covered with an independent insurance-backed guarantee if you would like this cover.

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