Rising damp represents moisture that accumulates in the walls as the result of water rising from the ground. The ground is beneath the walls or adjacent to them. The moisture rises and accumulates through block, stone, or brick. A capillary action causes the water to rise, or to be sucked through tiny holes in the masonry.
The water stops its ascent when gravity stops the capillary activity. Rising damp generally reaches a height of about 1.2 metres. However, the effects of the moisture are often spotted farther up the wall because of the presence of wall coverings that do not breathe. These coverings may include plasters, paints, renders, or vinyl wallpaper.
How to Identify Rising Damp
Rising damp is depicted by a line of brownish or yellow staining or blown plaster. These signs are often seen on the lower section of the wall just above the skirting. Other signs might include rotting flooring or skirting. Fluffy white deposits may appear as well. The deposits are salts that the damp washed from the masonry. In addition, black mould may appear in the damp sections of the wall.
Was a DPC Installed?
Most problems with rising damp occur if damp proofing in Liverpool was not applied. This type of service is necessary to keep the condition under control and minimised. The moisture-proofing service can also identify if a damp proof course (DPC) was installed, or if it was improperly installed or defective. A damp proof course is a layer in the wall that is waterproof. It can be found close to the ground on an outside wall. It is located beneath concrete or under a raised timber floor on an internal wall.
In some instances, the DPC is breached. Therefore, the layer is still functional. However, something may be affixed to the wall that is permitting water to bypass the DPC and move upwards. For example, an area of ground may be located next to the outside wall that is elevated or steps may be installed over the DPC.
Besides rising damp, a moisture problem can also be caused by another water source. One indicator that damp is not rising damp is if the patches of damp are unevenly distributed or are higher than one metre on the wall. In this instance, the damp is defined as a penetrating damp. When you contact a company that takes care of damp issues, they can provide you with a diagnosis and analysis.
In order to determine rising damp, first check to see if you have a DPC. It should be visible outside your home in the form of a line rising about 15 centimetres above the ground. If you do have a DPC, check for bridging from other structures, such as stairs, that are higher than the DPC. Rising damp can also originate from a neighbour’s property, especially if the homeowner does not have a DPC or the DPC is elevated next to your property.
If you suspect rising damp, do not delay in getting help for the problem. Damp issues can affect your home’s walls and foundation as well as your family’s overall health.