Rising damp occurs when groundwater rises through walls, floors and masonry. Bricks and mortar can be very porous, like a sponge, through which water can soak upwards.
Signs walls are affected by rising damp;
- Visible damp patches on the lower part of the wall.
- Blistering on wall.
- Peeling of paintwork.
- Peeling of wallpaper.
- Salt contamination – white ‘fur’ growing on the surface of a wall.
- Discoloured or dark patches on the wall.
- Crumbling plaster.
- Black mould growth.
A Damp-proof course, commonly called a D.P.C. would be the first things to check if you have rising damp issues, most modern properties are built with one and a D.P.C. can be visible on the outside, if you know where to look. Some older properties just were not built with a D.P.C., or it may have become damaged or ‘failed’ after changes to the wall of the property and its immediate surroundings. This makes it possible for rising damp to occur and it is necessary to carry out remedial repairs.
If you have rising damp a new D.P.C. may be required, this will be identified when we ASSESS your property and it will be highlighted in your Home Improvement Plan – the work can be carried quite quickly and efficiently by injecting special D.P.C. water-repellent materials. This can take the form of injecting special silicone-based creams or inserting specially soaked rods which then the wall absorbs, both of which dry out to create a defensive layer to help stop rising damp.
Replastering the internal wall will need to carried out. Standard plaster may not be suitable, and specialist anti-damp plaster may need to be used to stop any future water penetration and salt contamination happening again. Your Home Improvement Plan will contain details of the best course of action to take based on the features of your property and this be discussed before any work is agreed.
If your external walls are damaged then penetrating damp can cause damp patches all over the inside of exterior walls, and around windows and doors. The exterior of your walls will need to be repaired or restored.
Things to look out for:
- Cracks in your wall.
- Mortar between the bricks is missing.
- Missing bricks.
- Blown / Flaky bricks.
- Rendered walls are cracked.
- Render is missing.
- Holes not sealed properly.
- Gaps around pipes.
- Seals around windows and doors are missing.
Penetrating damp from rainwater can occur in buildings of all ages. If it gets right through the wall it can be visible as discolouration or a damp patch, it can appear as flaking or peeling paintwork and wallpaper. Problems can occur in solid walls and cavity walls due to bad wall-ties or cavity wall insulation which can provide a pathway for rain to track through the wall.
When trying to stop penetrating damp we need to look at 2 things.
- How to get water away from your property quickly.
- How to stop water getting to the inside of your property.
We must firstly look at ways to move water away as if the property is retaining less water then chances are less water can get in. Rainwater can be damage properties, even if it does not penetrate all the way through a wall. Water retention can cause the following problems, for example;
- Moss growth
- Heat loss – wet walls ‘pull’ heat out of your home
- Frost damage
- Flaking bricks
- Cracking or further cracking of walls
Checking the condition of your bathroom / kitchen waste pipes, your drain pipes, structures built onto and erected close to your property and the floor level around the base of your property will usually lead to identifying most of the causes water retention. Your Home Improvement Plan will present solutions and ideas on how to resolve these problems.
The next issue to be resolved is how to stop water entering the property. Cracks, gaps and holes in your walls are the main culprits. They must be repaired and sealed to stop water getting in.
It may be required, depending on your local weather conditions, that extra weather proofing with specialist water repellents be used on the wall. These are applied like paint but dry clear and enable water to roll off the walls easily. They also have the advantage of stopping the wall getting wet so can help towards keeping the property warm effectively acting like an insulating layer.