What is Rising Damp?
Rising Damp is a type of dampness that occurs in older buildings such as period homes, buildings and churches. It occurs when ground water travels up through porous building materials (such as stone, brick and mortar).
Rising damp occurs when water from the ground is drawn up through the bricks and mortar by capillary action. Simply, the water rises up the wall of a building in the same way that oil rises up through the wick of a lamp. During the original construction of a home or building most areas are fitted with a damp proof barrier which is known as a damp proof course or DPC. These barriers can break down with age (due to a number of factors) allowing ground moisture to travel up the wall and in many cases, cause substantial damage. Ground water contains soluble salts, the most significant of which are chlorides, nitrates and sulphates. When rising damp occurs, these are drawn up the wall with the water and are left behind when the water evaporates.
Do I have Rising Damp?
Common visual signs of rising damp are powdery or crumbling mortar, decaying bricks or blistering and decaying render often accompanied with flaking paint.