Causes and Signs of Rising Damp

Homeowners dread the presence of any type of moisture within their walls and floors. Indeed, water damage to walls/floors can be quite costly to fix, especially when not caught early enough. Rising damp is the presence of moisture within your walls. It occurs when water from the ground itself or adjacent to walls rises into the wall components. This can occur in brick, stone, and block walls.

The tiny pores present in these substances tend to offer a channel for water to rise via capillary action. Rising damp can reach a height of up to 1.2m, depositing salts, debris and moisture during the process.

With rising damp repairs, you can have your walls inspected for moisture damage and repaired before the damage is extensive.

Spotting rising damp in your walls

The good thing is that rising damage doesn't operate too quietly. If you're keen enough, you can pick up signs of a wall that is experiencing a rise in moisture levels. Some of these signs include:

Tide lines

Rising damp often causes a distinct line of yellow/brown stains to be present along the lower areas of the wall. This often occurs just above the skirting board. The damp can also cause brown stains or brown plaster along the surface of the wall itself. 

Damp skirting

Rising damp can also cause the skirting boards along the walls to become damp or to start rotting. The floorboards will also eventually lose their adhesive property and begin to detach from the wall itself.

White deposits on plaster 

Rising damp often results in salt deposits within the internal components of the wall. You may notice white, fluffy deposits that are present on various surfaces of your plaster. These salts arise due to water that has been essentially "flushed out" from the internal components of your wall.

In some cases, excessive moisture may also result in the presence of black spots of mould on the wall.

Causes of Rising damp

The most common cause of rising damp is the absence of a waterproof layer at the bottom of the wall itself. Your home may not have a damp proof course installed, or it may have worn out over time.

The damp proof layer should be able to protect both the inside and outside walls of the home from rising damp. During rising damp repairs, the contractor can inspect the damp proof layer to make repairs/replacements on all the affected parts.