Rising damp is a common problem amongst residential and commercial buildings and can be found by looking for a damp line that appears on the inside of a wall along with damage to decorations such as flaking paint on painted surfaces or damp wall coverings and distorted skirting boards.
Rising damp can cause damage to interior finishes and renders and it should also be noted that the Asthma Foundation has recently found that damp rooms can increase the risk of Asthma.
What causes Rising Damp?
Ground water rising vertically through walls by capillary action is what causes rising damp. This capillary action is the result of a breakdown, bridging or non-existence of a damp proof course. If this problem is left unattended, any timber joists that are in proximity will rot and together with poor ventilation will result in the development of dry and wet rot throughout any timbers that rising damp comes into contact with.
What contributes to rising damp in buildings can be summarised as follows;
High ground levels
Internal bridging in cavity walls
Blocked or poorly fitted rainwater goods
Defective window sills
Defective roof tiles or slates
Preventing moisture rising from the ground into the building fabric can be achieved by the insertion of a barrier against rising damp. However, it should be noted that all other causes of dampness shall be eliminated. These causes include condensation, mould growth and fungal decay which corrodes the building fabric.