Damp Proofing Guide

All You Need To Know

Rising Damp

Rising damp is not the most common form of dampness encountered in buildings; this is left to condensation, however, it is very likely that a high proportion of older buildings are affected by rising damp to some degree or another, and it does cause problems. With positive identification, appropriate remedial action and ancillary works can be carried out.
Rising damp in buildings may be defined as the vertical flow of water up through a permeable wall structure, the water being derived from groundwater. The water rises through the pores (capillaries) in the masonry by a process loosely termed ‘capillarity’. In other words, the masonry acts like a wick.

Obvious signs of rising damp are patches of damp on external walls or moss growth, and interior walls may look or feel wet, or bands of salt may appear.

Treating Rising Damp

The treatment of rising damp varies depending on the severity of the damp and each individual case. Examples of the treatments Danford Brewer & Ives use are;

  • Removing the surrounding soil or bridging material to be a minimum of 150mm below the existing Damp Proof Course.
  • Inject a Chemical Damp Proof Course.
  • Replace any damp or rotten flooring.
  • Remove and replace any plaster work, skirting boards, radiators etc. if necessary.

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Penetrating Damp

Penetrating damp can happen when parts of the building such as inadequate or faulty roofing, windows, brickwork etc. allow water to penetrate the walls of a building.

If any of the outsides of the building is unsound, such as cracked render or brickwork, blocked or broken guttering, poorly fitted door or window frames, or uncapped chimneys etc. rain can easily penetrate into the building, causing damp. Some common signs to look out for are tide marks on internal walls or discolouration of interior decoration, salt deposits, blistered plaster, damp skirting boards or black mold on internal walls or window frames.

Treating Penetrating Damp

Often the treatment for penetrating damp is to repair whatever the cause of the problem is (guttering, window/door frames, roofing etc.) and sometimes to replace any damaged plaster or timber work.

If the problem is lateral penetrating damp (where the external ground levels that meet the building are higher than the damp proof course) ‘tanking’ may be the solution.

Tanking can be carried out two different ways; removing the existing plaster and stripping the wall back to the brickwork, then rendering the bare wall with a waterproofing agent, or, sealing the wall before dry lining and plastering.



Condensation is the most common form of dampness in houses and is often the result of poor ventilation. Condensation is mainly apparent on cold walls, floors, and windows but can also be found in lofts and floor voids. Black mould is generally the most obvious sign of condensation, and if left untreated, can lead to wet or dry rot.

Treating Condensation

Being damp proofing specialists the first step to treating damp rooms from condensation is to ventilate the areas. Depending on the results of the survey carried out by Danford Brewer & Ives, fitting ventilation systems or adding air-bricks to improve the flow of air may be necessary.



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