Damp Proofing Guide

All You Need To Know

Rising Damp Treatment

Rising damp is an uncommon yet serious issue that can be encountered in many older buildings and properties. If left untreated, rising damp can lead to serious structural damage and major health and safety hazards.

If you believe your home is afflicted with rising damp, then contact a specialist today for immediate advice on rising damp treatment.

What Is Rising Damp?

Rising damp is best defined as a vertical flow of water that permeates through a wall from the ground, upwards. The water (usually the result of excess groundwater) rises up through the walls of a home as it works its way through open pores and capillaries in the masonry and brickwork through a process known as capillary action.

Rising damp can cause serious structural damage to a property, as well as becoming a major health hazard. Rising damp is rare compared to other forms of damp such as condensation and penetrating damp, but rising damp treatment needs to be applied quickly once rising damp has been identified.

What Causes Rising Damp?

Rising damp is caused by water moving through masonry. This water is often excess groundwater that has pooled around the base of a building before leaking into the walls.

It’s often present in older houses where no damp-proof course has ever been installed to prevent water from permeating into the walls. It can also be found in newer houses where the damp-proof course (a sort of impermeable lining) has been broken or damaged, leaving no barrier to groundwater.

What Are the Signs of Rising Damp?

Homeowners can look for several common signs of rising damp in their property. Visible signs can appear on the walls, around skirting boards, doorframes or windows, both inside and outside the house.

Major signs include:

  • Water damage
  • Wet or damp walls
  • Peeling plaster
  • Bands of salt on walls (known as tide marks)
  • Growth of moss or mould inside and outside
  • Musty, damp smells inside the home
  • Decaying timbers

Because rising damp works its way upward, it can remain unseen for many months. If you notice the above signs, it means that rising damp has taken hold and needs an effective treatment to be applied quickly.

However the signs of rising damp can be similar to other more common household damp problems, such as excess condensation and penetrating damp. Because rising damp is more serious, it’s important to have professional identification to be sure whether or not your problem is caused by rising damp.

Rising Damp on Internal Walls

Rising damp is commonly spotted first inside the home, on internal walls. That’s because it’s more obvious inside than out, although it affects both internal and external structures.

The most common signs inside the home are tide marks of salt or damp on internal walls, as well as peeling plaster and musty smells.

Rising Damp on External Walls

External rising damp is often more difficult to spot, but is just as dangerous as internal damp. External walls afflicted with rising damp often start to crumble or even crack.

Tide marks may be visible on external walls as well as internal walls, while external timbers may show visible signs of decay. Areas of rising damp are also likely to attract patches of moss or other growths outdoors.

Buying a House With Rising Damp

Rising damp is a serious problem and prospective buyers need to be wary about purchasing any property with a rising damp issue.

Before purchasing, have a damp and timber survey carried out by professional surveyors, such as Danford, Brewer & Ives.

If rising damp is present, you need to ask the current owner to fix the problems or negotiate a discount that takes into account the cost of repairs.

Renting a House With Rising Damp

If you rent a house that has rising damp, this is a serious structural issue that is the landlord’s responsibility.

Rising damp can be dangerous, in terms of both a building’s structure and health hazards. Tenants should never have to pay to fix rising damp or have to put up with living in a property where it is present.

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.

Book Your Damp Survey With Danford Brewer & Ives Now

How to Treat Rising Damp

Rising damp treatment varies from one building to the next, so it’s vital that you have a professional survey carried out to identify the best treatment for your home. It’s wise to have the work carried out by specialists to ensure the damp won’t have a chance of returning in the future.

The most important barrier to rising damp is the damp-proof course. A damp-proof course can be as simple as a slate barrier (a common method in older houses), but modern homes will have chemical damp-proof membranes, which are injected into the brickwork. If your home doesn’t have a chemical damp-proof course, then this is the best step towards damp proofing your building.

Treatment also takes into account any existing damage to the structure. This depends on the extent of the damage the damp has already caused. Damaged plasterwork and timbers will need to be removed, and any rotten or damp flooring or walls replaced.

Outside, it might be necessary to remove some of the soil that surrounds the walls, in order to lower the ground level below the damp-proof course. Otherwise, groundwater may simply get into the walls above the barrier.

Replastering After Treating Rising Damp

Costs to consider not only include the work needed to remove the rising damp and install a damp-proof course, but any redecoration or structural repairs that need paying for, too.

This includes replastering, which needs to be carried out after the damp-proof course has been applied. Replastering should be done with moisture and damp-resistant plastering materials to further proof the home against future outbreaks.


How to Prevent Rising Damp

The best way to prevent rising damp is to ensure that your home has an effective damp-proof course installed.

This waterproof membrane is the only real way to prevent rising damp from getting into the masonry at ground level.

Damp-proof courses are effective for many years, but it’s important to have them re-checked regularly to ensure they have not been damaged or displaced.

Contact Danford, Brewer & Ives for More Information on Rising Damp Treatments

Danford, Brewer & Ives are rising damp specialists in the North East, including Yorkshire and Teesside. Our regional teams have years of experience treating rising damp and all other forms of damp and condensation.

For more information and advice on rising damp treatments, please contact our friendly team on 01422 472547 or fill in our online contact form. Our experienced specialists will be on hand and ready to offer expert advice tailored to resolve your problem.



We have regional staff in Yorkshire, Teesside, and North East.

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Call us on 01422 472547, complete our Contact Form.