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Rising Damp - what to look out for

We like to take pride in how our home looks and having patches of damp appearing on our internal walls is not only unsightly, depending on the cause, it can be costly, so it is important to identify the source early and get it treated.  There are three types of damp that can have an impact on our properties – condensation, penetrating damp and rising damp, for this blog post, we are concentrating on rising damp.

Rising damp is when ground water soaks into a wall or floor, just as water would soak into a sponge. To prevent this, properties have a damp proof course and membrane installed to seal and protect them, therefore, stopping water causing damage. A damp proof course is built into a wall above ground level with a damp proof membrane laid beneath a concrete floor. Newer houses will have a damp proof course and membrane although houses built prior to 1875 may not.

Damp proofing can and does get damaged over time, which can result in rising damp. It could also be the level of the ground is higher than the damp proof course or there is something amiss with drainage. The key signs of rising damp to look out for include:

Damp stains above the skirting board

Crumbling or rotting skirting boards

Discoloration or staining on walls

 Deposits causing blistering on walls

Black mould

 Peeling wallpaper

 Rotting floor boards

 Raised floor coverings

Smell – you can often smell damp even if you can’t actually see it

Damp and mould can also cause harm to those in poor health or asthma patients, as the spores can be air-born and irritate the lungs.  So, if you suspect you may have a damp issue, look for any of the signs above and look to get it treated as soon as possible.