When we take a look at the damp issues that trouble homeowners, rising damp is one of the most talked about. This is because of the serious structural damage this type of damp can cause if left untreated. There are some telltale signs that indicate you might have a rising damp problem and this article covers those signs, including what you should do when you suspect that your property may have a rising damp problem.
Some common signs of rising damp
Tide marks/damp stains on walls: this is as a result of salt migration and damp evaporation from the ground. Tide marks are typically visible from the bottom of the wall up to about one metre above the floor. In addition to tide marks, damp patches (usually yellow or brown) can form on the walls, and just like tide marks, they are prevalent at the bottom of the wall to around one metre above the floor.
Salts within the plaster: when moisture rises from the ground and moves up through the walls, the salts (hygroscopic salts) present in the groundwater can migrate into the property and affect the plaster.
Peeling wallpaper or paint: this is especially noticeable around the lower section of the wall or around the skirting boards.
Other signs include: black mould around the lower parts of the wall, rotting skirting boards and flooring, flaky or bubbling plaster, damp/musty smell, and crumbling bricks or mortar between bricks.
What to do when you suspect rising damp
Carry out a damp survey
It’s not uncommon for most homeowners to misdiagnose and confuse rising damp with condensation issues. To avoid this, your first course of action when you suspect that you might have a rising damp problem is to ensure that the stains and signs you are seeing are actually as a result of rising damp.
Hiring a qualified damp specialist London to carry out a detailed damp survey on your property will determine if you truly have a rising damp problem and also help you come with the most appropriate rising damp treatment your property needs. The survey will also include a report containing details of the underlying causes of your damp problem, the type of treatment needed, and the costs.
Installing a remedial Damp Proof Course (DPC)
Although most buildings usually have a DPC already installed, it can become compromised over time. Luckily damp proof technologies such as fluid DPC products and DPC creams are very effective in protecting your property against rising damp. This treatment is also very economical and doesn’t take a lot of time to complete. The DPC cream is either hand-pumped or injected into specially-positioned holes drilled in the building’s masonry.
Once injected, the DPC cream reverts to a liquid which allows it to penetrate the bricks and achieve complete absorption. As curing takes place, the DPC cream creates a strong water repellent barrier which prevents water from moving up through the walls.
Replacing the Damp Proof Membrane (DPM)
This can be used to supplement a chemical damp proof course injection. The membranes are usually installed immediately after the DPC injection and can help separate the new plaster from any salts and contaminants present on the walls.
Repairing rising damp usually involves stripping the affected area to remove all deposited salts and plaster contaminated by it. So once the new DPC has been injected, you will need to re-plaster the affected area. For better results, ensure that the plasterer uses a salt-proof plaster and re-plasters to a precise specification, as this will prevent issues with salt contamination in the future.
Rising damp poses a serious threat to a building’s structural integrity when left untreated. It is important that you hire a damp proof specialist to carry out a damp survey immediately you notice that you might have a rising damp problem, as this will not only protect our property but help you save money in the long run.