It doesn't matter wether you live by a river, by the sea, or in the middle of a desert. If your home does not have a damp proof course - or it the existing barrier is old, deteriorated, or in the wrong place - you will get rising damp.

What is Rising Damp?
Most people associate rising damp with water, but moisture - not water is the key to understanding rising damp.

Here's why: The ground is always moist. Brickwork is naturally porous and absorbent. Moisture from the ground creeps up through the pores of capillaries, in the masonry.
Rising damp
Without a damp proof barrier to stop the moisture from rising in this way, the brick or other materials will continue to draw moisture from the ground until it eventually reaches its own level. That level depends on conditions such as humidity, temperature, evaporation, and the type of construction and insulation materials used.

Masonry with find pores, for example will allow moisture to rise higher than more course material. A humid environment slows evaporation, which allows the moisture to rise higher.Where evaporation is severely inhibited - for instance, because of the use of sealant - moisture can sometimes rise more than two metres. Most often, rising damp will reach a level of about one metre.

Salt is the culprit
Ground water contains soluble salts, such as chlorides, nitrates and sulphates. These salts in solution with the ground moisture rise up the wall and are left behind when the moisture evaporates. Over time, large quantities of these salts are deposited in the masonry and decorative surface of the building. Salts - not dampness - cause most of the damage.

What are some causes of Rising Damp
  • If there's no damp proof course, or barrier.
  • If the existing damp proof course has deteriorated because of age or other reasons.
  • If the damp course has been installed incorrectly - for example, if it doesn't cover the full width of the wall.
  • Alterations or renovations of the building or surrounding grounds can lead to rising damp, if the effects on the existing damp proof barrier are not taken into account.
Some examples
  • Changing or raising existing floors will breach the original damp course.
  • If a gardener adds a flower bed next to the house and it's higher than the damp course, you could wind up with rising damp even if you had no problem before.
  • Adding paving around the house above the damp proof course could bring the same result.
  • Uncontrolled draining systems or the lack of Gutters.
  • Sprinklers and certain garden irrigation systems may cause damp .
  • Fire, flooding and plumbing faults are other occurrences that lead to rising damp, where no problem existed before.
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Remove and replace old plasterwood
After installing a new damp proof course the salts that have been deposited in the plaster could cause the wall and plaster to remain damp. That's why the old plasterwork and decorations must be removed. A special replastering mater must be used to prevent any residual moisture and salts from causing more damage.

You must have failure of the damp course to have rising damp. Conditions such as wet ground rainfall, and high humidity will affect only the rate of rising damp.
When it comes to solving damp and associated problems the analysis is just as important as the treatment.

How do you stop Rising Damp?
Two main steps are required to stop rising damp and to provide a suitable wall surface that will take new paint, plaster or other decorations:

Install a new damp proof course.

Where the building material is brick Masonry, for example, two holes are drilled into every brick along the damp Course and "Damp Check" is Injected into them. The chemical Solution forms an impervious barrier and prevents further damp from rising.