Rising Damp

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What is rising damp?

Rising damp is the process of water rising vertically up from the ground and travelling by capillary action through porous material such as bricks and mortar. This will cause the wall to become damp as hygroscopic salts travel into the brickwork and plaster. As water evaporates, it these salts that are deposited into the wall attracting more moisture from the atmosphere.

As the process continues, the wall and surrounding area becomes more saturated and signs of rising damp will become evident such as crumbling of plaster and white tide marks appearing on a wall up to a height of around 1 metre.

Problems such as dry rot, wet rot and wood boring beetle infestations are also more likely to occur as surrounding timbers become saturated. It is a slow process and can be present for many years before any sign of a problem appears.

Why does rising damp typically occur?

Rising damp occurs due to:

  • No damp proof course (DPC) as is commonly the case with older buildings
  • Deterioration and failure of the DPC over time
  • Changes in external ground levels meaning the DPC becomes bridged. For example, if a new patio has been laid
  • Moisture travelling in between the wall and the render so bypassing the DPC.

What are the signs of rising damp?

Rising damp will only appear at ground level.  Signs include:

  • Tide mark on an internal or external wall most commonly no more than 1 metre from the ground
  • Internal plaster that is bubbling and crumbling
  • Peeling wall paper
  • Damp looking patches showing on wall paper or plaster and above skirting boards
  • White marks or damp arches on external brickwork or render.
  • A musty smell

How do we treat rising damp?

Our survey assessment will decide the best course of action which will involve the elimination of all sources of the damp and moisture. This could involve clearing overgrown vegetation, to fixing a leaking pipe. In certain circumstances the application of a damp proofing system and removing plaster that has become affected by moisture is unavoidable.

Our goal is to provide the right solutions that provide the best long term protection for the property.

More Information

If you are concerned about a rising damp problem or would like to book a survey, please contact the team at ProTen who will be happy to answer your questions.


We're here to help.

Give us a call on 0800 012 6094 to speak to a member of our team