At this time it’s worth addressing the controversy around whether increasing damp is available or not. There’s a long-standing question, both online and off, where people question if rising wet is real. The primary reason that this argument continues to rage is the all-too-common misdiagnosis of growing damp.
You will find inexperienced and underqualified surveyors and tradesmen out there that incorrectly diagnose rising wet. When the diagnosis is wrong, this means that the procedure fails and the ‘wet’ issue remains.
Misdiagnosis of Growing Damp
Rising wet is often puzzled with damp caused by condensation – this is one of the most typical known reasons for misdiagnosis. The PCA offer advice for this in their Code of Practice for the Investigation and Control of Dampness in Buildings discussing BS5250: 2011 that expresses: ‘One of the most reliable ways that enable you to identify between dampness anticipated to condensate and anticipated to rising wet is to compare moisture content in the material of samples of masonry, or ideally mortar, from within the depth of the wall and near to the internal surface of the wall membrane; samples from within the wall will not be wet if surface condensation is the sole cause.’
In a few other cases, there is a correct medical diagnosis of rising wet but the service provider fails to address it. Generally, this involves failing to efficiently inject a substance DPC cream. Unsurprisingly, the incorrectly installed substance DPC doesn’t work. With both these situations, you end up with a dissatisfied and frequently angry customer, and an industry that suffers.
The simple truth is that rising damp does can be found and it does affect some residences. It is an authentic and serious problem that requires fixing with care and attention by competent professionals. Hopefully, our guide can help with this.
Rising Wet – Internal Walls
A lot of people first notice a concern with rising wet on internal wall surfaces. Rising damp often results tide marks on your internal surfaces up to the level where the normal water has reached. Generally, these tide symbol stains appear up to a metre above the skirting panel. In a few very rare cases, water can travel beyond this point.
The height this inflatable water reaches is determined by several key factors. These include the pore composition of the bricks and mortar and the rate of evaporation. Masonry including a high proportion of fine skin pores will allow this to rise higher than one with less pores. Rising damp can occur up to at least one 1.5 metres and even higher in a few very rare cases.
Water from the bottom often contains salts that are then deposited on the wall membrane when this inflatable water evaporates. These salts can cause the coloring to bubble and a white fluffy first deposit to be left on the top. A couple of two main types of sodium – sulphates which cause crusty white areas and invisible hygroscopic salts known as nitrates and chlorides. The hygroscopic salts continue steadily to draw moisture and for that reason must be treated.
Signs of Growing Damp
Rising wet is a comparatively uncommon form of wet and treatment is only going to work if it is correctly diagnosed. Hence, it is vitally important to obtain a professional diagnosis from a professional surveyor – this calls for a rising wet survey of your home including examination of the salts.
It can be hard to distinguish rising damp from other varieties of damp like condensation or penetrating damp.
Having said that, listed below are some of the more prevalent signs of growing damp that you can look out for:
Tide marks of salts
Dark areas on walls that can be damp to touch – for an improved indication of growing damp you want to ascertain that the brickwork / masonry is in fact wet and not just the plaster or wallpaper.
Staining of wall membrane coverings, peeling wallpaper & blistering coloring.
Wet and musty smell.
Discolouration & fragmenting plaster.
Decaying timber e.g. skirting planks, floor boards, floor joists.
what is the best way to treat rising damp?
The cream is injected or hand-pumped into specially-positioned holes in the mortar course. Once placed, the damp proofing cream reverts to a liquid. This enables it to penetrate the bricks and achieve complete absorption. Since it cures, it generates a robust water-repellent barrier and a fresh substance DPC that puts a stop to water from growing up the wall membrane. For full instructions about how to treat growing damp with wet proofing cream read our guide to injecting wet proof courses.
Alternatively, you can use a new damp facts membrane to act as a moist proof course. This is a much bigger and more difficult process that involves taking right out each brick over the failed mortar course and putting in a fresh physical damp facts membrane.
How exactly to treat rising wet on inner walls
When you see proof rising wet on internal wall surfaces, you need to eliminate any wallpaper and plaster back to the bricks or substrate. You will also should do this on the external wall of the property.
Be sure the DPC has not been bridged at all before proceeding with the injection of a fresh DPC. Treating growing damp on inner walls is focused on undertaking the injection process as outlined above and then getting in a position to make good and redecorate internally.
If you believe your home or a house you own has an issue with growing damp, then you will need to confirm your suspicions with a professional diagnosis. You must decide on a qualified damp surveyor, rising damp treatment specialist or preservation company that are experienced with rising wet injection treatment. The surveyor will perform a rising wet survey, complete an intensive examination and then recommend cure predicated on their conclusions. We suggest looking for several qualifications when deciding who fixes your growing damp issue.