Rising Damp

Rising Damp & Damp Proofing

Damp Proofing

The Painting Company is a painting contractor that specializes in damp proofing in order to guarantee a lasting painting solution. In order to properly damp proof a property, we need to correctly identify the type of damp and the cause of the damp problem. The most common identification is rising damp, but is it really Rising damp?

Rising damp

Rising damp in the easiest of terms is where water or moisture is drawn up by capillary action into the wall. Typically although not exclusively a brick wall will have rising damp to approximately a meter in height. Slightly different readings may occur with different types of construction such as stone construction where the property is built on a slope. The effect of rising damp is almost always in the form of deteriorating paint work. Internally another sign of course is a damp and musty smell. There are many that would argue that rising damp is not a particularly bad problem, certainly not as bad a problem as many of the companies would lead you to believe. All properties need an element of dampness and you should be aware that many companies are simply selling their solution.

Causes of rising damp

Modern properties today have a DPC (Damp proof course) installed. Most commonly damp problems are caused when then DPC is bridged, an example their off, would be a garden where the level of the ground has naturally built up by flower beds being gardened over the years, their should be a gap of 150mm or two bricks between the ground level and the DPC.

Rising damp, is it really Rising damp?

Other areas where we have seen rising dampness blamed, we have carried out investigation and found it to be something quite different, such as gutters overflowing or the downpipes leaking, and commonly today with more modern style homes there are no gutters or downpipes, with exposed walls and parapets that are not properly waterproofed, water is then discharged down the painted walls. We are sure that if you ask an experienced building surveyor what else it could be other that rising damp, you will get a similar list. This is also a good way to check that who you are asking to report on your potential rising damp, knows what they are talking about.

Lateral damp – What is it?

Lateral damp, also known as penetrating damp which better explains exactly what it is, is dampness that comes through the wall. Lateral damp can be mistaken for rising damp at lower levels and condensation at higher levels.

What are the different causes for lateral damp?

Dampness caused by defective roofs and gutters, it can really be many different reasons: cracked walls, rusted gutters that allow water to be discharged down the wall then soaks up the dampness and is visible inside. A good surveyor should be able to check and confirm this as lateral or penetrating damp rather than rising damp or condensation. They should carry out a close up inspection of the guttering and downpipes by using either binoculars, digital zoom lenses or long ladders, depending on the type of property they should adapt the method to be used.

Cracking and render causing dampness

Another case of lateral or penetrating damp is cracks to brickwork and plaster. we have found that lateral cracking and vertical cracking can allow dampness into the property. it is a combination of the type and the location of the crack that allows this to happen. For example the elevation of the home that gets the prevailing wind and therefore gets wind driven rain, will be a lot damper than the wall on the sunny side of the property. This also relates to the side of the property that is generally in the shade. A good surveyor should also be able to identify this. The Painting Company looks to correctly identify the cause of the damp problem and solving the problem at the source and curing the effects there off. Therefore you are guaranteed that your painting solution will be durable to all weather conditions.