What is Rising Damp?

Home 9 Building Defects 9 What is Rising Damp?

During your pre purchase building inspection our inspector will check for rising damp. So what is it and why is it a problem. Rising damp occurs when moisture from ground water moves vertically up a wall through the fine pores in masonry or brick. In most cases, it won’t reach above a height of 1.5 metres due to the natural evaporation process. Signs you might have this problem include mould on the walls, bubbling plaster, rotting window frames and skirting boards, lifting wallpaper, and wall staining.

A particular problem in old buildings, rising damp has a number of causes, including poor sub-floor ventilation, obstructions in the sub-floor, and a damaged damp-proof course – the layer of waterproof material that sits near the ground in the wall of a building.

Why Is It a Problem?

Rising damp causes significant aesthetic damage, such as the unsightly crumbling of masonry and the staining, bubbling and peeling of internal finishes. Extensive rising damp can also lead to structural damage that can create serious safety hazards if left unchecked – for example, the rotting and sagging of floorboards and staircases.

Living in a damp property can also be detrimental to your health, as breathing in mould spores can lead to respiratory illnesses, allergic reactions and asthma episodes.

How Do You Treat Rising Damp?

It’s important to note that in the case of rising damp, temporary fixes like cleaning, replastering or repainting the walls can actually exacerbate the problem. The right solution will depend on what is causing the rising damp, but often involves installing a new damp-proof course in the wall. Before this occurs, though, you must ensure:

  • Any land drainage issues are addressed
  • Leaks, guttering and drainpipes are repaired
  • Adequate ventilation is possible through rooms and under floors

Inspections for Rising Damp

To get an expert opinion on rising damp at your property, get in touch with Casey Building Inspections. Whether you’re checking out an investment property or you’re worried about this problem in your current home, finding rising damp early will save you a lot of time, money and stress down the track.



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