What is Rising Damp?
Rising damp is a particular type of damp caused by groundwater breaching the damp proofing layer that sits below your home and slowly rising through bricks and mortar. The reason it’s called rising damp is that it looks as if it is gradually climbing the walls, leaving dark stains, mould buildup and flaking paint in its wake.
If you leave rising damp untreated, you not only open yourself up to the risk of allergies, but you could compromise the structural integrity of your home. Water mixes with mortar, softening it and causing it to return to a putty-like state. Over time, the weight of the building above can force wet brickwork to deform and ultimately fail, leading to the destruction of your house - something you want to avoid.
Usually, it’s relatively easy to tell whether you have rising damp. If you notice a darker, fan-shaped pattern on the wall that wasn’t there before, then it’s likely that you have a damp problem. If you notice new dark patches on your walls that appear to be coming up from the floor, run your hand over them to see if they are damp. If you have wallpapered walls, then run your hands over them and listen to the sound made by the wallpaper. Crackling noises suggest a buildup of moisture underneath.
The good news is that treating rising damp is relatively straightforward. You can hire professionals who can prevent rising damp from recurring by using a damp-proof course in your walls. You can also repair the damp proof layer if a subterranean object has damaged it.