Rising damp is not as common as you may imagine and is frequently misdiagnosed for other problems (usually condensation or rainwater ingress). Unnecessary remedial works are often carried out by inexperienced/ unscrupulous contractors (characters not unlike Mr Rigsby below!)
Rising damp is a particular phenomenon where surface tension in the pores of masonry allows moisture to rise by capillary action (imagine dipping the bottom half of a sponge in water and watching the water soak up in to the top half). Rising damp rarely rises to a level above 1m due to the effects of evaporation and gravity. Rising damp can also put timber floor joists and wallplate at greater risk of attack by fungal decay and this will also be considered by the surveyor when assessing the property.
The most effective and economic solution to the problem of is the installation of a silicone based chemical damp proof course by either low pressure injection or silane diffusion via holes drilled into the masonry structure.
Rising damp also carries hygroscopic salts from the ground and these have the ability to absorb atmospheric moisture, meaning, even if the issue itself is addressed by installation of a remedial damp-proof course, residual problems can still occur (such as crumbling plaster, staining to decoration, peeling wallpaper and possibly an unsightly “tide mark”. Where these salts contaminate plaster the plaster must be removed and re-instated with either a salt retardant base coat or lathed membrane prior to the finishing coat being applied in order to provide a completely dry rising damp solution. This part of the solution is also frequently excluded by some contractors in order to successfully bid for a job, however, it is even more costly and disruptive to undertake after the event.
Our expert surveyors will undertake a damp survey and prepare an appropriate specification for rising damp treatment in their damp report.