correctly identifying rising dampHow do I handle rising damp in my property?

Unfortunately there aren’t any quick remedies when it comes to the question of how to fix rising damp. If you suspect you have rising damp in your property it’s worth getting a second, third, and fourth opinion as you don’t want to pay for unnecessary treatment. Rising damp is commonly wrongly diagnosed, so it’s worth making sure that it’s definitely the problem before starting a treatment course. Consider whether the problem might be a consequence of condensation, leaking pipes, malfunctioning plumbing, damaged guttering, blocked air bricks, or poor surface drainage.

Measures Which Allow Your Property To “Breath”

Measures that allow your property to ‘breathe’ are key to managing rising damp. The Building Research Establishment advises that any method used to retrofit a damp-proof course should have an Agrément or some other third-party certificate.

While you’re waiting for treatment to kick in, ventilate your property thoroughly. Even though this won’t fix your rising damp issue, it will prevent it from getting worse. Ventilation is specially important in old properties which have suffered from a rising damp problem in the past. Make sure air can circulate unhampered between the cellar, if you have one, and the ground floor. Remove vinyl flooring or rubber-backed carpets, and replace with a breathable material instead. This allows fresh air to circulate and dry out the damp internal wall. Take advantage of extractor fans and dehumidifiers to keep the humidity levels in your property low.

Is there a long-term answer to rising damp?

Accroding to Manchester Damp Proofing based in Altrincham The best solution to your long-term damp troubles is to routinely check your damp-proof course.

A damp-proof course is a barrier between your home and the ground, commonly made from a tough material. This should be observable on your exterior walls, around six inches above ground level. It could be compromised if the ground level close by has been raised above it, which means that the ground water is then above the damp-proof course, letting water penetrate the brick work. You can address the problem by digging a ditch alongside the obstruction so that the ground level is no longer above the damp-proof course. Ensure the ditch is well drained – if it fills with water you could end up having rather more serious troubles.

If the ground level is still well below your damp-proof course, look at the internal wall cavity. Frequently debris can become trapped in here and can serve as a conduit, carrying water above the damp-proof course and into your internal wall. Treatment for this will involve talking to a professional to have bricks removed in order to take away any debris that might be inside the cavity.

If your damp-proof course has been damaged, you may need to contact a tradesman to fit a new one. The damp-proof course has to run under the entire property with no breaks. Replacing damp and damaged timbers and brickwork may also be required to ensure that your internal wall is entirely dry. Repair costs will depend on the extent of the damage along with the most appropriate treatment.