Preventing and Treating Rising Damp: Comprehensive Strategies for Building Owners
Rising damp can affect any property. It doesn’t matter whether you live in a semi-detached house or you own a commercial site, rising damp doesn’t care. It is true that the older the building, the more likely it is to see this kind of problem, but new buildings are not exempt. When it comes to preventing and treating rising damp, what can be done? These strategies for builders will make everything clear.
Why Are Older Properties More Susceptible To Rising Damp?
Older properties, for instance, period ones or pre-war builds, are more likely to see rising damp issues inside their walls. This is because when these buildings were constructed, the knowledge, application, and technology were not yet advanced enough to provide long-lasting solutions, and therefore, decades later, the damage has taken hold.
Spotting Rising Damp on Internal Walls
The first step to figuring out what to do includes understanding what the warning signs and symptoms are. Spotting rising damp on internal walls is both easy and misleading at the same time. This is because it can be misdiagnosed for other types of water damage, therefore the information must be correct before starting treatment. Our team can help with this by providing a home visit and site survey. The major signs to watch out for are explored in more detail here.
If you notice any visible patches of moisture on your wall coming up from the ground and reaching about 1 metre in height, then this is a big sign that the problem is rising damp.
It is also very easy to smell rising damp as soon as you walk through the front door of a property. It will be distinctly musty and unpleasant and it is not a smell you want sticking around.
Damage to Décor
Whether it is peeling wallpaper or bubbling plaster, the cosmetic damage of rising damp is unmissable. You might notice that your wall is wet to the touch and your paint is flaking or bubbling. This will impact the plaster underneath, and when this starts happening you can’t ignore the problem any longer.
Black mould is a common type of household mould that can show up on any property. However, those homes with rising damp problems will experience black mould at some point if the problem goes untreated. This is extremely dangerous for your health and can be difficult to clean and stop.
External Wall Rising Damp Signs
If your external wall is also suffering, which is likely if you have spotted signs inside, here’s what you might notice.
- The wall is wet to the touch.
- There are noticeable dark spots where moisture has taken hold.
- Salt marks
Treating Rising Damp Internally
There are a few methods for homeowners to explore regarding rising damp. This is not a problem that will go away of its own accord, and it can (and will) cause extensive damage to the structural integrity and very foundation of your property if you don’t invest in treatment pathways.
Procuring a Survey
The first step is to call our team and book a site survey. This survey will show exactly how far the damage goes and determine the best path to take to rectify it. Surveys are useful because, without them, there is no real way to tell what needs to happen to fix the walls of the building.
Stripping Back The Wall
When rising damp is noted, then stripping the wall back to the bare frame will be required. This means taking off the wallpaper and the plaster so the damage underneath is visible. This is where any treatment will take place, so it is unavoidable.
DPC Injection Courses
DPC injection courses are the most common route for building owners to take to protect their assets and get back to normality. It is important to have this job done by a fully licensed professional because, without that guarantee, you just don’t know what you’re signing up for. Once qualifications have been verified, a DPC course will take around two days for a smaller area and anything up to a week (or longer) for a bigger space. For example, if you need damp proofing in three big rooms then it could take a few weeks for the job to complete.
How effective are these courses? The answer is, very! As long as a full site survey has been undertaken and the extent of the damp is observed, a comprehensive professional course should do the trick.
Steps to Take Post-Treatment
After the damp proofing course is complete, it is typical to need to wait a set period before you can redecorate. While this may be frustrating, it is necessary to ensure that the proofing is completely viable and that all the moisture has evaporated from the walls. Decorating too soon is a waste of time. Once this waiting period has been observed, you can paint the walls. The proofing course, if done professionally, should stand the test of time.
The Consequences of Ignoring Rising Damp
If you ignore rising damp then there are a few things that are likely to happen. Firstly, you will never be able to decorate properly and therefore the aesthetic of your room will be impacted negatively. For instance, peeling wallpaper and paint that bubbles or doesn’t ever go on properly are two of the biggest ones. Secondly, it will compromise the structural capacity of your property so the problem will continue to worsen over time and it will become a bigger job the longer it is left. Bricks may crumble and parts of your home could need re-strengthening. So it makes sense to get the job done as early as possible, which means as soon as you spot any signs.
Treating rising damp in properties is easy with a DPC. It is impossible to do without expert guidance and input, and our team is here to help. Homes that have rising damp need special attention as soon as possible to avoid further damage, so don’t delay.