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How Serious Is Rising Damp In A House

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  • Admin
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  • Rising Damp, House Maintenance, Moisture Damage, Home Repair, Property Issues
  • Posted date:
  • 14-06-2024
How Serious Is Rising Damp In A House

Rising Damp Can Cause Catastrophic Damage to a Home

Rising damp is like a silent intruder that wreaks havoc in your home. Rising damp forms when groundwater seeps through the walls of a property and spreads. Rising damp can form a tide mark - showing the hidden damage happening beneath the wall plaster.

Bricks and mortar are porous; this makes them particularly susceptible to rising damp. If these elements become affected by rising damp, it can cause them to deteriorate. To prevent this, a damp proof course (DPC) is usually installed. This is a water-resistant layer at the base of your walls designed to stop moisture from rising.

However, if there's no DPC, or it is damaged or improperly installed, it cannot act as an effective barrier. If rising damp is not treated in time, it can have disastrous effects on a home. It can lead to structural damage, as the moisture weakens the integrity of walls and floors.

Rising damp can also create an environment where mould and mildew thrive. This can affect your health, particularly if you have respiratory issues. Therefore, removing rising damp is crucial for both your home and your health.

What Can Happen If Rising Damp Is Left Untreated?

Rising damp can cause damp patches, peeling wallpaper, and black mould stains in your home. However, one of the biggest issues caused by rising damp is structural damage.

The constant exposure to moisture causes masonry to deteriorate over time. The brickwork and timber in your building can start to rot and decay. This weakens the structural integrity of your house.

Water can also carry salts that damage your walls and lead to a condition known as 'efflorescence'. This is where salts crystallise on the surface, causing structural damage. Apart from physical damage, rising damp can also lead to health conditions.

Constant exposure to damp and mould can cause severe breathing issues. This can make your home dangerous for those with respiratory problems.

Rising damp can lead to internal wood damage, such as rotten skirting boards and warping wood. Meanwhile, any form of damp creates the ideal environment for mould to grow. This can damage your health, as they spread throughout your property. Mould also has an unpleasant smell, which can linger in your home for some time.

If left untreated, rising damp can cause even more severe issues. The moisture can seep into the structural timber, including floor joists. If these joists become mouldy or rotten, the floor can fall through.

As well as timber damage, the brickwork and mortar can also be at risk from the water and salts forming. This can lead to crumbling bricks, and spalling; making your home a risk zone. In essence, rising damp can be a severe risk to both your health and safety if it's left untreated for too long.

Is Rising Damp Dangerous To Live With?

Living with rising damp can be tough, as long-term exposure can harm your well-being. The damp environment serves as a breeding ground for mould and mildew. Over time, these can cause respiratory problems and allergies. Prolonged exposure can lead to chronic conditions that affect your quality of life.

Rising damp can also damage the property itself, which can be expensive to repair. Paint and wallpaper will peel and wood will rot. This can lead to expensive renovations. Living with rising damp can be dangerous. Untreated rising damp can cause structural issues with your home.

This makes you or your family at risk of injury as untreated damp can cause floors to fall through. Identifying the signs and taking immediate action can prevent this damage from escalating. If you have rising damp, contact a professional for an assessment and action plan.

What Causes Rising Damp In A Home?

Rising damp is an uncommon type of damp that travels from the ground upwards. Rising damp spreads through capillary action. This is when small tubes in your masonry draw water from the ground; moving it through the walls and plaster. This type of damp can also affect any woodwork in your home, leading to rot and mould.

Rising damp in a home can be caused by several factors. A common cause is the absence or failure of a damp proof course (DPC). The DPC is a protective barrier that prevents moisture from rising through the walls. If it's missing or inadequate, water can enter the building freely.

Another cause is when the exterior ground level is higher than the damp-proof course. This is known as a 'bridged' DPC. A bridged DPC allows water to bypass the protective layer and seep into the walls.

Additionally, underground water sources or a high groundwater level can aggravate damp issues. Homes near these water sources are more likely to experience rising damp.

Lastly, the materials used in constructing the walls can also cause rising damp. Walls made from absorbent materials such as bricks and mortar can help cause rising damp. When it comes to rising damp, it's important to address these issues quickly.

How Should You Treat Rising Damp?

Dealing with rising damp involves several key steps. This starts with an accurate diagnosis and ends with the installation of a new DPC. The first step is to book a survey with rising damp specialists. A professional survey is essential to properly identify the type of damp and its causes.

After that, the treatment process can begin. The affected areas are removed, and any rotten timber or mortar is replaced. Any salts in the walls must also be addressed, as they can attract more moisture and expand the problem.

The most important part of the treatment is installing a new physical DPC. In some cases, a chemical DPC can be injected into the brickwork. This helps form a barrier against rising damp and water. The building must be dried out before any re-plastering or decorating begins.

This process can take several weeks or months, depending on the severity of the damp and the climate. Furthermore, the treated areas need to be monitored regularly in case the damp comes back. Improving ventilation can create better airflow and reduce the risk of damp forming. Your home is too valuable, and your health is too important, to ignore rising damp.

At Above Water Damp Proofing Ltd we are trained professionals when it comes to damp. We understand that damp removal and damp-proofing your property can be costly - which is why we provide a range of damp-proofing services at a fair price. Learn more about damp control in Windsor, Slough, Berkshire & Surrey.