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Rising Damp

Rising damp

Rising damp is often the cause of structural damages. The internally rising ground water saturates walls and pollutants, such as saltpetre, which are contained in the water, can damage building materials. Due to capillary action ground water gets into masonry and can evaporate again only to a certain degree. With time the constant dampness in walls can lead to mould, blistering, the peeling of paints and wallpaper, as well as the falling off of render.

A common reason for rising damp, especially in older buildings, is an incorrect or damaged DPC or the lack thereof. As early as the beginning of the 20th century buildings in the UK were being damp-proofed against rising damp and relevant building regulations were developed. However, these were not always adhered to and some of these DPCs have become damaged over time.

To install a remedial DPC against rising damp, the use of the Dryzone System is recommended. The system includes all products, which are needed for the installation of a remedial DPC and the subsequent renovation of the walls. There is the option of using the patented Dryzone Damp-Proofing Cream or the innovative Dryrod Damp-Proofing Rods. For a fast and simple treatment of rising damp and the replastering of walls within just 24 hours the Dryzone Express Replastering System is recommended.

How Does Rising Damp Occur?

Rising damp, also called capillary ascending moisture, is the ascent of moisture through capillaries in masonry.

Capillary rise

Water rises in capillaries. The smaller the capillaries, the higher the moisture rises.

Capillaries are fine, elongated tubes with very small internal diameters. In masonry these tubes are of varying thickness and can in some cases form cavities. The smaller the diameter of the capillary, the more the surface tension comes into force. This capillary force, which develops due to the surface tension, creates the effect of capillary action. The smaller the capillaries, the higher moisture rises.

Capillary action means the rising of moisture in capillaries contrary to gravity. The effect of capillary action is used in medicine as well as in nature. To take a small blood sample a very fine tube is held against a small cut, at the ear or a finger for example, and the capillary action draws the blood into the small tube. Plants use capillaries as water-conducting system for watering. In masonry, which contains fine piliform tubes, capillary action can have negative effects and lead to rising damp.

Rising damp is a much disputed field, due to the common misdiagnosis of the cause of dampness in walls. It does not always mean that rising damp is the reason for damp walls, therefore there should always be an exact investigation into the cause of dampness in masonry. A wrong diagnosis can lead to further damages to the masonry and unnecessary costs. If in doubt it is recommended to consult an expert, as both condensation and penetrating damp could also be reasons for damp walls.

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For more information call 01403 210204