Rising Damp

Rising damp is pretty much what you’d expect from the description:

Rising damp is what you’d expect from the description: moisture rising up brick or masonry walls from the ground. It might sound strange, but your wall can act a bit like a sponge when this happens. The sign you need to look out for is a stain that looks like a tidemark on your wall, usually lower down. If you see this tide mark and sometimes salt deposits on the wall, you might have a rising damp problem that needs taking care of.
rising damp
Initially, when buildings are constructed, a rising damp barrier is usually installed in the form of a damp proof course, which will be an integral part of the construction. 
However, when this becomes damaged or has not been installed properly, or has been “bridged” due to high external ground levels rising damp is often the result. Other factors such as leaking gutters or downpipes or condensation should be taken into consideration when making a diagnosis.

Rising damp can cause damage to decoration, plaster, and furnishings is potentially unhealthy and can occur in most building structures. To find out if rising damp is affecting the structure of your home or property call our damp specialist Glasgow or our other 11 offices to book a survey now

What do you need to do about the problem?

The very first thing to do is to get in touch with Richardson & Starling. We’ve been dealing with rising damp for a very long time and know all of the problems it can cause. We take a methodical approach: our surveyor will carry out a thorough survey before we do anything else to ensure that we know the cause of the problem before taking action. Then once we know exactly what we need to do, our technicians will carry out the remedial work necessary to solve your rising damp problem.

Treating rising damp isn’t ‘one size fits all’ – that’s why we’re so keen to complete a full survey beforehand! Depending on the property construction and site conditions, we’ll need to either repair the existing damp proof course or install a totally new damp proofing system. What this generally involves is drilling holes into the base of the wall and injecting a damp proof solution. If the situation requires it, we’ve got other damp proofing systems such as electro-osmosis and membrane systems. Don’t worry if this sounds a bit daunting – we’ll determine which system needs to be used and take care of it for you. 

Are you unsure if your property requires rising damp treatment? Contact a member of our team to book your rising damp survey

Rising Damp Treatments

Having established that a problem of rising dampness exists, the installation of a chemical damp proof course (DPC) can be a cost-effective way of dealing with the problem. Our Rising Damp Glasgow team and all out teams across the country have the ability to install chemical damp proof courses. The object of the systems is to form a continuous unbroken layer of water repellent material in the wall that will create a barrier to dampness rising along the length and throughout the thickness of the wall. There are a variety of products on the market for this purpose. They generally fall into six categories:
• Solvent-based systems
• Aqueous systems 
• Gravity feed systems
• Injection mortars
• Injection creams
• Electro-osmosis systems 
The basic procedures are to drill a series of holes in the wall and inject or feed the product into the holes. The patterns of drilling and the pressure used in the injection process will vary depending on the product used.

Both of our Rising Damp Edinburgh and Glasgow teams and our 9 other branches provide these services, book your rising damp survey to start the process.  
damp proofed wall

Damp Proofing

There are a number of factors to be taken into account when considering chemical damp proofing systems and attendant replastering works. Our rising damp Edinburgh and Glasgow teams and our teams across Scotland and the North of England give an objective insight into chemical damp-proofing, its performance and the importance of the replastering works.

It should be fully appreciated that free water in building materials is not desirable, it can lead to decorative spoiling and rot: in some cases, it can lead to the collapse of the material itself. 
damp proofing course
Rising damp tends to rise higher in thick walls than thin walls; this is due to the lower surface to volume ratio of thicker walls, evaporation being mostly subject to surface area. This is an important feature to consider when dealing with properties with larger dimensioned walls - simply the so-called 'allowing walls to breathe' syndrome to stop the rising water may prove of little effect in such cases.

We have a damp proofing Stirling branch and a damp proofing Edinburgh branch working alongside our damp proofing Glasgow team – this means with 12 branches across Scotland and the North of England we can get to your home in no time at all, no matter where you are. 

Get in touch with your local Richardson and Starling branch now to see if our damp proofing Scotland and North of England services cover your area. 

Do Richardson & Starling Replaster Following Damp-Proofing?

Yes! A long term rising damp problem brings with it certain soluble groundwater salts into the wall; these are left behind as the water evaporates, and become concentrated in the plaster. The largest proportion of these salts are hygroscopic, that is they are capable of absorbing water from the surrounding environment. 

As a result, affected plasters and masonry may remain damp, even though the source of moisture which leads to the buildup of the salts has been eliminated. It, therefore, stands to reason that any property which has been subject to a long-term rising damp problem must have some degree of salt contamination in the plaster and the underlying masonry. These salts can, on their own, cause spoiling to certain types of decoration, even in relatively low quantities.

Following the insertion of a remedial damp proof course, a damp wall can take many months to dry out. Furthermore, due to the limitations of chemical damp-proof courses, the wall is always likely to remain damp at the base (this is an important consideration when determining whether a DPC is functioning or not.

Plastering Rising Damp

In order to prevent the new surfaces from becoming contaminated and damp the new plasterwork has a most important and specific function. This is to prevent the passage of residual contaminant salts from diffusing from the underlying wall to the new surface thus preventing future spoiling.
The importance of the replastering works cannot be over-emphasised. It must be considered as important as the injected damp-proof course, indeed, if not more important. Many disputes are centred upon whether a dampness problem is due to the failure of a remedial damp proof course or inadequate new plasterwork. In such cases, plasterwork should be examined as well as the efficacy of the damp-proof course since it is usually the more expensive of the two to put right.  

Replastering must be carried out to a height in excess of the maximum rise of the dampness and the salt contamination. Dampness can frequently rise in excess of 1 metre, the height being governed by numerous factors including pore structure and rates of evaporation. For example, restriction of evaporative processes causes dampness to rise higher than if the wall surface was well ventilated. This is well illustrated in thick walls where moisture tends to rise higher than in thinner walls due to the lower surface area to volume ratio. 
plastering wall after damp proofing course

Here’s one we did earlier...

When we surveyed this property, it was an interesting situation. The walls were damp, but that doesn’t automatically mean that there’s rising damp! Our surveyor carried out a thorough investigation to make sure that we had an accurate diagnosis of the damp problem. The survey showed us something quite unpleasant – not only was the building’s damp proofing totally inadequate, the rising damp had brought salts up into the structure which was attracting more damp from the air and the cold damp wall had evidence of condensation!
repaired property
It was clear that we had a lot of work to do! First of all, we removed the affected plasterwork. We then inserted a new damp course into the wall and used a renovating plaster to repair the wall plaster and prevent further salt migration. The client received our 30-year guarantee – which is transferable to any new owner! 

Contact Our Damp Specialists

Get in touch with one of the following teams now to eradicate the presence of rising damp: 

Would like to find out more about Rising Damp?

Frequently Asked Questions about Rising Damp

These days it makes a pleasant change dealing with a company like Richardson & Starling

Mr Weir
Share by: