Diagnosing damp, whether rising or penetrating, is an important first step before selecting the correct damp proofing product for your problem. Follow our handy hints below to identify your problem and view the associated products recommended for your situation.
HOW TO IDENTIFY RISING DAMP
The one thing to remember when trying to identify rising damp is that there are many forms of damp that can affect a property and different forms of DAMP PROOFING to help treat the particular damp problem. Certainly if you do identify rising damp, you would be well advised to consider rising damp treatment as early as possible. As with most damp problems, the longer you leave rising damp, the more expensive the problem can become to resolve.
SIGNS TO HELP IDENTIFY RISING DAMP
Without any equipment, you can use certain visual and touch signs to help identify rising damp. Typical signs include the following:
- Tide marks on the walls up to 1 metre caused by evaporation and salts from the ground
- Damp patches and staining about 1 metre up a wall from ground level
- Wallpaper coming off or peeling from the wall
- Decayed skirting boards
OTHER PRACTICAL WAYS TO HELP IDENTIFY RISING DAMP
- Running your hands around the suspected rising damp area. If you have wallpaper on the walls, you may hear the “crunching” sound of salts that have drawn from the ground
- If possible, look at the exposed surface of the brick or stone work. Check to see if there are salts forming, that the brick is actually wet (not just the wallpaper or the paint)
When diagnosing damp, it is also important to note that rising damp only occurs on ground floor levels as it is moisture from the soil that is being drawn up the walls and thus causing the rising damp problem.
When diagnosing damp on the first floor or above, it may be that you have a condensation problem or a penetrating damp issue.
PENETRATING DAMP COMMONLY STEMS FROM ONE OF TWO SCENARIOS
- Problems with the building or plumbing issues, e.g. a loose slate or blocked drainpipes. Penetrating damp is present where a problem has allowed water to enter the property
- Wind-driven rain – properties near the sea or in exposed areas can suffer damp penetration from driving rain. Symptoms will usually only occur during wet weather, but the problem can also affect roofs and ceilings as well as walls.
Penetrating damp is far more common in older properties, which have solid walls. A newly built house with cavity walls offers more protection and is unlikely to suffer from this problem.