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What is Rising Damp?

What is Rising Damp?

Rising damp is where ground moisture will rise up through pores and capillaries in the structural walls of a property. Rising damp has a similar action to holding a portion of a sponge in water and being absorbed up through the material.

What causes Rising Damp?

Rising damp is caused when groundwater penetrates the bricks and mortar and travels through the walls of a property. The moisture travels through natural pores and capillaries in brickwork when there is poor or missing damp-proofing. Due to the poor common ageing of buildings from weathering and wear and tear, older properties are more at risk of rising damp. Period properties are more likely to have poor ventilation and central heating which can aid rising damp. Damp will rise to approximately a metre high in most cases. This is because the moisture will have evaporated or gravity has pulled it back down.

Early signs of Rising Damp

Luckily you don’t have to be an expert to spot the signs of rising damp. It will present itself in many obvious ways. As in all damp and rotting problems, it is best to have it treated as soon as it is spotted to halt the spread of any further damage.

  • Tide marks and stains. The most common sign if rising damp is that of tide marks on the walls where moisture has travelled. Usually around a metre high and can have a yellow or brown tinge in colour.
  • Peeling wallpaper and flaky paint. Along with tide marks people will also notice the peeling of any wallpaper or the flaking of paint that is on the affected area. As it rises, the peeling will mostly start with the turning of the corners at the bottom.
  • Decaying skirting boards. If you have a damp wall with a skirting board, it is most likely to be part if not fully decayed. This is because the moisture has travelled through the wood to the brick.
  • Black mould. Another very common sign of rising damp, Black mould will be common with tide marks and staining. It will present itself in spot-like patching at the bottom of the tide mark.

Treating Rising Damp

When it comes to treating rising damp, it is an old myth that simply painting or re-pointing a wall will stop or get rid of it. The damp will come through and end up being more of an expense in the long run. It’s similar to putting a towel on a spill, it will sit on top and the damp will come through. A qualified specialist l is the best person to effectively treat rising damp. They will do this by drilling holes into the affected area and injection a silicone-based solution that will provide a new damp-proofing course. When this is finished, the space will need to be well ventilated to prevent the damp from returning.

Health risks of Rising Damp

Rising damp problem can trigger respiratory infections, allergies, and asthma in children, the elderly, or those with pre-existing health problems. Damp and moulds produce allergens and irritants. Touching or inhaling damp spores can cause an allergic reaction and asthma attacks.


We here at Abbots are highly skilled experts at identifying and treating rising damp. If you think you could have rising damp in your property or have any rising damp queries, contact us for advice and a free estimate today.

Why Choose Abbots 

  • 75+ Years In Business
  • Local Family Business
  • Bournemouth Based
  • Expert Friendly Staff
  • Free No Obligation Quote
  • OAP Discounts
  • Damp Proofing Specialist
  • Wet Rot
  • Dry Rot
  • Rising Damp
  • Penetrating Damp

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