What is Rising Damp?

Rising damp is moisture present in your walls as a result of water in the ground underneath or next to your walls rising up through the fabric of the wall, whether it be brick, block or concrete. The water travels upwards through the wall as a result of capillary action (where water is sucked through a small opening such as a tube or hole) through the tiny holes in the block or concrete. The water stops rising at a height where gravity counteracts the upwards force of the capillary action. This ‘rising damp’ usually reaches a maximum height of 1.2m, but the effects of the damp, such as salt deposits, may be seen higher up due to the presence of non-breathing wall coverings such as vinyl wallpaper and non-breathing plasters, renders and paints.

What are the Signs of Rising Damp?

Typical signs of rising damp rather than other damp problems are a ‘tide line’ of yellowish or brownish staining or blown plaster in the lower area of your wall above your skirting board. You also might have damp or rotting skirting boards or flooring. You may see white, fluffy deposits in your plaster – these are ‘salts’ which the damp has washed out of your block or concrete wall and into your plaster. Black spots of mold may also appear on the damp areas of your wall.

  • A yellow or brown ‘tide line’ above the skirting board
  • Salt deposits on  the wall
  • Fluffy deposits in the plaster
  • Brownish staining or blown plaster in the lower area of the wall above the skirting board

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