What is rising damp? If you are unfamiliar with the term “Rising Damp”, it is a phrase that describes the slow upward movement of water from the ground in the lower sections of walls and other ground-supported structures, by capillary action. Worst cases of rising damp have been reported to be 5 metres in height! In most cases, however, the height of rising damp is typically much lower and will rise to about one metre. Rising damp has affected the structures of buildings since the first construction. Rising damp, like other forms of dampness, is often misdiagnosed in buildings. This is one of the reasons why it is important to take advice from a specialist. Rising damp takes place when water from the ground travels upwards through the pore structure of building materials such as brick, sandstone, and mortar. This occurs much in the same way as oil travels upwards through the wick of a lamp. This movement is called capillarity and is due to an electrical charge drawing moisture up the wall. Not sure if your property has rising damp? In severe cases Rising Damp can be identified by a characteristic “tide mark”. This mark is found on the lower section of affected walls where the rising damp is drying out through the plaster. Rising damp also brings nitrate and chloride salts up from the ground. These salts are called Hygroscopic which means the salts absorb moisture from the air. A tide mark starts to appear as the salts migrate to the surface creating marks on the wall surface and can damage the property plaster and decoration. These marks appear because of evaporation, the salts begin to accumulate on the surface and start to draw moisture from the atmosphere which adds to the moisture from the ground. Get in touch with ACHI-UK for help on identifying rising damp. What does rising damp look like, what are the symptoms? There are several ways you can spot the signs of rising damp. Each property is different and may have just one of the following symptoms: Wallpaper becoming unstuck from the wall Paint won’t stick to the surface of the walls Stains at the bottom of your walls “Tidemarks” on the surface of the walls Flaking plaster White powder/crystals have begun to appear on the walls Visible damp or wet patches Crumbling mortar on the exterior of the building Rusting steel and iron fasteners If you have noticed any of these signs in your property, we advise that you call ACHIUK ASAP. If the damp marks in your property are higher than 1.0 metre, then there may also be a penetrating damp or condensation problem within your home or office. There may be more than one form of damp affecting your wall and this requires be diagnosed properly. The first step to getting rid of your damp problem is calling ACHIUK. Our team can help eradicate and prevent further damp problems within your building’s structure.