• Stephen Deasy

Rising Damp

Rising dampness is often the cause of structural damage in buildings. The internally rising groundwater saturates walls and pollutants, such as saltpetre, which are contained in the water, can damage building materials. With time constant dampness in walls can lead to mould, blistering, the peeling of paint and wallpaper, and damaged render.


A common reason for rising damp, especially in older buildings, is an incorrect or damaged Damp Proofing  or the lack thereof. As early as the beginning of the 20th  century buildings in the Australia were being damp proofed against rising damp and relevant building regulations were developed. However, these were not always adhered to and some of these  Damp Proofing  will have become damaged over time.


What Causes Rising Damp?

Rising damp is caused by the rising of groundwater through capillaries in masonry. As this has been a well-known problem for some years, buildings these days are built with a Damp Proofing. However, rising damp can still occur, especially in older buildings. The cause of this is often a faulty or non-existent Damp Proofing. If this is the case a remedial Damp Proofing needs to be installed to stop rising damp from occurring.


How Does Rising Damp in Houses Occur?

Rising damp in walls, also called capillary ascending moisture, is the ascent of moisture through capillaries in masonry.



Rising damp is amuch disputedfield, due to the common misdiagnosis of damp walls. The source of dampness should always bethouroughlyinvestigated because an incorrect diagnosis can lead to further damage and unnecessary costs. If in doubt, it is recommended to consult an expert, as both condensation and penetrating damp could also be cause of dampness.


Signs of Rising Damp

Dampness in walls can originate from a variety of different sources. It is therefore important to find out exactly where the dampness comes from in order to save time and money on the potentially wrong treatment.


Internal Signs of Rising Damp on Walls

Some signs of rising damp are easy to point out, like decaying skirting boards or timber, efflorescence on walls, damp patches, mould growth and the peeling and blistering of wallpapers and paints.


Decaying skirting boards or timber






Efflorescence on interior walls






Visible damp patches on walls






Black, green and white mould growth






Peeling and blistering of wallpapers and paints







External Signs of Rising Damp on Walls

Rising damp can often be seen on exterior walls. One of these symptoms is for example linear efflorescence and permanent discolouration on the outside of exterior walls.

Corrosion of bricks and mortar

Discolouration on exterior Walls

Efflorescence on exterior walls


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