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Rising Dampness

Rising Damp

Rising damp in buildings occurs when water from the ground rises up through the bricks and mortar of a building by a process loosely termed as "capilliarity." In simple terms, the water rises up the wall of a building in the same way that oil rises up through the wick of a lamp.

 In short, rising damp in buildings occurs when water from the ground rises up through the bricks and mortar of a building by capillary action.  In simple terms, the water rises up the wall of a building in the same way that a sponge will soak up the surrounding water by a sink.

What is rising damp – why it happens?

Any masonry structure, unprotected by a properly installed rising (damp proof) course, is susceptible to natural rising damp. Damp will rise by capillary action through the pores of the masonry, seeking a means of evaporation. You can see an example of this by clicking on the time lapse video to the right that shows damp rising through a brick.

The moisture will continue to rise until it reaches a height where, unless no evaporation is possible, gravity takes over and pulls it down again. This height is seldom more than 1.20m, although deposits of ‘salts’ may be found higher in the wall, often driven there by the use of non-breathing plasters, renders, ‘tanking’, paints or vinyl wall papers.

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