Rising damp has been a relatively commonly encountered problem in some types of building however it is often misdiagnosed. It is important that the investigations into dampness are undertaken by a trained and competent surveyor who can recognise and understand the problem.
Decayed skirting boards, crumbling or salt stained plaster, discolouration and staining, decayed timber floors and peeling paint and wallpaper are all common when walls are affected by rising damp. These defects are not always evident but when they are evident a specialist inspection is always recommended.
Most types of masonry used in the walls of buildings will allow some water movement by capillary action; however, this is usually controlled by a physical barrier or damp proof course. If this physical barrier is absent, has broken down or is damaged then it is often possible to install a remedial DPC to control water rising from the ground.
Water rising from the ground often introduces contaminating salts into the walls and plaster coats. This contamination will often result in a need for the plaster to be removed and replaced using specially formulated salt resistant plasters.
Rising Damp is simply, water from the ground that enters a structure by capillary action. Water that enters or affects a building through any other route can move about in various ways but is not rising damp. Only rising damp can be cured by the installation of a chemical damp proof course.