Rising Damp, Condensation, Water Penetration and Leaks in Domestic Traditionally Constructed Dwelling in the UK. This document provides information to help diagnose, manage and resolve damp related problems in domestic dwellings. Rising Damp This is the technical term describing moisture rising up a wall. Rising damp becomes evident in the form of stained walls, blistering and peeling paintwork as well as salt accumulation up to one meter high. Rising damp can arise for various reasons, the common causes are; failure of an existing damp proof course (DPC) and bridging due to raising of either external or internal ground levels. Ground water contains soluble salts and if it isn’t treated large quantities of salts appear within the masonry and on decorative surfaces. A common diagnosis of rising damp is the presence of salt deposits. If black mould is on the surface, this will not be rising damp as black moulds won't grow where salt is present.
Figure 1 - Rising damp from floor level before plaster damage has taken place
Figure 2 - Rising damp with salt deposits and crumbling plasterwork
Condensation Condensation is the most common cause of household damp problems. It can be a problem in any home, old or new and it most often happens during the winter months as the air in the home is much warmer than the air outside. However it can also occur in summer or on very hot days and it is caused by air releasing its moisture when it comes into contact with a cooler surface; this can be seen using a glass filled with ice cubes as condensation forms on the outside surface of the glass. Condensation occurs with any cold object, wall or window when the moist warm air comes into contact with it and typical problems occur with condensation forming on walls, ceilings, windows and furniture. If these surfaces remain wet this will promote the growth of mildew and black moulds.
Figure 3 – Black Mould and Mildew resulting from prolonged conditions which promote...
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