Identifying the Cause

damp advice

Free Damp Help Guide

This page has been included to help you understand some of the most common causes of damp within the home.  We have also put together a free guide to download.

Download the free guide here, continue to read this information page, email us or call us free on 0800 612 8891 for further information.

Rising Damp

So what is rising damp? Rising damp in buildings may be defined as the vertical flow of water up through a wall structure, the water being derived from ground water. The water rises through the pores in the masonry by a process loosely termed “capillary action.” In other words the masonry acts basically like a wick of an oil burner The common causes are deterioration due to age and bridging of a damp course, rising damp can only travel to roughly 1m high although there have been some exceptions where its travelled higher but as a general rule 1m high is where you will find the ‘tide’ mark, above that is where you find salts for another 300mm high

Problems caused by and Symptoms of Rising Damp

For inside walls

– Paint does not adhere to the wall.

– Wall paper lifts and stains appear on the walls.

– A tide mark and white salts appear

– Plaster flakes away, feels soft and  spongy, bubbles and white powder or crystals appear.

– Skirting boards and  floor boards rot.

For outside walls

-Mortar frets and falls out between bricks and  stonework.

-Stains or white powder (salts) appear on walls

These problems are mainly aesthetic problems only, however, structural damage in fact could result from extensive rising damp, and of course a damp mouldy environment could pose a health risk to people.

If your wall/walls look anything like the ones below then you can be almost certain that you do have rising damp

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 Penetrating Damp

Penetrating damp is an issue that can affect all brick and stone buildings. It may look harmless however, penetrating damp can be damaging to a property even if it does not penetrate all the way through a wall often leading to other damp issues as well as, damp plasterwork, increased heat loss, damp musty smells, frost damage into masonry and unsightly water damage on potentially both the outside and inside of a property.

Typically, penetrating damp is caused  due to general weathering or the lack of maintenance to a property . It could be the result of defective pointing, cracks in the masonry damaged water management systems, broken gutters, defective plumbing, broken down pipes, blown or cracked render, Loose or missing coping stones, defective or cracked silicone/mortar seals around windows and doors or possibly the results of increased ground levels around the walls of your property due to the possible installation of a flower bed, sometimes even hanging baskets can cause a problem

Problems caused by and symptoms of penetrating damp

– Watermarks that may appear on the masonry and grow if the water continues to enter

– Damaged plaster

– Damp patches on walls in random places that do not dry out

– Black mould growth

– Musty smells

If your wall/walls look anything like the ones below then you can be almost certain that you do have penetrating damp

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Condensation damage


Condensation comes from water vapour created inside a building by cooking, bathing even breathing etc. The moisture in the air condenses on the coldest surfaces. Buildings with poorly insulated walls are very prone to this problem. It often causes damage similar to damp on walls and ceilings. As soon as warm air, containing vapour, hits a cooler surface, it will condense. This is mainly visible on windows and wall tiles, but it is happening on the walls and ceilings a lot of the time. most people think that if you warm the house up then it won’t happen but it will, the air temperature will rise until it finds a cooler surface.

Problems caused by and Symptoms of Condensation Damage

-Black Spot mould on walls and even Ceilings

-Damp spots on the inside of particularly the exterior walls

-Condensation on windows/ mirrors etc.

-Mostly forming in corners where there is not as much airflow

If your wall/walls look anything like the ones below then you can be almost certain that you do have Condensation Damage

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