All buildings are surrounded by natural moisture; it’s just part of Mother Nature. Some materials such as brick and stone soak up the moisture like a sponge. When most buildings are constructed they are installed with treatment to help prevent rising damp from occurring.
A few ways that you can identify rising damp as a problem in your home are:
- Tide marks on the walls caused by the evaporation process and salts from the ground
- Damp patches or staining up a wall starting from the ground up
- Black mould that might be growing up the wall.
There are several factors that can cause rising damp. Some of these factors include: Humidity, Condensation, and Rain Penetration.
Humidity would most likely take place from inside a building or a structure, usually occurring due to building related causes. Humidity most common in houses is most likely caused by poor drainage systems.
You will find that buildings and homes with poorly insulated walls might often have a problem with condensation. Moisture condenses on the interior of buildings due to the interactions between the wall and the roof. There are materials that can be used to help prevent condensation from occurring.
Rain penetration is another common cause of rising damp. It can occur through walls, roofs, or through openings. This problem is most often associated with single skin walls but can also occur through thick cavity walls.
The best way to prevent rising damp would be to have a thoughtful building design and construction plan. This way it can be prevented from the start. Most well built modern houses include a form of synthetic damp-proof coarse 15 cm above the ground to act as a water barrier. Another way to prevent would be to install slate or engineering bricks with low porosity.