When the walls of any given structure, be it a house or a building, is exposed to water, a natural phenomenon occurs which is rising damp. However, this capillary action only happens with walls built using porous materials like bricks. When the water in the ground remains for a long period, it will eventually be sucked up by the wall. In many instances rising ramp reaches heights of up to 1.2 meters. While the penetration of water is initially harmless, it can be a problem when moisture reaches vulnerable materials. Other than ruining wall finishes, there are also other issues that arise from this occurrence.
What Causes Rising Damp?
Moisture is the cause of this occurrence. Although, this only happens when the moisture is trapped in the ground, particularly in places with less temperate climates. The absence of ditches that channel the water away from the walls could also be a cause. In a number of cases, the lack of damp proof courses (DPCs) or having faulty DPCs could result in rising damp.
How Can Rising Damp Affect Homes Or Buildings?
Despite the introduction of water, rising damp does little to damage the structural integrity of a home or building. However, the finishes on a wall could become discolor, loosen, and or crack. Untreated rising damp could also cause cold walls, which makes them conduct heat fairly easily, thus increasing the heating costs. Also, the moisture seeping through the walls could lead to other potentially harmful effects like the growth of molds. This chain reaction could them equate to a number of health problems and allergies.
How Can I Treat Damp Walls?
Luckily for homeowners, or those who are willing to troubleshoot this problem themselves, there are ways on how to resolve the issue without hiring experts. On the other hand, the first and best option is to always seek professional consultation before doing any fixes personally. This will ensure better results and prevent any unwanted damages that may arise when attempting repairs. There are a number of methods that can help control damp walls, including the following:
1. The Very First Thing To Do Is To Isolate The Cause Of The Problem – As indicated above, excess moisture causes damp walls which spring from a number of causes. It could either be some broken pipes, faulty drainage, faulty DPCs, and or faulty drainage systems. It will be beneficial for the homeowner to first find the source of the problem to cut costs, labor, and time needed to do the fixes.
2. Repair Or Install New Damp Proof Membranes – This is the most common option for homeowners and probably the most economical. DPCs come in various shapes and sizes that conform to the requirements of a building. There are also other means to fix damp walls through the application of hydrophobic chemicals. These chemical damp proof courses may be a bit costly and the application might take quite longer than membrane DPCs.
3. As Stated – Rising Damp does little to no harm to the walls themselves but to the other materials attached to it. Vulnerable materials like wood and interior finishes can easily be damaged by the moisture. The third step is to isolate these materials, keeping them as far away to the limit of the dampness. There is a limit to where the moisture can seep up the wall. It will be wise to raise these vulnerable materials up to where the moisture cannot reach them.