Type of damp Rising damp

Type of damp Rising damp

15th December, 2022

A Guide to Rising Damp

Rising damp is a common type of damp in homes. However, if you notice the signs it is essential that you take action quickly to minimize the negative consequences by getting a Independant survey. It is often mistaken for other types of damp, but there are decisive actions you can take as a homeowner to fix the problem and prevent future occurrences. Before you can deal with rising damp you have to know the signs and symptoms. This guide has everything you need to know and all the positive solutions if you think there is an issue at your property

What Is Rising Damp?

Rising damp is so called because it travels up from the ground. It affects interior walls but can happen outside as well. When moisture is sucked up through the brickwork, it can lead to damage inside the property, and this is the root cause of rising damp. It is often difficult to notice this problem until the physical wear and tear signs begin to appear. A property survey carried out by a damp specialist prior to purchase is the best way to establish whether or not there is a problem in the building.

Rising Damp Misdiagnosis Dangers

There is a lot of crossover of damp symptoms internally and that is why rising damp is sometimes misdiagnosed and therefore not sorted out efficiently. A professional independent survey will be able to differentiate between the various types and can save you money if you are simply in need of some condensation treatment instead. The discrepancies come when condensation or penetrating damp is causing an issue because the signs are quite similar.

What Causes Rising Damp?

So, what exactly is the cause of rising damp outside of groundwater? There are several theories on this, but ultimately the answer all comes back to moisture entering the building from the ground and working its way up until it reaches the walls.

Internal Walls

If you are seeing rising damp on internal walls there will be definitive markings that are hard to ignore. The water will leave a mark where it has risen, and the plaster, paint, or wallpaper will be flaking away and suffering from general deterioration. If the building has a lack of DPC (damp proof course) then it is in a high-risk category automatically. Dampproof coursing is the only viable option to protect the internal walls from such complications. Certain factors can intercept and nullify even the best damp proofing initiatives, however.


If debris infiltrates the wall cavities from external points, this could have big consequences for your DPC arrangement. It will interfere with the overall efficacy and leave your walls vulnerable to moisture and groundwater making its way inside.

Rising Damp Symptoms

When it comes to spotting rising damp, there are a few common and clear symptoms to watch out for.

Flaking Paint

Flaking paint, peeling wallpaper, and general wet appearances are three clear signals that you may have an issue in this area. It is never nice to see your hard-earned decoration plan being scuppered. Your living space should be a nirvana where you feel comfortable and content. Rising damp will make your room look like it has been sat in water and suffered the consequences because this is essentially what is happening.

Damp Spots

Noticeable damp spots will appear on your walls where the area is being affected. Your paint or paper may appear darker than its surroundings, and look as though someone has spilled a drink on it. This could appear in patches or a larger block depending on where and how the problem is originating from.

Tide Marks

Tide marks are visible lines where you can see a marked difference between where the water has been or still is and where it stops. These are good indicators of how far the problem may have spread and where you need to take action to slow the aftershock.

Rising Damp Solutions

There are various solutions to this problem. Ultimately, the property will need a DPC to avoid future damp damaging the interior or exterior walls. Before that happens, there are some smaller courses of action to put into motion.

Removing Wallpaper

The most direct solution is to remove wallpaper from the affected area so that the scale of the issue can be properly assessed. The walls will be moist to a certain point, therefore, this job shouldn’t be too hard or take up too much of your time. Until the wallpaper has been removed, you won’t be able to see what needs to happen next.

Rising damp treatment

It will be necessary to replaster. However, there is little point in doing such a costly job until you have put proper damp proofing measures into effect. Owing to the severity of rising damp, the plaster of internal walls will be deeply affected and need replacing. There is a chance that it has even begun to disintegrate. There can be no re-decorating once the plaster has reached this stage because it would be a waste of resources, time, and money.

Using a Specialist

The best thing to do is hire a specialist. Dampness in a house can be assessed professionally to provide insight into the best rising damp treatment options. The expert will make a full audit of the property inside and out and figure out the underlying causes. When you understand the root of the damp, a detailed plan of resolution can be forged. The specialist will also be able to take preventative measures to try to avoid the same problem from coming back. For older, period properties, rising damp is an incredibly difficult thing to navigate. Because the house has been standing for so long and it is logistically more trying to install effective measures, it may be more expensive and take a longer time to complete

Rising damp is easy to spot but somewhat ambiguous. It can be mistaken for other things and vice versa, however, if the signs are there then action needs to be taken to avoid a much bigger problem and structural damage setting in.