Unwanted damp in your home can spell a whole lot of problems for your property. It can damage your wallpaper, plaster and paint, and even cause rot in the timber used for skirtings, floorboards and joists.
Does rising damp spread?
There are many causes of excess moisture in a building including penetrating damp, condensation and rising damp (also known as salt damp). Penetrating damp and condensation can look similar to rising damp but the latter is far more dangerous for a building.
Rising damp occurs when water from the ground disobeys gravity and migrates up through brick and masonry walls by capillary action. This causes the water to bring with it salts and minerals from the ground, which can erode decorative surfaces or corrode a masonry structure. Source
The first symptom of rising damp is usually a yellow or brown ‘tide mark’ appearing in the base of the wall, up to two meters above the skirting board, caused by salt deposition as the water evaporates. This is a common diagnostic feature of rising damp but can also be an indication of other water penetration issues or incidents, as the salt accumulations may still remain even after the original problem has ‘dried out’.
There are various preventive measures to help stave off rising damp – one of the easiest is to check and maintain the damp proof course in your bricks and mortar. The damp proof course is a discreet black line that stops moisture from being absorbed through the bricks and into the inside of the house, which can be a real problem in older properties.