Rising Damp

rising-dampThe classic signs of rising damp are:

  • Tide mark visible along the wall approximately 1metre above the ground
Large Blistering salt patches
  • Flaking Plaster and paint

  • Skirting boards swelling
Foul smells associated with the wood decay fungi

What is rising damp?

Rising damp is the vertical movement of moisture from the ground through porous building materials by capillary action, i.e. masonry-gyprock-timber-render etc. The moisture carries soluble salts from the ground, when evaporation takes place on the surface of the wall the moisture deposits the soluble salts into the surface of the wall.


The most common cause of rising damp is the presence of excess moisture around the base of the building. This excess moisture is usually the result of poor site drainage where the landscape slopes towards the building or; 
The downpipes are not connected to a storm water drainage system or;
 Where the ground levels adjoining the building have rising overtime and may have bridge the damp course or;
 Paths and driveways bridge the damp course or;
 Concealed broken sewage / water pipes exist. 
The damp course has simply passed it's service life. 
In most cases simply addressing the above issues  will greatly assist in reducing your rising dampness problem.

Preventive remedial action

  • Locate the damp proof course, and ensure there is no bridging by ground levels, this is essential.
  • Ensure that all downpipes are placed into a storm water drain or water retention tanks
  • Paths and Driveways adjoining the building should be 150mm below the damp course
  • Paths adjoining the building should slope away from the building, at least 50mm in the first 1metre.
  • Have a plumber smoke test the drains and test the water pipes, shower bases etc, for any leaks.


When the above issues have been rectified and remedial action implemented, allow six months for the drying out process to take effect.  If there is little or no improvement, we recommend that you seek our professional expert advice. 
Fixing rising damp can be a complicated procedure. Thousands of dollars can be  wasted when the causation and remedy is incorrectly diagnosed and advised. Some firms specialising in dampness often give conflicting advice on how best to fix the dampness problem. When remedial work is carried out based on the incorrect diagnosis, not only will the dampness problem continue but damage to the building may also occur and the whole process may have to be begin again.

We invite you to contact us and take advantage of our expertise, we can carryout an holistic inspection of the property and quickly diagnose any building or site issues that are causing the rising damp problem. We can also advise on the best 'industry accepted'  methods of fixing the rising dampness or any associated problems to ensure that the building is watertight in the shortest possible time at the least cost to your budget.