Damp Issues - what to look out for

How to spot damp!

Having areas of damp appearing on our internal walls is not only unsightly and unhealthy,  depending on the cause, it can also be expensive to solve, so it is important to identify the source early and get it treated.  There are three types of damp that can have an impact on our properties – condensation, penetrating damp and rising damp, here we are looking at rising damp.

What is rising damp?

Rising damp occurs when groundwater soaks into a wall or floor, in the same way water would soak into a sponge. In order to prevent this properties have a damp proof course and membrane installed to seal and protect them, therefore, stopping water causing damage. A damp proof course is built into a wall above ground level with a damp proof membrane laid beneath a concrete floor. Newer houses will have a damp proof course and membrane although houses built prior to 1875 may not.

Damp prevention materials can and do get damaged over time, which can result in rising damp. Other issues that can affect a damp proof course are that the level of the ground is higher than the damp proof course or there is an issue or blockage with drainage. The key signs of rising damp to look out for include:

  • Damp stains above the skirting board
  • Crumbling or rotting skirting boards
  • Discolouration or staining on walls
  • Deposits causing blistering on walls
  • Black mould
  • Peeling wallpaper
  • Rotting floor boards
  • Raised floor coverings
  • Smell – you can often smell damp even if you can’t actually see it


Damp and mould can also cause harm to those in poor health or asthma patients, as the spores can be air-born and irritate the lungs.  So, if you suspect you may have a damp issue, look for any of the signs above and look to get it treated as soon as possible, this will not only save you money in the long run, but will improve the look of your home and help towards improving health.

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