Top Mistakes When Treating Rising Damp

Posted on: 16 March 2020

If you think termites and asbestos are the only significant problems that homebuyers dread, think again -- rising damp makes the list, and the characteristic musty smell is the first telltale sign that puts off homebuyers. The moisture in the walls creates the perfect environment for mould growth, which causes extensive damage to the home. Therefore, inspecting and treating rising damp in your newly acquired house must be part of the renovation process. However, it would help if you avoided particular mistakes in your rising damp treatment.

Misdiagnosing Rising Damp

The first step toward treating rising damp is to get the diagnosis right. However, most homeowners get this part wrong because they believe that any sign of dampness on the walls is a sign of rising damp. This is not true because moisture condensate can come from anywhere inside the house. The most reliable way to accurately diagnose rising damp in any home is to measure moisture content from within the depth of the wall. High moisture content inside the wall indicates rising damp; therefore, you will be sure you are treating the actual problem.  

Retaining Concrete Slab

You will most likely experience rising damp when a foundation is built on wet ground. The walls absorb moisture from the ground, which in turn evaporates inside the house, causing the plaster to flake. Therefore, it is crucial to replace the concrete slab in the foundation during treatment since it will have most of the moisture. Unfortunately, most people forget to do this, and they end up retaining the already damp foundation slab. This mistake will not eliminate the rising damp problem even if you inject a damp-proof silicone solution into the walls. The best approach is to avoid laying a concrete slab, especially in an old house. On the other hand, using breathable timber ensures any moisture that finds its way inside the home doesn't condense on the walls.

Ignoring Drainage

Poor drainage can magnify the rising damp problem significantly, even though underground water is the leading cause. However, not all property owners understand this, and they spend a chunk of their time treating the rising damp and ignore the contributing factors. Therefore, it is advisable to start by looking at the condition of the drainage system before you begin the treatment process. Inspect the piping system beneath the home and tighten the pipes adequately. Any rusting pipes should be replaced before you start treating rising damp. Ensure you hire a licensed plumber to correct the drainage issues for a successful rising damp treatment.