When people talk about damp proofing, they are quick to think of damp proofing a property against rising damp. However, when we talk about it, we are talking about protecting your home from damp issues generally. Rising damp is less common than you may think; moisture, in general, is the big problem.

Rising damp

Image of Damp equipment

Misdiagnosis of rising damp is common. It is not as frequent now due to the installation of the damp proof course brought in by an act of Parliament in circa 1875. Properties are far better equipped at dealing with the issue of rising damp that is caused by water in the ground being drawn up through a wall. Something called a ‘damp-proof course’ prevents it. It’s a layer of waterproof material inside the wall (towards the bottom) used explicitly for preventing rising damp.

The tell-tale signs of rising damp problems are a lot more noticeable than other forms of damp. If you notice damaged floorboards or skirting, it’s important you get someone to assess the damage immediately. As previously mentioned, damp left untreated can cause damage that would lead to costly repairs.


Damp-proofing your home against moisture

The first sign of damp in your property could be strange dark, damp patches appearing on a wall above the skirting, in a corner or by a window. Once you’ve seen this you know the problem has manifested itself.

To understand why there is damp in your home, we first need to identify the defects that may contribute towards it. Damp occurs typically from the outside initially because of repair and maintenance issues, so we start there first and look for the external defects. To name a few likely culprits, we look out for:

  • Defective pointing
  • Spalling bricks
  • Drainage issues such as closed gullies
  • Too small or blocked guttering
  • Defective roofing – slipped or missing slates, ridge tiles.
  • High ground levels around your property.


Damp doesn’t just appear; if you spot a wet patch for the first time, then this is a clear indication that something has changed in and around the property. The last thing it will be is rising damp. There could be several reasons, so a correct diagnosis is critical. Condensation, penetrating damp, maintenance issues, cold bridging and exceptional weather conditions could all be responsible. At times remedial costs could be covered by your insurance policy under the appropriate peril clause, so the correct understanding of what is occurring within the property is necessary for a successful claim.

If you’re struggling with mystery damp in your property, please give us a call. We can correctly diagnose the cause and get your property on to a healthy damp-free path and comfortable environment.

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