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Rising Damp Service Covering Plymouth, Devon & Cornwall

Rising damp is the procedure of moisture rising up from floor level being absorbed by capillary action from the buildings porous fabrics such as plaster, block or bricks like a sponge. This will result in the area wall affected becoming damp as you slowly start seeing hygroscopic salts creeping up the wall inside the plaster and brickwork. Once the water evaporates the hygroscopic salts are left in the wall and start drawing further moisture out of the surrounding atmosphere. If the problem is not fixed the wall will get more and more saturated causing crumbling and bubbling plaster. The white salts will become clearly visible as it climbs higher and higher. Its height will be identified as a white tidemark across the wall and will usually not exceed more than a meter high.

If continued to be left over time with no treatment further issues may set in such as risk of beetle attack and infestation to the woodwork, wet and dry rot taking hold as the timbers adjoined become soaked. Be warned, beetle infestation can spread to timber furniture too. The complete procedure is gradual and it may be quite a few years until it shows itself as a major problem, but by then it can be a worry weather it can be saved or not. Only a detailed survey will tell you.

Another issue for concern is damp bridging the existing (DPC) or damp proof course. Something as innocent as a raised flowerbed laying against your home unaware to you but it has been raised above the DPC level in your wall. Moisture content from the soil, ground and splashing rain would bridge over the existing DPC resulting in moisture being drawn up through the wall. In this case it would be a simple fix. Simply lower the raised flowerbed so as it’s below the existing DPC level. If left the DPC can and will deteriorate and eventually fail completely making the problem 100 times worse. Deterioration of the DPC is eventually inevitable due to ageing. This can happen at any time and any place along an ageing wall. It is also quite common to see damp prevention installments not carried out correctly and so not doing as it should so damp is still very much present.

Rising Damp
Rising Damp

Rising Damp will happen if there is:

Treating Rising Damp

There are a number of methods than can be used for the treatment of rising damp. These methods all work together and have proven to be successful when installed correctly with the right materials and specifications quantities. Here at PDP can perform a detailed tailor made survey of your problems to reach a conclusion prior to delivering you with a diagnosis for the best solution to repair. The appropriate fix is categorized as belowground & above ground.

Above ground

The process involves drilling into the wall or each brick at calculated points to inject pressurized chemical silicon based gel damp proof course. As the chemical under pressure it is forced into the wall or brickwork creating a barrier to moisture. To determine the height on where you drill and inject is dependable to the circumstances of the site to be treated such as internal sub floor levels to external ground floor levels. The procedure is best undertaken from the internal side rather than the exterior due to the external render, moldings and plinths especially on older properties making it problematic. The procedure involves hacking off all plaster that has been contaminated from floor level up to a meter high. This plaster will be replaced with new plaster that has been specially formulated to a specific specification, which complies with BS6576/1985 guidelines and codes of practice.

There are also other applications that can be applied to work in conjunction such as applying a water repellent masonry cream solution to provide further protection especially in locations where the area is exposed to long periods of heavy driving rain splashing over the (DPC) damp proof course or if highly porous bricks are present.

Below ground

On walls such as party walls between two properties or if there is suspicion of lateral penetration damp through a solid or suspended mezzanine timber floor caused by a higher ground level from the neighbor property so bridging the DPC the use of a waterproof cementitious membrane should be installed. This will be necessary to be applied below the treated area of injected DPC in order to prevent water penetration into the skirting and sub floor levels. This treatment membrane contains chemical slurry made up from cement.

When applied to the wall in question it penetrates the surface then reacts to provide a barrier against water and moisture movement through earth, clay or soil retaining walls. This treatment can work in combination with the chemical damp proof course (DPC) treatment and is commonly used for basement waterproofing either as a standalone solution or in conjunction with a cavity drainage waterproofing installation.

All work guaranteed

All products used in all our treatments are quality approved by the BBA. The manufactures for the products we use are major companies such as Safeguard, Delta, and Triton. Our engineers regularly go on training courses to ensure they stay fully versed in the correct procedures for installation. We also issue our very own guarantee that on request is insurance backed and has third party cover. Feel free to call us for help or advice.

Here at Plymouth Damp Proofing (PDP) have a friendly understanding team who offer guidance, support, help and advice with any problems you may have in dealing with rising damp in your home or a friend’s home. We work with commercial clients and residential clients so as to provide a service second to none producing a high standard of workmanship boasting exceptional quality, specialist surveys with correct diagnosis and specialist systems of installation ensuring your property will stay fully protected at all times of the year.

Paint bulge
Moisture meter

Rising damp explained simply & damage caused

Rising damp does exactly what it says on the tin, it is damp, which rising up from ground level through your walls, a bit like a sponge effect, and only happens at ground level to an approximate height of about a metre. The height can it reaches can easily be identified by crumbling and bubbling plaster, a tidemark clearly visible on the wall and decayed render or brickwork on the outside.

You can simply run away from Rising Damp, you have to face it head on. It is essential not just to leave it thinking it will go away. Unfortunately it will not. As the process continues it will pass through all permeable layers it can an have a considerable effect on the structural integrity of your property by discharging minerals leading to sever decay in timbers. Rising damp can increase you heating bills because heat will pass a lot more frequently between walls that are damp. This then can cause condensation. Also mold growth can be encouraged to grow leading to problems with ill health for the occupants living there. Mold can spread to your furniture and damage that too.

All these factors should be considered as a serous risk so it is so important to act as soon as possible

What can I do about my rising damp problem?

Number 1 on the list you must do is to ring Plymouth Damp Proofing (PDP) as soon as possible for a survey. We have experts who have been involve with issues with rising damp for many years and know the entire different scenario database there may be and the causes. We approach each case survey systematically and methodically to ensure we identify the exact points of failure so as we produce the correct diagnosis in our report to initiate the fit for purpose repair. All this information will be passed to our engineers who will carry out a timely speedy insulation to suit your needs and requirements.

Here's a previous project…

We were called out to survey a property that thought she only had a leek from around her windows, as there was damp present to the walls around the window, but that alone is not sufficient to conclude it to be rising damp. Once we had finished our detailed tailor made survey and investigation it resulted in a rather unpleasant conclusion. The properties damp proofing was completed insufficient, rising damp had took hold and deposited hygroscopic salts into the fabric of the walls and was drawing further moisture from the atmosphere leaving the wall wet with condensation. Once and explained in detail to her the situation she was so grateful and relieved she that she had someone onboard who was properly attending to her needs? We set to work by removing all the internal plaster affected up to a metre in height after which we appended a new damp proof course into the wall. Once this was set we re plastered the wall with a specialist renovating plaster to leave the project protected from further hygroscopic salt resettlement. She received our 30 year guarantee, which is now with a new owner as it is transferable.

Science behind rising damp

Rising damp can be recognized by a distinguishing tidemark. This is apparent on the lower areas of the walls in question where you can see the rising damp drying out inside the internal plaster.

Rising damp carries salts - these salts are called nitrate and chloride salts. They originate from the ground and together they are called Hygroscopic salts. Together as hygroscopic salts absorb and soak up moisture from the atmosphere. As the salts migrate they are deposited further and further up the wall and a tidemark will star to be apparent. These tidemarks begin to appear due to the evaporation process. The internal salts start to accrue on the surface of the plaster as they are deposited and begin to attract moisture from the air and this moisture is added to the moisture drawn up from the ground potentially doubling the amount of moisture in and on the effected wall.

What are the symptoms of Rising damp?

Each property has different scenarios but usually you can spot the telltale signs in a number of ways.

If any of the above signs are beginning to ring alarm bells as you have seen them in your property call Plymouth Damp Proofing (PDP) now to book a survey. We have a friendly understanding team who offer guidance, support, help and advice with any problems you may have in dealing with rising damp in your home or a friend’s home. We work with commercial clients and residential clients so as to provide a service second to none producing a high standard of workmanship boasting exceptional quality, specialist surveys with correct diagnosis and specialist systems of installation ensuring your property will stay fully protected at all times of the year.

If you have noticed damp area patches in your home that are higher than a meter your property may also be suffering from penetrating damp or a condensation problem. There can be more than one way that damp is addressing you weather it’s at home or work the correct diagnosis is fundamental.

Damp in older buildings

You should never attempt to fix this problem yourself unless you are properly trained to do so as unfortunately it’s not a DIY fix. You need the assistance of trained professional using approved methods of practice. Properties over 70 years old are more vulnerable to damp problems as their core fabric material deteriorates over time breaking down the existing DPC so failing to prevent the damp and moisture from entering your home. If you own a property that falls into this category of over 70 years old there are a number of achievable resolutions available on the market to help you. Once installed correctly will prevent the damp from entering and will carry on protecting your property.

If you are here on this site reading all this literature regarding rising damp its probably going to be two words you wont want to hear ever again especially if your property is on the market or you yourself are seeking a new home to live in or a property to rent. No prospective buyer wants to hear the words rising damp issues or any damp problems for that matter, it puts them off immediately. Unfortunately though it’s a major part of all our lives and it often must be faced head on. It is important to diagnose it correctly and deal with it properly or it will end up being extremely detrimental to the property and very costly to repair. If your home or property you rent was build after 1857 it is very possible that it will already have protective damp proof course in when it was built but you will need to monitor it for deterioration. If your property or home dates back before this it may well not have any damp proof course whatsoever.

Damp treatment options:

Call Plymouth Damp Proofing (PDP) where a member of our technical team will be happy to assist you in booking one of our tailor made surveys for your property.

We can carry out the following treatments:

Many older buildings benefit from using an electrical osmotic system as an active damp proof course (DPC). This method introduces a minor electrical current directly into the affected wall to repel any moisture attempting to rising up so it stays in the ground so eliminating any rising damp problem.

If you own an older building weather its your home, place of work or a rental property, it is possible that it may be suffering from either a failing DPC or a failed DPC completely. If you see any systems whatsoever that may lead you into suspecting a damp issue you need to speak to a specialist as soon as possible. Plymouth Damp Proofing (PDP) has experienced technicians that can help and advise you in the correct way forward. We can arrange a tailor made survey designed especially for your building only so as we can provide you with a detailed correct diagnosis. All of our damp installation work is performed to the highest standard in accordance to the BS6576/1985 guidelines and codes of practice.

Can my pets or I get sick from rising damp?

If penetrating damp is identified quickly and treated soon after diagnosis it will not be a concern at all regarding ill health. The horrid musky smell and ugly looks are nasty but to be honest any risk to health issues are very small as long as its dealt with and not left as it is not recommended that an individual lives on a daily basis with damp condition surroundings for long periods of time, the damp needs to be addressed and rectified. If living with damp for long periods of time it may affect your respiratory breathing especially if you are an asthmatic. It can also affect pets if just left untreated accepted as everyday life.

Always take note of your surroundings inside a property weather your at home or at work, constantly working or living in a property with severe damp problems may result in large patches of black spot mold as condensation may form on the cold walls if the heating is on. If you have any concerns whatsoever please feel free to call us for some advice.

Sick pet
Sick dog

Can I do a DIY repair for any damp problems?

It is not recommended that you tackle damp yourself. Taking something like this on with self-treatments will not always give you the results you require. It is very easy to misdiagnoses the problem so you may well end up spending a lot more money in the long run to get it done right as you may find yourself spend money to put right what you may have done wrong.

Our Warranty/Guarantee

We are proud to say we take pride in our reputation and how we work. Upon completion of our works you will receive our personal workmanship warrantee along with our guarantee and a manufactures guarantee protected and backed up by the Guarantee Protection Insurance Scheme or (GPI).

We are also looking to become members of the Property Care Association, CHAS, Construction Line and Trust Mark for your peace of mind. All our warranty and guarantees are transferable to new owners of your home if you sell your property.

What lengths of Guarantee do we offer?


Every case of damp is different and depending on the scale and size of the problem costs to repair will vary. It is important that you have your property surveyed and an individual and specific report completed as soon as possible. Our service gives each customer an individual report with recommendations and quotation to fix the damp problem. To make sure we are giving you an accurate price, one of our surveyors will come to your property to investigate the problem. Once your property has been assessed we will discuss the findings with you and detail the way forward.

Our services we supply in short:

Remember your property is at risk if you let damp set in and do nothing about it!

Please feel free to contact us for further advice

If you are concerned about any of the above issues affecting your property, please contact us and a member of our team will be happy to help, as we are Specialists in Property Surveying.

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