Rising damp is the transfer of moisture from foundation level to internal structure due to a defective or compromised ground level damp course.
Penetrating damp is the transfer of moisture from a specific point of entry, usually due to external damage to the structure of the property.
Damp in your home can be unhealthy, unsightly and can lead to timber decay and heat loss. Rising damp carries hygroscopic ground salts from the ground, which absorb moisture from the atmosphere leading to the salt breaking down internal plaster and decorations, ruining them. If left damp problems can cause severe problems to a buildings structure. Damp can be detected through a musty smell, or the appearance of mould, wet rot or dry rot in skirting boards, roof or floor timbers.
If left untreated, damp in the home can have serious health implications. Mould, wet rot and dry rot can all release spores into the atmosphere which can be harmful when inhaled, particularly to those with asthma; a condition provoked by the presence of increased moisture and condensation characteristic of damp problems
WHAT CAUSES DAMP IN PROPERTIES?
Damp can be caused by various factors. The most common form of damp problems are caused by condensation, rain penetration, rising damp or from high ground levels.
If your property does not have a damp proofing course (DPC) or the damp proofing cause is bridged or faulty, dampness will be able to rise through the ground into your walls.
Water ingress can also be a major cause of damp within a property, leading to severe issues such as wet rot. Unlike rising damp, penetrating damp tends to be localised in one area, so once the source of the water ingress is removed it should solve the problem.
Condensation is caused by a build up of water vapour (humidity) from every day living becoming trapped inside a property with inadequate ventilation. When temperatures inside a property drop the capacity for air to hold moisture reduces, meaning saturated air in the atmosphere turns to water droplets (condensation) on cold surfaces such as walls and windows.