How to Spot Rising Damp

Rising damp can substantially damage your home or property. However, if you don’t have the proper experience, you may overlook early signs of its presence.

You don’t want this to happen. Obviously, overlooking rising damp could cost you a lot of money in the long term if you have to pay someone to repair water-damaged areas. However, rising damp can also lead to health problems.

That’s because mould tends to thrive in damp areas. The longer time rising damp goes unaddressed, the greater the odds mould will develop. This can cause people nearby to experience negative respiratory symptoms. For those who are allergic to mould, the symptoms can be severe. Unfortunately, removing mould is also a time-consuming and expensive process.

You can avoid these consequences by knowing how to spot rising damp early. This guide is designed to help people like you identify warning signs before a minor issue causes more significant problems. If you spot any of the following, get in touch with our experts today. We’ll take a closer look to determine the proper camp treatment.

Rising Damp Treatment Specialists Recommend Checking Your Wallpaper

If you have wallpaper in your home, check it regularly. Wallpaper tends to peel away from walls when exposed to damp. Paint may also peel away if you have a rising damp problem. Often, wallpaper starts to initially come loose from the skirting board. Be thorough when checking it to ensure you don’t miss this early sign.

Sometimes you may not notice the wallpaper coming loose right away. Instead, you might spot yellow or brown staining along the skirting board or lower wall sections. Even if the wallpaper or paint has not become loose yet, this is another good reason to contact a damp specialist.

Damp Proofing Experts Warn About Rust

You probably know that certain types of metal rust when exposed to moisture for a long period of time. As a result, you should monitor the condition of any steel and/or iron fasteners in your home vigilantly. If you do notice they are beginning to rust, get in touch with one of our damp treatment professionals.

The presence of rust does not immediately guarantee you have rising damp. It could be related to many potential factors. Either way, it’s important to let a professional inspect your home when fasteners appear to be rusting earlier than expected. At the very least, you’ll rule out rising damp as the cause.

Rotting Skirting Boards Require Attention

Moisture causes wood to rot. If you have wood skirting boards, keeping an eye on them is an easy way to find out if you need to call a damp specialist.

Skirting boards that have begun to rot often indicate a rising damp issue. However, they don’t need to be rotting significantly for you to have a problem. Sometimes, they may simply crumble easily under pressure. There are also instances in which they may have be merely cracked. Signs of mould along or near the skirting boards may also indicate rising damp. Either way, this is another problem that requires a closer look from an expert.

Skirting boards aren’t the only parts of your home or property that can begin to rot when exposed to moisture for a prolonged period of time. Window frames and floor boards are also vulnerable to rotting. Keep an eye on them as well to ensure you don’t miss any warning signs.

Chronic Respiratory Problems May Require Damp Proofing

Again, rising damp can result in mould growth. That means certain health symptoms could let you know you have rising damp.

Have you or other members of the household developed respiratory problems that didn’t affect you before? Do they seem strangely persistent? Maybe they affect you only when you are at home, or only when you are in a certain area of the home.

Obviously, you should always contact your physician when you notice these types of symptoms. They could be linked to many conditions. You want to make sure a qualified professional thoroughly assesses your health as soon as possible.

That said, these new symptoms may be related to mould growth. It’s also a good idea to get in touch with an expert who can check your home for mould.

Because mould often indicates a rising damp problem, contacting a damp specialist as well is a good idea.

Look for Clumps of Powder to Find Rising Damp

This is one of those warning signs that often baffles people who don’t know what exactly it’s a sign of.

Essentially, rising damp can transfer soluble salts from your bricks (or from the ground) onto your plaster. The result is often accumulations of a substance that seems to resemble fluffy white powder. If you do spot these, contact a member of our team right away. This is one of the more common (but sometimes surprising or confusing) signs of rising damp.

Plaster walls also tend to flake and/or bubble up when you have a rising damp problem. As with many of the suggestions in this guide, you’ll be more likely to spot the problem early if you make a habit of regularly checking your walls for any changes in appearance. General stain marks on walls may also be a sign you need a rising damp treatment.

Additionally, the salts which cause this powder to form may not be immediately visible if you have wallpaper. That doesn’t mean you can’t check for their presence. When checking the condition of your wallpaper, run your hand along the wall and listen for any crunching sounds. Such noises could mean rising damp has caused salts to accumulate behind the wallpaper.

Keep an Eye on Your Brickwork as Well

Paying attention to the condition of your home or commercial building’s interior is just one step in the process of checking for signs of rising damp. If your home’s exterior is primarily brick, you should also check its condition regularly.

Pay attention to the mortar between the brickwork. If you have rising damp, the mortar may start to crumble or decay surprisingly early. Repairing it could be very costly if you let the problem go unaddressed. As soon as you think your mortar isn’t in the condition it should be in, contact one of our experts to find out if rising damp is the cause.

Examine the Ground Floor for Damp Patches

Rising damp is the result of moisture being pulled up from the ground. Thus, early signs of it are often noticeable on ground floor levels of a home.

Inspect your lowest level for lifted floor coverings or damp patches on a regular basis. If you notice a problem on the ground level, you may be able to address it before it affects the other levels of your home. Schedule an appointment with a damp specialist to determine if further action is necessary. With the right damp treatment, you may be able to protect most of your home, saving yourself a lot of money in the long run.

Monitor the Condition of Your Drainpipes

Sometimes you can spot a warning sign that you’re in danger of developing a rising damp problem before the problem actually becomes significant.

For instance, although you can’t control every factor that contributes to rising damp, there are some you can. Keeping your gutters and drainpipes clear of obstructions ensures rainwater and other forms of moisture flow away from your home reliably and consistently. Thus, it’s important to keep remove clogs as soon as you spot them.

This may already be part of your home maintenance routine. If it isn’t, make it a priority. Taking steps to prevent rising damp before it strikes helps you keep your overall property in perfect condition.

Other steps you can take include making sure all areas of the home are well-ventilated. This is particularly important around areas where moisture can otherwise accumulate. You might also consider installing a dehumidifying unit in your home. Although this won’t help you if you already have rising damp, it can remove moisture from the air, helping to guard against it.

Get in Touch with Rising Damp Treatment Experts

Again, rising damp can cause structural damage and mould development. Addressing these problems is expensive. That’s why you should make a point of keeping an eye out for these warning signs.

That said, if you do spot them, our team can provide a damp treatment to help you avoid future problems. If you think you have rising damp, contact Mercian Preservation today to learn more about scheduling service.