Unfortunately there are not any quick remedies when it comes to the question of how to repair rising damp. If you suspect you have rising damp in your property it’s worth getting a second, third, and fourth judgment as you don’t want to pay for unnecessary treatment. Rising damp can often be wrongly diagnosed, so it’s worth making sure that it’s definitely the problem before embarking on a course of treatment. Consider whether the problem might be caused by condensation, leaking pipes, defective plumbing, broken guttering, blocked air bricks, or poor surface drainage.
Measures that enable your property to ‘breathe’ are key to controlling rising damp. The Building Research Establishment advises that any method used to retrofit a damp-proof course should have an Agrément or another third-party certificate.
While you’re waiting for treatment to kick in, ventilate your property properly. Even though this won’t fix your rising damp trouble, it will prevent it from getting worse. Ventilation is particularly important in older properties that have suffered with a rising damp issue in the past. Ensure air can circulate freely between the cellar, if you have one, and the ground floor. Take out vinyl flooring or rubber-backed carpets, and replace with a breathable material instead. This will allow fresh air to circulate and dry out the damp internal wall. Take advantage of extractor fans and dehumidifiers to keep the humidity levels in your property low is advice given by this contractor of damp proofing in Barnsley.
Is there a long-term solution to rising damp?
The best solution to your long-term damp problems is to routinely check your damp-proof course.
A damp-proof course is a barrier between your home and the ground, typically made from a tough material. This should be visible on your exterior walls, around six inches above ground level. It might be compromised if the ground level close by has been raised above it, which means the ground water is then above the damp-proof course, letting water penetrate the brick work. You can fix the issue by digging a ditch alongside the blockage so that the ground level is no longer above the damp-proof course. Be sure that the ditch is well drained – if it fills with water you could end up with worse problems.
If the ground level is still well below your damp-proof course, look at the internal wall cavity. Frequently debris can become trapped in here and can serve as a conduit, carrying water above the damp-proof course and into your internal wall. Treatment for this will involve talking to a professional to have bricks removed in order to take away any debris which might be within the cavity.
If your damp-proof course has been damaged, you may have to contact a tradesman to setup a new one. The damp-proof course has to run underneath the entire property with no breaks. Replacing damp and damaged timbers and brickwork may also be necessary to ensure that your internal wall is completely dry. Repair costs would depend on the extent of the damage and the most appropriate treatment.