Rising damp can cause considerable damage to your property and could cost you up to £5000 to fix. 

Officially, only 3% of flats and houses in England are affected by it, according to the Government's Housing Survey 2021-22.

In reality, it is thought that the impact of rising dampness is far more widespread.

“Damp is a very common problem throughout the winter in Britain, and if it’s left undetected or untreated, it can be a very serious and expensive issue," according to Malik Ahmed, DIY expert and director of Bolt World.

The DIY expert added: “However, there are multiple preventative measures you can take to keep your home in a healthy state now the weather has taken a turn for the worse, while hope is not lost if damp is already an issue.”

Is rising damp expensive to fix?

The cost of fixing rising damp can vary.

The cost of repairs can range from £200 to £5000, according to MyJobQuote.

On average, the cost of fixing rising damp is around £2750.

Therefore, discovering it in your home can have serious consequences for your health and finances. 

What is rising damp?

Relatively rare, rising damp is a form of mould which affects the walls of buildings.

Rising damp is found after moisture travels up from the ground through the walls, according to Permagard.

In other words, water from the ground is sucked up through tiny tubes in the bricks as if ti were going through a series of straws. 

Some of the first signs to look out for include plaster and paint deteriorating and the loosening of any wallpaper.

The experts at Permagard also note you can often see a "visible stain" in the form of a tide mark on the mark at the point where the groundwater has reached. 

They add: "You may also see salts blooming on the internal surface. This is something often associated with rising damp and will lead to the debonding of paints and even plaster work. 

"Externally, mortar may crumble and white salt stains may appear on the walls".

How to prevent rising damp

Malik Ahmed has outlined how to prevent your house from suffering from damp.

Here are five steps you should take:

  1. Identify Problem Areas: Check your house often for indications of moisture, such as mould development, water stains, peeling paint, or a musty smell. Pay special attention to wet places such as kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and spaces close to pipes and roofs.
  2. Improve Ventilation: A vital factor in avoiding moisture is proper ventilation. Installing vents, extractor fans, and often opening the windows will provide adequate ventilation, especially in places where moisture buildup is a problem.
  3. Maintain Gutters and Drains: Regular gutter and downspout cleaning will help avoid water buildup near the foundation. To prevent water seepage, make sure the home is properly drained away from it.
  4. Seal Cracks and Gaps: To stop water from seeping in, seal any gaps in the walls, flooring, or around windows and doors. To seal these holes, use the proper caulking or sealants.
  5. Waterproofing: Apply waterproof coatings or membranes to vulnerable areas like basements, roofs, and exterior walls to prevent water penetration.

6 ways to fix rising damp

Identify The Source

Determine the source of the moisture before taking action.

The DIY expert shared that possible causes include condensation, rising damp from the ground, leaking pipes, and outside water intrusion.

Repair Leaks

You should fix any leaks in pipes, roofs, or windows immediately to prevent further water damage.

Improve Drainage

If dampness is due to poor drainage, you should re-route or repair the drainage system so that it redirects water away from the house.

Treat and Remove Mould

You should also apply the proper mould-killing agents to get rid of the mould.

Throughout the procedure, make sure you have enough airflow and use safety gear.

Clean the damaged areas well after treatment.

Damp-Proofing Solutions

For rising damp, install a damp-proof course (DPC) by injecting a waterproof material into the walls or using physical barriers.

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Use dehumidifiers to reduce indoor humidity levels, especially in poorly ventilated areas.

Apply waterproof paint or sealants to walls and floors to prevent moisture absorption.

Seek Professional Help

Seek professional assistance and solutions from damp-proofing specialists, plumbers, or builders in extreme situations or if you're not sure what's causing the wetness.

Finally, the DIY expert also recommends frequent maintenance and checks of your home.

He added that regular "upkeep is essential to preventing moisture buildup.

"Plan yearly inspections for the damp-proofing systems in your house, and take quick action to solve any moisture or dampness issues".