Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Problem of Rising Damp Is Very Real; Some People Argue That Rising Damp Is a Myth. Peter Fall Begs to Differ

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Problem of Rising Damp Is Very Real; Some People Argue That Rising Damp Is a Myth. Peter Fall Begs to Differ

Article excerpt

Byline: with Peter Fall

UNBEKNOWN to the homeowner, there has been a battle raging for many a year in the surveying and damp-proofing industries. I don't know if I should say this, but there are certain academics who say there is no such thing as rising damp.

They have taken a set of bricks and placed them in a tray of water in a clean laboratory and can't reproduce the dampness surveyors have seen . Before you run off and consult your lawyers about claiming against the surveyor for committing you to spending thousands of pounds remedying dampness that didn't need to be remedied, think again.

After you had the work done, the dampness didn't reappear. So if it wasn't rising damp, what was it? A figment of everyone's imagination, condensation generated by the previous owner or what? No, it was almost certainly rising damp and the academics are mistaken because they didn't introduce the many other elements that combine to generate the damp problem.

One thing that isn't readily considered in the surveying industry is that rising damp is often the least likely cause of the dampness. There can be many other causes that should be remedied before we start the disruptive and expensive remedial damp-proofing.

Simple leaks are often overlooked, particularly leaking gutters or waste pipes. These drip down on to the ground and the splashback can soak the wall well above the damp-proof course. This splashback will eventually soak through to the inside face.

Sometimes the homeowner is overly keen on the garden and raises the soil adjacent to the house to above the damp-proof course, as high or even higher than the internal floor level. Not just the soil, in some cases rather than taking up the old cracked concrete path we can find a new path or a patio laid on top of the old. Here the damp from the ground simply bypasses any built-in damp-proof course and soaks across the wall. …

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