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Rising damp is usually found by the signs of a damp line appearing on the inside wall. This is often combined with damage to skirting board and decorations.

The result of this rising damp is structural damage to interior render- plaster systems. It should also be noted that recent findings by the asthma foundation concluded that damp rooms can increase the risk of developing asthma. Rising damp occurs when ground water is allowed to rise vertically through walls by capillary action and is caused by the breakdown of, bridging of, or non existence of, a damp proof course (DPC). Thus the dampness is rising through the actual mortar beds rather than through the brickwork itself.

If left unchecked it will rot any floor joists and other interior timber it comes into contact with, culminating in the development of wet rot or dry rot if conditions of lack of ventilation allow.

Plastering systems designed for replacing

damaged or salt contaminated plaster as part of a rising damp treatment system need to fulfil two key functions:

∘ Prevent the passage of residual moisture reaching the decorative surface during the drying process.

∘ Prevent the passage of hygroscopic salts from the underlying masonry to the new decorative surface in order to prevent further spoiling.

Rain penetration through masonry (known as penetrating damp) is a common problem in buildings – particularly in the case of those of solid wall construction. The problem is also increasingly common in buildings of cavity wall construction where cavity wall insulation has been poorly installed or used in walls that are not suitable for cavity wall insulation. Other paths through which rain can cross through a cavity wall include incorrectly positioned wall ties and mortar obstructions in the cavity.

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