Rising Damp and Penetrating Damp

The Difference Between Rising Damp, Penetrating Damp, and Condensation Damp In A Building

Dampness comes from many different sources in homes and it’s important to investigate thoroughly in order to eliminate the source completely. In addition to condensation, there is also rising damp and penetrating damp. It’s possible to have a combination of two or three types all in the same structure which can make diagnosis more complicated at times. Here are some of the ways you can separate the types and what to do about them in order to dry out your property.

The Most Common Damp Is Condensation

Condensation is from moisture that is contained in the air which turns into water when it meets a cooler surface. There are many sources of moist air in a home, especially the bathroom, kitchen, laundry areas, and the basement. It is typically more noticeable in the winter months because when the air outside is cold, the moisture tends to settle on the window panes in obvious amounts. While less noticeable, that same dampness is also settling on the cooler walls of the home as well.

Better ventilation is a quick way to reduce the problem and many homes that have been sealed up tight for energy conservation measures usually lack adequate airflow. It’s important to make sure that clothes dryers, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchen cooking areas have exhaust fans to remove hot, moist air as it’s created.

Rising Damp Comes From Below

You’ll usually see rising damp on the lower portions of walls where it has seeped up from below. Rising damp has a maximum rise of about 1.5 meters from the source but one has to be careful since sources can be misleading. Stopping the seeping is most easily done during the original construction of the building by installing damp-proof membranes like plastic or felt to block the water from its source in the ground.

Newer construction is almost always required to have moisture barriers but sometimes they are penetrated or bypassed because of new groundwater levels outside and accumulations of water that change over the years. It’s important to keep a keen eye on exterior drainage to ensure that runoff continues in a normal manner. Concrete and masonry are particularly prone to rising dampness.

Penetrating Damp Comes Straight Through The Wall

This kind of dampness can be seen when the exterior walls have become wet due to driving rain. Rather than seeping up a wall, it’s coming straight through the wall instead. That is the biggest difference between rising damp & penetrating damp. It can almost always be traced to some kind of faulty gutters, downspouts, roofing, or obvious cracks in the walls and can be diagnosed during a hard rain while it’s happening.

Now that you know what the difference is between rising damp and penetrating damp, you can troubleshoot your problems with water coming into your home. Many times the solution is obvious, like fixing the roof, gutters, drainage, or ventilation. Other times you’ll need to call in professional that can help you pinpoint the problem and then offer a solution.

Rising and penetrating damp can cause serious issues in your home. Use the form below to get in touch with one of our experts.

The Edinburgh Damp Proofing Company