Rising Damp

What is Rising Damp?

Rising Damp is when ground water is absorbed and drawn upwards through the material comprising the wall structure of a building by capillary action. This occurs in walls that either do not contain a physical barrier called a Damp Proof Course (DPC) designed to prevent the upward flow of moisture generally situated in wall sections up to a maximum height of 1 meter above external ground level or internal solid floor level usually limited to 1 meter height due to natural evaporation, or alliteratively contains a defective or deficient DPC.

What are the signs of Rising Damp?

  • Visibly apparent damp patches
  • Visibly apparent  deterioration of interior decoration e.g. wallpaper or paint
  • Visibly apparent efflorescent mineral salt contamination 
  • Rotting timber e.g. skirting boards, floor boards, floor joints
  • Visibly apparent flaky or bubbling plasterwork
  • Electronic moisture meter readings
  • Increased heat loss
  • Damp and musty smell


  • An accurate diagnosis and prognosis is required given that such symptoms can occur due to evaporation of residual rising dampness, during the drying out period, rainwater ingress, flooding and/or due to the presence of condensation dampness and can easily be misinterpreted as a consequence. 
  • In addition to being hazardous to properties (buildings) and your finances dampness (water) based issues (and the traditional solutions) can also be hazardous to people (human building occupants, health, comfort and finances) and the planet (the world environment eg climate change) and should accordingly be investigated on a holistic basis. 

If you experiencing any of these problems
an ISSE Member may be able to help.

Here is an article relating to Rising Damp that may be of interest

If you like to learn more
there are a wide range of training courses available with the ISSE