A major cause of decay to masonry materials. Even when mild it can cause unsightly crumbling and staining of internal finishes.
Rising damp, a worldwide phenomenon, is a major cause of decay to masonry materials such as stone, brick and mortar. Even when mild it can cause unsightly crumbling of exterior masonry and staining of internal finishes. It may also cause musty smells in poorly ventilated rooms.
What is Rising Damp?
Rising damp occurs as a result of capillary suction of moisture from the ground into porous masonry building materials such as stone, brick, earth and mortar.
How does rising damp occur?
Rising damp is the upward movement of ground water through permeable masonry walls. The water rises through the pores in the masonry wall via a process called capillarity. Capillarity is an electro-chemical process whereby water molecules are attracted to mineral surfaces, enabling water to move vertically through pores of a certain size despite the counteractive force of gravity.
All buildings are surrounded by natural moisture which is trying to get into the dry structure of the building. Dampness penetrated when the building design precautions are inadequate or through lack of maintenance. If structural deterioration due to rising damp or other causes of damp penetration is allowed to continue without proper treatment, it will lead to expensive damage to plaster, decorations, timber work and electrical wiring and will create an unhealthy living environment.
When there are moisture absorbent materials such as bricks, mortar and external readers in contact with the ground than the moisture will naturally rise through them. This dampness will continue to rise in the walls if not treated, bringing with them liquid solid particles which can cause greater damage if not treated.
As the moisture present in the walls evaporates when exposed to changing environment conditions, the liquid salt particles crystalline and expand leaving salt crystals on the surface. This process of micro explosion in the substrate starts to create damage to the structure of the wall. The problem becomes more compounded when these salt crystals attract atmospheric moisture which perpetuates the damage cycle. If we fail to treat this problem, can result in a house that is unpleasant to live in and difficult to sell, therefore it is important to choose an effective method of treatment.
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