Home Improvements

#FixForwardFix: Rising Damp

In the first of a new series called #FixForwardFix, our team look at common household DIY problems and give you some tips and tricks on how to tackle them!  This week we met up with Herbert Makamba – who has been painting for 15 years now – and got his thoughts on how to deal with rising damp.

Rising damp occurs when there is inadequate protection in the building’s foundation to block groundwater and/or by rain water penetrating cracked or badly installed damp proof course (DPC). Herbert explained how the problem sometimes only manifests years after construction is complete, and is more prevalent in a lot of the older houses in areas such as Woodstock, Salt River and Observatory where moisture tends to sneak through structural cracks.

We recommend that people closely supervise the construction of their homes to make sure that all cement work is done properly, and that there are no cracks evident – these make the walls porous and susceptible to dampness. Although every measure should be taken to ensure correct waterproofing during the build, sometimes these cracks are caused by uncleared tree roots or branches that have grown over time.

Whilst rising damp issues can occur throughout the year, people usually tend to notice the dampness in the rainy seasons.  Damp causes the discoloration or staining of the walls, a noticeable smell of moisture, diminishing of grout, and the presence of mould. Aside from the structural damage, damp can also cause some nasty health problems, especially to those who suffer from asthma.

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Rising damp bringing you down? Contact Us to talk solutions and get your #FixForwardFix!

When faced with rising damp, the first step in the DIY process should be attempting to identify any obvious external factors, such as an overhanging branch or a crack in the wall, and removing these as best as possible. If your flower beds are higher than the damp proof course, dig away or lower the flower beds to divert runoff water from the building. Oftentimes some trusty PolyFilla and a coat of paint working in tandem with some garden shears are enough to solve the problem, but if not then it’s best to get experts in. Herbert says it takes less than a week to repair the affected walls and he boasts an enviable success rate!

You’re in good company