Rising damp is a problem for many Australian homeowners today, particularly those who live in older structures. When groundwater moves upwards into the floors, walls and beyond, rising damp is the result. Whilst natural evaporation eliminates some of the ground moisture, porous building materials like brick and mortar can trap the moisture, making an ideal environment for the rising damp to occur. If your home has rising damp, it's important to recognise the symptoms so the problem can be dealt with promptly. Here are the signs of rising damp -- and the rising damp repairs that can help. 

The Signs of Rising Damp: What to Watch Out For

There can be several signs of rising damp, including all of the following.

  • A distinct odour: before the visual signs of rising damp can be seen, you might smell it. An unpleasant musty odour might permeate the home, often growing worse whilst it's wet outdoors. 
  • Mould on the home's exterior: mould on the exterior walls of your home can be a common sign of rising damp. It's most often seen in brick homes but can develop on any building material. 
  • Plaster or wallpaper blistering or crumbling: the plaster on your home's walls may blister or crumble due to the trapped moisture.
  • Change in wall colour: the lower part of the home's interior walls may become discoloured due to the dampness.
  • Change in grout colour: the grout between tiles may grow darker in colour -- and sometimes even blacken -- when you have rising damp. 
  • Shine on the interior walls: the interior walls may start to shine in some areas. This shine, called efflorescence, results from the crystallisation of the salts within the wall materials.

All of the signs above warrant immediate attention. Contact a local expert in rising damp repairs to mitigate the damage as soon as possible. Read on to learn about some of the repairs that they might recommend. 

Treating Rising Damp: What You Can Do

Your contractor may recommend several different remedies, based upon your specific situation. Treatment for rising damp can include: 

  • Repair of leaks: if leaks are present, they must be repaired before any other treatment can proceed.
  • A new damp-proof course: the majority of homes today are constructed with a damp-proof course, a special plastic membrane below the home that prevents rising damp. However, you may need to have a damp-proof course installed if your home doesn't have one.
  • Liquid damp-proofing: liquid damp-proofing involves injection of specialised liquids directly into the pores of the foundation and wall materials. The chemicals used in liquid damp-proofing are often flammable and are therefore carefully controlled and can be injected only by experts.
  • Damp-proofing rods: damp-proofing rods contain a pre-measured dosage of chemicals that destroy and prevent liquid damp. The rods are placed within small holes inside the home's mortar. Whilst you can place damp-proofing rods yourself, the precise placement can be challenging so it's best left to the professionals.

Ready to ditch the rising damp? Contact your local floor waterproofing service provider for quality rising damp repairs now.