Often noticeable by efflorescence, which looks like a white, chalky powder on the surface of the bricks or mortar in a house wall, Rising Damp is one of the biggest concerns you can have in your home.

It is manageable but left alone it can cause serious problems to your home.

Rising damp can cause brick mortar and plaster to soften and become powdery. Dampness in the house can also attack timber (in the form of rot) and steel (in the form of rust). Paint will also peel off. Dampness will also encourage termite activity.

Salt Damp (where there is presence of salts in the rising damp) can also attack the bricks. Salts in the dampness will crystallise in the bricks when the moisture eventually evaporates. This occurs just below the surface of the brick causing it to delaminate.

So many things can happen to your home.

But not only can damp impact on the health of the home it can impact on the health of the occupants. Dampness in homes is can cause respiratory issues.

The source of the dampness is from the soils below the house (below the walls). In Adelaide where the soils can be quite salty the rising damp can manifest as Salt Damp.

And Rising Damp can occur in all homes no matter the age. Many people understand that dampness can occur in older homes when building techniques did not adequately address the situation. They don’t realise that newer homes can also be susceptible if not maintained well.

Whilst building practices have improved over the years through the Building Code of Australia which specifies that impervious damp-proof courses (DPCs) must be laid at the base of walls, below floor level, Rising Damp can still impact on newer homes.

If the DPC is incorrectly installed (it is not clearly visible on both sides of the wall) or is damaged, the result will inevitably be rising damp. If this barrier is bridged in any way then dampness can rise around the barrier.

A Reliable Home Building Inspector will look for signs that dampness may be an issue and will report on this. Dampness may not be apparent but if the conditions surrounding the home are conducive then it is important that the Home Owner is aware of this so they can take action to reduce the risk.

We will suggest remedies and provide tips on good home management of Rising Damp in future posts.