Dampproofing is simply a barrier either physical or chemical installed into load-bearing walls to prevent water from the ground that enters a structure by capillary action. Water that enters or affects a building through any other route can move about in various ways but is not rising damp. Only rising damp can be cured by the installation of a chemical damp proof course.
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Rising damp is a commonly encountered problem in some types of building, however, it is often misdiagnosed. It is important that the investigations into dampness are undertaken by a trained and competent surveyor who can recognize and understand the problem. We would always recommend that the surveyor who undertakes investigations has been awarded the CSRT qualification.
Decayed skirting boards, crumbling or salt stained plaster, discoloration and staining, decayed timber floors, peeling paint and wallpaper are all common when walls are affected by rising damp. These defects are not always evident but when they are, a specialist inspection is always recommended.
Most types of masonry used in the walls of buildings will allow some water movement by capillary action; however, this is usually controlled by a physical barrier or damp proof course. If this physical barrier is absent, has broken down or is damaged then it is often possible to install a remedial damp proof course (DPC) to control water rising from the ground.