Moisture In The House, Rising Damp

Let’s talk about a topic that interests many and that is often a big problem not simple to solve. Moisture, Humidity and particularly Rising Damp.

You must first make distinctions about what is meant by moisture, in fact here we are not talking about an aspect related to the seasonal climate and even a problem related to the geographic location (although these factors, indeed, have an influence and concur to worsen it), but rather a type of moisture the cause of which is inherent in the house structure itself as well as in the subsoil composition and that, unlike the temporary moisture, has the feature of being constant and independent from seasons or weather. We’re talking about the rising damp.

In fact, the rising damp is fed by water in the ground that can affect the walls of foundations and extended across the basement of the building sometimes imbuing the entire thickness of the walls and creating big problems for the healthiness of the building.

Also a high humidity inevitably has a negative impact on the energy bills as a damp wall can result in heat loss of around 50% with negative effects on our attemps to reduce the energy costs.

We have more repeatedly argued in our articles that the comfort of our homes largely depends on the thermal comfort, i.e. a balanced rate of moisture.

In fact, if the rate is high, the rooms of the house are heated with difficulty and are less healthy, the walls of the rooms seem wet, the glasses of doors and windows are cold to the touch and, it must be stressed, it is absolutely useless to raise the thermostat if the original cause have not been solved.

Rising Damp, Capillary Moisture Ascending

Rising damp is the phenomenon that very often we have to fight and that is hard to eradicate.

It is a physical phenomenon that is highlighted by exfoliation of the plaster and typically starts from the bottom and propagates upwards to an extent that depends on the type of material with which the wall was built, its porosity, the process of evaporation and, ultimately, the quantity of water present in the soil.

In fact, the wall acts like a sponge that absorbs until all its pores are saturated with water and, to give a better idea of ​​the mechanical lifts, just imagine the absorption that occurs with a sponge rectangular placed in a puddle in the vertical position, the sponge will absorb all the water until it will not be totally impregnated.

From the scientific point of view the mechanism of the ascent of water to an higher level is possible for the difference in atmospheric pressure and the phenomenon of evaporation tends to balance this difference.

That said it is evident that some coarsa remedies that many people instinctively are used to put in place, such as repainting the wall surface with waterproof paint, does nothing but worsen the situation rather block the humidity rising.

Also the natural remedy which consists of the evaporation which, though insufficient by itself to solve the problem, at least tends to contain it.

Indeed humidity ‘not finding an outpouring it will try to find another one higher up, giving over to the phenomenon of rising damp.

rising damp

Remedies Against moisture problem ‘Of Rising Damp

The solution to this eternal and annoying problem is not simple. It is essentially to intervene to try to

  1. cut your way to lift moisture
  2. increase the possibility ‘of water evaporation
  3. reduce the amount ‘of water in the basement (where possible).

There are several solutions and remedies against rising damp, both chemical and mechanical or physical, we want to try to list a few but not limited to:

  • usage of chemicals that are injected into the wall and which form a kind of barrier impermeable upstream, in the absence of vent upwards, in some way forces the humidity to a greater evaporation
  • cutting horizontal masonry wall in order to insert a kind of waterproof diaphragm which can be made of different materials, from PVC to metal or sheets of synthetic fibers, all in order to literally cut the road to moisture. At the same time, given that somewhere the water has to go, you can intervene with
  • application dehumidifying plaster which by their porous structure increase the surface area and therefore the ability of evaporation of the wall.
  • inclusion in the wall of tubes (usually PVC) positioned perpendicular to the wall, in order to increase the exchange surface and then promote evaporation of a bigger quantity of water. This system is a good solution even though it has obvious negative aspects related to the aesthetics of the building.
  • inclusion in the wall of a system of low-voltage electrical cables to determine the phenomenon of electroosmosis in order to create a barrier to the upwelling of water formed by the magnetic field that is formed.

If you not able to intervene at the origin of the problem and that means on the flow of water from underground, trivially the brainwaive is to find the way to ensure that the amount of water coming from underground is in a lesser quantity than the disposal ability of the wall surface.

Measures To Avoid the Rising Damp

We have so far made reference to problems present in an existing building, but if the house is instead under construction or renovation, it would be desirable to use building materials more suitable to avoid the problem in general and moisture and specifically the rising damp.

Today in the market there are fabulous products that possess insulation properties, waterproofing, or to disperse moisture and prevent condensation and mold.

In particular are very effective breathable mortars in place of the classical mortars exclusively cement or acrylic compounds.

In any case, the classical ventilation of the house is definitely a good and healthy habit and joined other intelligent behaviors, as to avoid the stagnation of cooking vapors and stagnation of water in the bathroom and kitchen, as to keep at home wet laundry and other things such, helps to keep the house healthy.

In the house there are many factors that contribute to moisture even when there is not rising damp. Poor insulation of external walls (no coat insulation), the lack of an effective insulation of the roof or windows, but also the failure of some elementary rules of domestic practice as frequent cleaning and drying.


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