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Rising salts is a more accurate description of rising damp

January 26, 2013
Base of wall dampness but not alas Rising Damp

Base of wall dampness but not alas Rising Damp

I have posted several times on matters relating to Rising Damp and I have often expressed my dislike of the term.

I would like to just explain why I don’t like these two words used together.

The term rising damp can be misunderstood by homeowners and thus allow some to exploit this ambiguity for personal gain.

Let me explain…

If you think rising damp is a term used to describe dampness rising up a wall then you would only be half right. This is because rising damp and dampness rising up a wall are not the same and should not be confused. The photo above is dampness rising up a wall but was caused by a leak in an old lead main under the hall floor and is not rising damp.

Possibly a genuine case of rising damp

Possibly a genuine case of rising damp

Rising damp isn’t really about dampness, it’s about salts. I have many photos of dampness rising up a wall, none of which are rising damp! This means that the word “damp” in rising damp isn’t very helpful because it doesn’t allow us to differentiate it from other types of base of wall dampness. It merely mixes them up!

Instead of using the term rising damp, just use the term rising salts. This is because rising salts, in my view, completely explains and differentiates “rising damp” from other types of base of wall dampness. It’s the type and distribution of salts in a wall affected by “rising damp” that’s the key to it’s diagnosis, not the dampness.

So the next time you hear the term “rising damp” just change the “damp” to “salts” and you’ll be completely up to speed. This may lead you to then ask some awkward questions!

.

Sorry…you can’t understand why someone would deliberatly use the term “rising damp” instead of “rising salts”… oh well let me explain, why don’t you.

I see many homes in my travels and during the course of one year I may see 40 properties with visible base of the wall dampness. However, only about 2 will be “rising salts”.

This dampness is caused by poor surface water drainage and is NOT "rising damp"

This dampness is caused by poor surface water drainage and is NOT “rising damp”

So in my world, if you were to use the term rising salts you would only get 2 opportunities to inject a chemical damp proof course (DPC). However, if you were a little more “commercial” and used the term rising damp, you’d get 40 possible opportunities. This you will agree makes the term “rising damp” a most lucrative proposition.

The 38 walls that don’t have rising salts but do have base of wall dampness would be caused by pipe leaks, high ground and surface water drainage /leaking gutters defects. These can be dealt with in other ways.

Anyway, this is all very theoretical, because no matter what the type of dampness, you must always establish the source and reason for the dampness BEFORE a remedial strategy is proposed. This is in accordance with Part 4 of BS 6576 2005.

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From → 3. Dampness

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