Written by

Danny Neill

How To Damp Proof Walls: A Guide To Treating Rising Damp

Are you noticing discoloured areas on your lower interior walls? Experiencing peeling wallpaper, blistering paint, or salt efflorescence? These are the most prevalent indicators of a Rising Damp issue.

In this article, we will explore the challenges associated with rising damp and, crucially, discuss the most effective ways to address and treat this common problem.

Rising Damp is frequently found in older buildings, typically due to the absence of a damp proof course (DPC) during construction or the failure or 'bridging' of a physical damp proof membrane. In most instances, implementing a remedial DPC is a cost-efficient solution that causes minimal disturbance to the property in question.

If left unaddressed, dampness in structures can result in significant structural degradation, timber decay, and the disintegration of decorative elements. Additionally, the presence of dampness can lead to the development of mold and dust mites, which may negatively impact inhabitants' health.

The primary cause of rising damp is moisture found in the soil or subsoils surrounding a building's foundation. Soil moisture often contains biodegraded plant material, resulting in impure water containing nitrate and chloride salts. As this moisture rises through the masonry work, the water evaporates and leaves these salts behind. Over time, this process can lead to a concentration of salts within the masonry, which exacerbate existing dampness issues due to their hygroscopic nature.

Rising damp occurs as a result of water being drawn up from the ground through capillary action. In the absence of a sufficient DPC, dampness may rise to a height of approximately 50cm (but no more than 1 metre) above the skirting level, typically appearing along the full length of the affected wall.

When an existing DPC is damaged or compromised, isolated damp patches may emerge. In these cases, it is crucial to address the problem by either renewing or repairing the Damp Proof Course to mitigate further deterioration and damage.


Identifying the difference Rising Dampness vs. Penetrating Dampness

Identifying the type of dampness affecting your building is crucial for determining the appropriate course of action. Two common types of dampness, which can commonly mimic one another, are rising and penetrating damp.

It's important to distinguish between them as each has its own unique symptoms and treatments.

For more information on the differences between these types of dampness, please Read our Blog Post on the topic.


What Treatments are Available For Rising Dampness?

To address problems associated with Damp Internal Walls, various innovative and effective treatments are available. These treatment methods are tailored to target rising damp in internal walls and safeguard the structural stability, aesthetic appeal, and overall comfort of the space.

The primary treatment options for rising damp in internal walls are as follows:


Damp Proof Membrane (DPM):

Damp Proof Membranes are impermeable dimpled plastic sheets that create a highly effective barrier between the damp wall and any new internal finishes, preventing further penetration of moisture.

Platinum Chemicals are a reputable provider of high-quality damp proof membranes, catering to a diverse range of needs in the industry. We offer an extensive selection of products from top brands such as Newton Waterproofing, Isola Platon, Wykamol, as well as our own Platinum Brand.

Damp Proof Membranes are a crucial component when it comes to damp-proofing above ground walls that are subject to rising damp, penetrating damp, or salt contamination. The installation of these membranes is essential as they provide an effective barrier against moisture ingress, making them an indispensable solution to combat damp-related problems. We have put together an informative guide on how to install damp proof membranes to ensure that our clients can make the most of these products.

At Platinum Chemicals, we understand the importance of having a damp-proof surface that is isolated from moisture and salts. The use of damp proof membranes ensures long-term protection of walls and internal finishes, even in damp-prone environments. By separating the dampness within the walls from the wall finish, the installation of a damp-proof membrane completely eliminates any concerns about moisture damage.

We also provide a variety of Ancillary Products that complement the use of damp proof membranes, including Fixing Plugs and Sealing Tapes. These products are designed to work in conjunction with membranes to provide a superior level of protection against dampness.

Furthermore, we offer Damp Proof Membrane Kits that come complete with recommended number of Fixing Plugs and Sealing Mastic / Washers, streamlining the purchasing process for our clients.

Why not visit out Damp Proof Membrane Hub Page to explore our full range of Membranes.

Installation of Platinum DM2 Damp Proof Membrane fixed with Platinum 'Mesh-Fix' Plugs


Damp Proof Cream:

Damp Proof Creams are a popular, user-friendly option for the treatment of Rising Dampness. These creams, which are typically silicone-based, are injected into pre-drilled holes within the affected walls.

The injection of a Damp Proof Cream is a highly effective and straightforward solution to treat rising damp in masonry substrates. This method offers several benefits, including a swift injection process, the ability to minimize mess, and a low hazard product. Our team at Platinum Chemicals is proud to offer a wide range of market-leading Damp Proof Creams that can be used in various types of masonry without the need for high-pressure equipment.

Our extensive selection of products includes many reputable brands such as DampSolve™, DampSolve™-40Ultracure™, Tri-Gel and Tri-Cream. We provide our clients with some of the best damp proof creams on the market that are sure to meet their specific requirements.

At Platinum Chemicals, we are committed to delivering comprehensive solutions, which is why we offer a range of damp proofing cream kits in addition to our product line. Our kits come complete with a range of cartridge sizes for the DPC injection cream, the needed applicator(s), and drill bits so you can have everything you need in one place.

Our team is dedicated to providing our clients with high-quality products and services. We take pride in our vast industry knowledge and expertise, and our proficiency in supplying and implementing damp proof creams enables us to support the success of our clients throughout their project.

We have also put together an Informative Guide on How to Install a Damp Proof Cream.

Our full range of Damp Proof Creams can be found on our Damp Proof Cream Hub Page

Injection of Ultracure Damp Proof Cream into Masonry


Damp Proof Chemical Injection Fluids:

Damp Proof Injection Fluids are a trusted and reliable solution for the treatment of rising dampness in walls. The application of these fluids involves injecting them into masonry walls through pre-drilled holes in either the bricks or mortar joints. This process creates a continuous barrier that effectively prevents water from rising through the ground and damaging the wall.

Damp Proof Fluids are injected at low pressure using specialised Chemical DPC Injection Pump and Lance System. This method allows for a smooth and efficient application that guarantees the desired outcome, which is the formation of a watertight barrier in the wall, similar to what can be achieved with damp proofing creams.

Our extensive selection of damp proofing fluids includes top-of-the-line brands such as Wykamol Microtech PIF and Triton TRIJECT 3, the latter of which is BBA Certified. Both types dilute with water to create a ready-to-use solution of 25 litres.

Installation of Triject 3 Damp Proof Fluid into Masonry


Salt Neutraliser:

Salt Neutralisers are an essential component in the treatment of walls affected by rising damp that come with white, powdery efflorescence deposits, or 'salts'.

At Platinum Chemicals, we offer a specially formulated solution, Salt Neutraliser, that is designed to counteract this phenomenon effectively. This solution contains unique formulations that treat efflorescence and salt deposits on walls.

Salt Neutralisers can be applied to the affected walls using either a brush or spray. In some cases, Salt Neutralisers are applied before other damp treatment methods and act as a preparatory step to address any existing salt issues.

Typical Appearance of Salt Efflorescence on an Internal Wall


Render Additives for Re-Plastering:

Following a Chemical DPC, residual efflorescent salts may be present in the wall, which can be harmful to the plaster finish and result in unsightly damp patches. Therefore, it is vital to implement a suitable re-plastering specification that includes the use of a salt-inhibiting and waterproofing product such as Wykamol RenderProof.

Wykamol RenderProof is a high-performance admixture that has been specially designed to tackle salt damage arising from the presence of residual ground salts. It contains unique formulations that work together to create a physically and chemically resistant barrier, which prevents the passage of salts that are detrimental to plaster finishes.

By preventing the migration of harmful salts, RenderProof helps to inhibit dampness, thereby reducing the risk of unsightly stains and other damage to the plaster finish.


Renovation & Finish Plasters:

Renovation Plaster and Finish Plaster are commonly used after a successful installation of a Chemical Damp Proof Course (DPC) to further prevent issues related to dampness, salt migration, and condensation.

Renovation Plasters are specially designed to refurbish damp and salt damaged walls, providing a smooth surface for further decoration. It is formulated using perlite, a natural volcanic material that helps to improve thermal performance and reduce the risk of condensation. This type of plaster is formulated with a water-resistant admixture to ensure that moisture cannot penetrate through the surface. The result is a durable and long-lasting surface that is able to withstand the effects of moisture.

Finish Plaster, on the other hand, is used to provide a decorative finish to walls that have been treated with a DPC. This type of plaster is commonly used to provide a smooth, ready-to-paint surface.

Together, these materials form a protective barrier against dampness and salt migration, helping to prevent the formation of black mould and other issues related to dampness. By using Renovation Plaster and Finish Plaster after a DPC has been installed, property owners can ensure that their walls will remain dry and free from damp-related damage for many years to come.

Re-plastering of an Internal Wall Surface


Need Technical Advice?

If you are experiencing issues related to dampness in your building, it is important to seek expert advice and assistance as soon as possible.

Whether it's Rising Damp, Penetrating Damp, or other moisture-related issues (such as condensation), these problems can cause significant damage if left untreated.

If you need advice and guidance on the best course of action to take, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our team of experts have extensive experience in dealing with all types of dampness issues and can provide you with tailored solutions to suit your specific needs.

So why wait? Contact us today to see how we can help you overcome dampness in your building and ensure a safe and healthy environment for you and your loved ones.