Ask an Expert: Rising Damp

For some homeowners, rising damp can be a major issue. It’s also problematic when trying to sell a home. It definitely turns off some potential buyers who can smell and feel the damp when they enter a home. While ventilation works as a short term solution, rising damp needs to be fixed before more serious issues emerge. We chatted to Mark Paliokas from DPC Restorations about rising damp.

What causes rising damp?

Rising damp occurs when ground moisture rises through a masonry wall. It can occur in brick homes when there is either no damp proof course, or the existing damp proof course is no longer effective.

Is it in all homes?

No. It often only occurs in older homes where the damp proof course has disintegrated over time and there is nothing stopping moisture from rising through the masonry wall.

What are the options to fix it?

There are a number of ways to fix rising damp. However, the most effective technique involves the low-pressure injection of a special water repellent chemical into a selected brick course. This chemical, developed by Westox, has been used in Australia for over 38 years restoring some of Australia’s oldest buildings. The injection of this fluid penetrates the masonry and mortar joints and as a result, forms a new damp proof course.

How much can it cost to fix it?

It depends on the job and the amount of labour required to complete it, but prices start from $70 per linear metre.

What happens if you don’t fix rising damp?

Rising damp can cause damage to the structure including decay of mortar joints/bricks, loss of structural integrity, damage to painted walls and rotted skirting boards. This results in a loss of value to the house, not to mention the health effects of rising damp.

What are the health effects of rising damp?

Damp brick walls can encourage the growth of mould, which can be a health hazard, especially for those with asthma.

How long does it take to fix?

It depends on the size of the house and the number of walls that need repairing. It can take anywhere from two days to two weeks.

What are the benefits of installing a chemical damp proof course?

The main benefit is that there is minimal disturbance to the existing masonry and it is a proven technique that is used worldwide. The correct installation of a chemical damp proof course comes with a written 20 year warranty with Westox.

For more information on rising damp and how to fix it, contact Mark on 0416 824 282.

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Ask an Expert: Rising Damp