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Rising damp is a common problem. If left untreated it can become serious. Numerous factors affect its severity. These include:

  • Wall thickness
  • Groundwater levels
  • Masonry type
  • Rate of evaporation

Rising damp often requires treatment. When left untreated it can cause:

  • Spoiling of internal finishes
  • Erosion of the building fabric
  • Reducing the thermal properties of the structure
  • Negative health effects for occupants

What causes rising damp?

Capillarity action causes water from the ground to be absorbed upwards through the pores, or capillaries, within the walls. The height this moisture can rise to is largely dictated by the building’s construction. Wall material and type of mortar that is used will affect the rate of absorption.

Rising damp will eventually evaporate unless there are other factors that might inhibit evaporation. As a result, in most cases it is rare to see rising damp exceeding 1.5 metres above ground level.

What about hygroscopic salts?

Rising damp is inextricably linked to hygroscopic damp. Rising water transports moisture-attracting (hygroscopic) salts that are left behind within the fabric of the walls when the water evaporates. Even if the water source of a rising damp problem is resolved, an internal damp problem may still occur. This is due to the hygroscopic salts attracting moisture from the air inside the building.

These salts can also damage internal plaster. This happens when they expand inside the pores of the substrate during the process of crystallisation. It is therefore often necessary to replace plaster that has been damaged. It is also important to avoid future problems that might be caused by the hygroscopic salts.

How do you stop rising damp?

First a detailed survey must accurately identify rising damp in a building. Once identified, the best method for stopping it is a two-part process. Thanks to our new BBA certified damp proofing products, Newton can provide clients with the complete rising damp solution for both parts of this process.

1. Stopping the rising moisture at its source

In any new-build situation, a physical barrier to the rising water is inserted in the form of a damp proof course (DPC). At Newton Waterproofing, we use our own BBA certified Newton 809-DPC. However, installing a new physical DPC into an existing structure is prohibitively expensive and impractical in most situations. An alternative solution is therefore required.

The most practical and cost-effective method is therefore to use Newton 804-DPC. This alternative converts an existing mortar course within the wall into a new DPC. Newton 804-DPC is a high strength damp proofing cream that works by diffusing into and along the mortar course. It then cures into a breathable and water-repellent barrier that stops the rising damp in its tracks.

Suffering From Rising Damp

2. Reinstating damaged or salt-contaminated plaster

Damp Proof

Although the new DPC is almost immediately effective, hygroscopic salts may still reside within the wall fabric. Unfortunately, they will still attract moisture, and will still cause the wall to be damp. Correct re-plastering is therefore essential. In such scenarios Newton 808-RA can be employed as a salt-resistant render additive. It is an essential part of the Newtonite rising damp solution.

Newton 808-RA is used within the sand and cement render. It prevents the passage of both residual moisture and hygroscopic salts from the underlying masonry to the new decorative surface. This ensures that no further damage occurs.

What About Damp Proof Membranes?

The best damp proofing solutions use different products in combination. This creates the most comprehensive defence possible.

The Newtonite Damp Proofing System now contains a comprehensive range of products. They can be utilised in different combinations dependent on the scenario.

For example, Newton Damp Proofing membranes can be used together with Newton 804-DPC. This is useful when the wait time for the wall to dry out is not practical. It can also be used as an alternative to direct rendering with Newton 808-RA render. In some situations, it will not always be possible, practical, or recommended to inject a new DPC. A wall membrane like Newton 805 Newlath will be the only solution in many circumstances.

Newton 805

Newton 805 Newlath has a meshed surface which creates a mechanical key. This allows the membrane to be plastered, rendered or to receive dot & dab plasterboard.

Collectively, the products within the Newtonite System make it possible to deal with all forms of dampness. From rising damp to penetrating damp and residual hygroscopic damp to condensation, they provide outstanding protection. All Newtonite products provide the client with a fully BBA certified solution. Please contact us for advice about the best products for your project.

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