Rising damp is the gradual onset of water damage that can result from infiltration of dampness from within the building structure, either due to condensation within the building or external intrusion from external water sources. It is a common problem and must be taken seriously. Damp proofing and drying out the building is an essential part of reducing rising damp.
Condensation rising damp is most often caused by condensation on the windows and doors. In older buildings this may also be caused by the settling of the walls as a result of expansion and contraction during historic times. When condensation strikes the windows and doors the effect is steamy, thick, wet molds and mildew. This can cause untold damage to the interior of the building especially to the vulnerable wood framing around windows and doors.
If you are facing the problem of rising damp then there are a number of solutions to reduce and eliminate the moisture that is causing the problems. The first and obvious solution is to damp-proof the interior of the building. Most timber frames are not able to be treated to prevent moisture penetration so they will have to be left unadulterated for the best chance at prevention. In such cases it is best to use a variety of non-woven damp-proof course finishes. These include rubber underlay, rubber coating, polyurethane coatings, acrylic block membrane, and thermoplastic membrane.
As the dampness problem develops you will have to deal with cracks, mildew and warping in plasterwork, brickwork and timber, which will all further add to the moisture problem. If you can avoid the situation where moisture penetrates through the wooden framing then you should do so but even this may not be possible in many cases. This is especially true in older buildings. You cannot rely on finishing techniques to stop the penetration of moisture so the only solution to rising damp is to treat the wood, block, bricks and timber, and to seal and protect the surfaces from penetration.
You cannot prevent moisture penetration in your home or workplace but you can control it and you can do so effectively using modern damp proofing techniques. They are not complicated and do not require a lot of skill. You can achieve a tight and dry finish on the exterior walls by sealing the top and bottom surfaces of the walls and ceiling with a specially designed silicone waterproof cap. All moisture will be trapped between the silicone sheet and the walls and the ceiling will become dry.
You may need to seal windows and skylights as well if you want to keep the moisture level low inside the building. This is because the water vapor will condense on the windows and skylights and will rise to the roofs if the roof is not properly supported. Similarly, to control the moisture movement around doors and windows you need to seal the gaps between the panels and use reliable capillary action to channel the moisture into the interior chamber, where it is kept under control. In summary, you can prevent rising damp on your building materials and structures by following simple rules.