What is Salt Damp?

Also known as "Rising Damp" and/or "Salt Damp".

Rising Salt Damp

Rising Salt Damp is caused by the same natural capillary action by which plants absorb moisture into their stems from the soil beneath.

Whenever there are moisture absorbent materials such as bricks, mortar or external renders in contact with the ground then moisture will naturally rise through them unless there is a barrier in the form of a damp proof course (DPC). This dampness will continue to rise in the walls unless checked, bringing with it liquid salt particles which can cause major damage if left untreated.

The Symptoms

Bubbling plaster, flaking paint, crumbling bricks, stonework, mortar, timber decay and/or a musty odour can be among the most common visible symptoms of Rising Salt Damp.

The Effects

As the moisture in the wall evaporates upon exposure to changing temperature conditions, the liquid salt particles crystallise and expand leaving salt crystals on the surface. This micro explosion in the substrate starts to create damage to the structure of the wall. The problem is compounded when these salt crystals attract atmospheric moisture which perpetuates the damage cycle.

Often there is no visual evidence of the damage being done. An inspection by our Specialised Technicians with a Moisture Meter is the only way to know whether there is a problem or not.

Rising Salt Damp, like a cancer in humans, will do less damage to the structure of the building if treated in its infancy.

Failure to treat the problem early and properly can result in a house that is unpleasant to live in and difficult to sell, therefore it is important to choose an effective method of treatment.

The Cover-up

It can be tempting to try and cover up any damp patches with a special paint or coating in the hope that the problem will go away. However, the dampness will often find a way round such coatings and reappear at a later date. Only by introducing a damp proof course can Rising Salt Damp be properly controlled.

The Solution

Click here to view Mr Salt Damp's Solutions »

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How do I know if I have Rising Damp?

Our products and services are specifically designed for the treatment of Rising Damp, so it is important to be certain that this is the cause of dampness before treatment begins.

Other types of dampness that affect buildings (e.g. condensation, lateral damp, penetrating damp) are treated in different ways - freecall us on 1300 793 359 for advice.

Diagnosis of dampness in buildings should be carried out by a specialist surveyor with a Moisture Meter, however, typical signs of Rising Damp include:

  • Signs of dampness limited to bottom 1m of ground-floor walls
  • Damp or decayed skirting boards
  • Salt deposits on the wall surface

If you would like to arrange for a specialist surveyor to visit your property, please visit the contact page or phone 1300 793 359.

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