Rising Damp or Condensation?

Working out which type of damp is impacting your home is the first step to finding out what you can do about it.

Working out which type of damp is impacting your home is the first step to finding out what you can do about it. You can ensure that you save money by treating the correct issue in the most appropriate way.


Condensation, the most common type of damp, appears when naturally occurring moisture found in the air comes into contact with cold surfaces. Condensation is more prevalent in the winter months when the inside of our home is warm due to heating and the walls and windows of our home are cold from the temperatures outside.

Condensation becomes a problem when the relative humidity levels increase further and you find black mould starting to form. Or when you’ve been wiping away condensation and you find that you are beginning to need to wipe away the moisture more and on new surfaces.

There are ways to reduce the build up of moisture in your homes. Have a read of our blog ‘Top ten tips to reduce black mould’ for tips however if your house isn’t well ventilated and insulated to an energy efficient standard, you may struggle to get on top of your condensation issue.

Ventilation is essential for reducing condensation. Older houses were built with more gaps but over time we see people installing insulation, upgrading windows and blocking vents and bricking up chimneys without considering alternative forms of ventilation. Newer houses are often constructed with constant-running ventilation systems as they are more airtight and well-insulated.

Rising Damp

Rising Damp is a more difficult damp problem. This is where your brick walls act like a sponge and soak up the ground water. The water continues to rise along the mortar line (known as capillary action) and then gathers in that space, usually up to a meter from the ground. The bricks get saturated with moisture and then you start to notice that you have problems with damp and flaking plaster in your home.

The first you might notice of rising damp is a yellow/brown tidemark on the bricks on the inside plaster or wallpaper. Other tell-tale signs are skirting boards that start crumbling as it rots with the constant moisture, peeling wallpaper and a white powder forming on your walls.

Rising damp poses minimum health risks, compared to that of black mould caused by condensation damp. The damp proof course is quite often in tact but problems start when it becomes bridged, allowing water to pass beyond the physical barrier and up the wall.

Both rising damp and condensation damp are unsightly but treatable. However, understanding which type of damp problem you have and what the impact is on your home and your health is important and taking steps to minimise and eradicate it is crucial.

We are experts in all types of damp treatments. All our damp solutions are guaranteed to last.

Call us on 0121 666 7706 for a free, no obligation homeowner survey.