Rising Damp can be defined as ground moisture rising from the ground by capillarity.

Physical Damp Proof Courses, an impervious barrier built into a wall just above ground level to prevent rising damp, became mandatory in the 1870's although some properties had them prior to this time and it took a few more years before  ALL properties finally incorporated them. Just because a property doesn't have a Damp Proof Course (DPC) doesn't mean that the property will be suffering from active rising damp, some will and some wont.

Whilst some have suggested that rising damp is a myth there is plenty of evidence to the contrary not only in the UK but also in other parts of the world notably Belgium, Denmark, Italy and Australia. It is however often mis-diagnosed and treatment mis-sold.

By choosing to have an independent damp survey by an independent specialist surveyor  you can have confidence that any recommendations to consider rising damp treatment will be after all other possible sources of dampness have been ruled out.

Firstly, depending on your instructions, the survey will be non-destructive and all accessible walls will be tested with an electrical moisture meter to determine if there are any high readings that are not air dry readings (when the plaster is in equilibrium with the surrounding air and which is quite normal). If high readings are recorded  that are not as a result of condensation we will, whilst understanding the limitations of an electrical moisture meter, plot a profile of readings to determine the extent of any possible dampness and then methodically start to eliminate all other possible sources of  moisture before even considering that the readings may be as a result of rising damp which is in fact the recommendation of BS 6576 (code of practice for the diagnosis of rising damp in walls and buildings and installation of chemical damp-proof courses).

If required, permissible and for an additional fee drilled samples can be taken for laboratory analysis or testing using a Calcium Carbide Meter to prove an occurrance of rising dampness.