Sydney’s Specialists in rising damp solutions
Sydney’s Specialists in rising damp solutions
…after reading this page you’ll have more knowledge about solutions for rising damp than most rising damp companies want you to know!
Rising Damp Explained
Here are the facts.
Rising Damp is called “Rising Damp” because it starts at the base of the wall and moves slowly upwards.
The reason rising damp rises up the wall is due to a couple of factors, the main one being salt.
Water rises up the wall by capillary action homogenizing through the masonry to a point that evaporation can take place. As the dampness evaporates (lets say from the lowest 10mm of the wall) the solids that had been diluted the water will accumulate in the masonry at the evaporation point.
Most of the solids diluted in the water are salts. The salts accumulate in the masonry at the first point where the dampness evaporates (usually the first 10mm at the base of the wall/just above your skirting boards).
As salts accumulate in the surface the masonry, the pores of the masonry become more and more blocked with salts which slows down the evaporation in that lowest 10mm of the wall. The water will then rise above those blocked masonry pores to the NEXT point of least resistance (just above the salt which has already deposited) to evaporate more easily.
Now the salts are damaging 20mm of the lowest point of your walls. The salt damage will keep on rising up the wall until the weight of the water has enough downwards force (from gravity) that the water cannot rise any higher, even if the pores of the masonry beneath the highest point of vertical capillary action are already semi restricted by prior salt accumulation.
From this point on (if you don’t do something about it) the dampness will continue to evaporate from the already salt effected areas, accumulating to the point that the surface of the masonry eventually crumbles to dust!
(It can take some years for rising damp to become a structural issue).
Textbook rising damp does not generally go above around one metre, there are other factors that can cause it to go above one metre. As a general rule of thumb, if you have what looks like rising damp coming out half way up a wall (say 1.6m above the floor without any damage below that point) or from the ceiling, then it is highly likely that it is not rising damp.
If you have a basement that is RETAINING soil then you may require Basement Waterproofing. We are excellent Basement Waterproofers and have tackled some of THE most difficult basement waterproofing jobs you can imagine.
Rising damp with exposed brick will normally show with deterioration of the mortar between the bricks and after some time the bricks will start to collapse.
Rising damp with render will usually show in “bubbling paint” (it starts out looking more like pimples in the paint), salt deposits, stains and render breaking back down to its base components (appearing as sand and cement dust).
The damage resulting from Rising damp is not caused by the actual water its self, water is just the carrier for diluted salts. Water travels through masonry via capillary action which causes the masonry to become damp.
Water is the vehicle that carries the salt.
As waterproofers we see dampness and wetness as two distinctly different problems. There is a difference between damage from water and damage from dampness.
The damage you can see from rising damp is from salt. When salt is dry it is stable and when it is wet it is stable. As salt dries, salt crystals grow. These salt crystals grow between the tiny bonds of the sand and cement masonry and causes the bond between the sand and cement to break. When the bond is broken, the once solid masonry will return to its base components of individual grains of sand and cement, showing at the base of the wall as masonry dust.
Salt is transported by the vehicle (water).
The catalyst for the damage caused by rising damp is evaporation. If masonry is holding water that contains diluted salts, the water evaporates, leaving the solids behind. The solids are the salts. The accumulation of salt crystals is what causes your masonry to turn to dust and bubble your paint.
Therefore, MORE evaporation actually speeds up the damage being caused by the rising damp.
Evaporation is the “engine” that drives rising damp.
Rising Damp injection creates a barrier in the masonry which stops the water from rising. When the water stops rising, no more additional damaging salts can be deposited in your walls at the evaporation point.
Any salt that was deposited at the evaporation point due to the prior rising damp WILL remain in the substrate unless the salts are removed. The salts can be removed by either removing your render and re-rendering OR the salts can be removed from raw masonry (not painted or rendered) by using the cocoon salt removal system.
Below you can read more about if you *really* need to remove the render from your walls or if you can AVOID the additional cost of render removal and re-rendering.
It is a good idea to know as much as possible about rising damp. Rising damp and the solutions for rising damp are basic physics and are very logical.
You can see the rising damp injection fluid above is totally penetrating and flooding the bricks.
(Further down this page there is a video you’ll watch of a wall which we will spray with water 2 years after our injection was completed. In that video you’ll clearly see that the the whole wall and floor changes colour as it absorbs water EXCEPT the chemically injected damp course which clearly remains dry as the water beads off it).
Rising damp is an industry that has exploded over the past twenty years due to aging buildings built with obsolete construction methods.
There are many rising damp solutions available and it is worth knowing all your options before making a commitment.
Read this page to learn more about rising damp so you can make a more informed decision when either choosing us or any other provider.
Here’s a summary of the 6 main types of rising damp solutions
1. Chemical Injection (our choice)
We chose this system because the chemical composition is by far the best rising damp solution in the world (to our knowledge).
Because this product is injected into the masonry under pressure using 450mm long injection lances, it means we can inject deeper into the masonry ensuring we get all the difficult locations like around fire places, thick walls and complex masonry junctions.
2. Damp Course Creams
When access is difficult it is not possible to have 100% certainty that some spots were not missed (like around fire places, double brick intersections or triple brick walls). The chemistry of damp course cream is not quite as good as the damp proofing product that use. We inject around 10x more product than what is applied with damp course creams. Much less product is used with damp course creams so obviously it is cheaper than the system we have chosen.
3. Gravity Fed Systems
We did not choose the gravity fed damp course application due to the limitations it has in delivery of the product, its chemical composition and the chance that it may fail of the conditions in the masonry are not perfect.
4. Physical Damp Course
5. Sub-Floor Fans
6. Gravitomagnetic Amplification Devices
If the device did what they say it does, then the technology would be used elsewhere, but it is not. If you could actually amplify the gravitomagnetic waves (of planet earth) then rising damp would surely not be the ONLY use of this technology.
We are Licenced Waterproofers and we have a reputation for dealing with some pretty crazy underground waterproofing problems. When we deal with running water through the wall of a basement in Vaucluse and the client puts a cinema in the room after we have finished waterproofing, what we do REALLY needs to work and we need to trust the products we use to get the longest lasting result.
We use the best systems because it almost totally limits our liability and the chance of failure is very close to zero.
Because we use the very best products to protect ourselves and mitigate failure, it means YOU are also getting the best product and workmanship.
We don’t take any chances with people’s homes.
The video above is of a wall that we injected in Sydney.
This wall was in a basement and they had an infill slab. An infill slab is when your house’s footings are built, then the walls are constructed on the footings and at a later stage the slab is poured INSIDE the walls (modern houses usually pour the slab first and the walls are built on the TOP of the slab).
We successfully stopped the rising damp although they had another issue 2 years later during the huge Sydney storms in February 2020 where their basement flooded.
We removed all the render from the walls of the basement from floor to ceiling. The water you can see being sprayed on the walls is in preparation for a negative side basement membrane (the substrate needs to be damp for the membrane to be applied for proper adhesion).
As the water is being spayed on the walls you can see the water resistant damp course line is clearly revealed. The bricks above the damp course and concrete on the floor immediately change colour as they absorb the water but the damp course repels the water and remains dry.
You can see that using pumps for injection of a chemical damp course gives you a new damp course of around 100mm in height and that our chemical rising damp injection is reliable.
(A lot of rising damp contractors will tell you that you need to remove the render from your walls)
The short answer is NO you don’t always need to remove the render, but often you do.
As mentioned on this page, the moisture rises up your walls to the evaporation point, at the evaporation point the moisture obviously evaporates and the solids (that were diluted in the water as it passed through the earth and building materials) stay behind.
These solids accumulate at the evaporation point which is the surface of the render. Salts are HYDROSCOPIC meaning that they attract moisture, water and salt bond together very easily.
You know when it rains and you leave the salt open in the kitchen and it all sticks together? That’s because the salt is bonding with the water from the air.
If you have a high level of salt in your walls, the SALT is bonds with the moisture from the atmosphere and accumulates in the walls until the walls are visibly wet. Your walls can even sweat and have water beading on the surface to the point that water runs down the wall.
Taking the above into consideration, if you install a new damp course and there is a high percentage of salt that was deposited at the evaporation point due to the prior rising damp, the salt will remain in the wall unless the salts are removed. If the salt is left in the substrate it can still attract enough moisture from the atmosphere to be REACTIVATED. As these reactivated salts dry then they RECRYSTALISE (again) which causes the bonds between the sand and cement in the render to be broken apart (again) and the damage continues.
In summary, if you have a high percentage of salt in the substrate (even if you have had a new chemical damp course installed) and the salt is not removed by either cocoon or removing the render, then that salt can be reactivated by humidity then dry causing crystals to form which damages the render… The SAME salt that damaged the walls the first time can then AGAIN be reactivated by humidity then dry AGAIN causing crystals to form to damage your render AGAIN. This damage will reoccur over and over again until the salts are no longer present.
That is why often you are recommended to remove the render from the walls if you have rising damp.
Having said all of that, you don’t always need to remove the render. Sometimes there is no damage showing so there may be a lower chance that you get damage in the future. It’s something we review on a case by case basis.
Another little secret most rising damp contractors won’t tell you is that if you have salt in the substrate above the new injection line and it is not removed, the NEW DAMP COURSE can actually CAUSE the walls to result with MORE damage (because when salt is wet it is not crystallising, the dampness in the walls can sometimes hold the salts in a stable non-solid state). This additional damage can sometimes happen when the salt is not removed because the new damp course finally allows the walls to dry fully and as the salt dries, it crystallises.
How do you know how much salt is in the wall?
The short answer is you can’t unless you take a sample and get it tested. We can get that done for you but it is not such a cheap process. Usually bigger builders with large jobs get testing done.
Generally we can tell by the reading on the moisture meter, our trained eye and other clues around your house that will point us to the conclusion about if your house had been patched up and previous damage hidden.
The best way to know what’s going on is to give us a call and we’ll come and have a look.
providing reliable solutions for rising damp in sydney
Rising Damp in Sydney is a common problem and we are specialists in rising damp. Click below to see our rising damp solutions.
Basement waterproofing is one of the most difficult types of waterproofing. We have provided solutions for the most extreme basement waterproofing.
Dincel waterproofing is needed when you never want Dincel to leak. While dincel is sold as being waterproof, often it still leaks.
We can stop Dincel leaking.
Retaining walls or below ground walls need special treatment so the waterproofing doesn’t fail over time due to salt breaking the membrane. Learn More..
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Phone: 0474 499 309