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Damp & Moisture Problems in Buildings Part One

Mar 6, 2017

Rising Damp & Penetrating Damp

Environmentally Friendly Solutions


Over the last few months EBS Ltd has been very busy investigating a large number of traditional buildings (those built before 1919, which form almost a quarter of our building stock), where conventional surveyors had recommended extensive chemical injection damp proof courses (which had in some cases been installed previously and had already failed). Their recommendations were based on the readings of electronic moisture meters. These meters are commonly used to diagnose rising damp, but they often give false readings with certain paint and wall finishes, and fail to differentiate between penetrating dampness, condensation and hygroscopic salts.

EBS Ltd’s investigations revealed that these buildings are breathable (vapour permeable), i.e. that while the building fabric lets the moisture in, it also allows it to evaporate when the weather turns dry. Various interventions over the years to deal with the symptoms (including the use of vapour impermeable materials, e.g. cement renders, remedial chemical damp proof injection etc.) block the drying pathways (building breathability) and lock the moisture in, leading to damp, wet rot, dry rot decay and building deterioration.

EBS’s investigations included use of a range of non-destructive instrumentation, infrared thermography, damp and residual moisture analysis, spot environmental monitoring combined with the knowledge of building construction, structures and building science and pathology. This enabled us to develop cost effective, minimally destructive, sustainable conservation solutions for these historic buildings.

EBS’s diagnostic non-destructive, environmental surveys concluded the following;

  • Chemically Injected damp proof courses were not required and the solutions to these problems were to deal with the cause(s), which are varied and depend on the individual circumstances.  For instance ground levels may need to be reduced, new lime plaster may be required on the internal walls, dry lining systems may be necessary, or physical damp proof courses may be recommended.  
  • Remedial chemical treatments including drilling masonry walls and injecting with chemicals for dry rot and wet rot infestation were not required.
  • Treating & spraying with toxic chemicals for mould eradication were not required.
  • Spraying chemicals for woodworm infestation were not required.


EBS Ltd provides a full consultancy on rising damp, penetrating damp, wet rot, dry rot, condensation related problems in buildings, from initial diagnosis to drying out of fire/flood damaged buildings using specialist monitoring techniques and equipment.

Rising Damp

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