Damp is one of those horrifying words that keeps potential homeowners awake at night and rising damp can indeed be a serious problem that can cost you a huge amount to fix.

Well there are different types and, unsurprisingly, they come with their own warning signs. The main types are rising, lateral and penetrating damp, with condensation and mould also forming part of the broad spectrum.

Damp is a big subject, but still we are trying to understand you in some simple way. in our surroundings, we can see mostly three types of common damps. Rising damp, Lateral damp, penetrating damp and condensation are just three of the most common types of damp issue that can affect your home.

Rising damp

Rising damp is the one that fills most house owners with fear. Without using any equipment, you can use certain visual and touch signs to help identify rising damp. You can spot rising damp due to tide marks on the wall, up to one metre high, which leave a residue of water and salts.These areas are often darker and still damp to the touch, but even if the area is dry, it can still be an indication of a previous damp problem that has not been properly fixed. The plaster itself can crumble away if it is dry, or it can feel like paste if enough water has intruded. paints often peels from the wall and the skirting boards can show signs of decay.Nails or screws in the skirting board can also show excessive signs of rust and there is often a damp and musty smell present.

Rising damp can cause a number of aesthetic, structural, and even health related problems.Aesthetically, rising damp can peel, crack, and bubble paint and plaster work, create ‘water-tide’ marks that show where the water has risen to along walls, as well as efflorescence (a white salt deposit which also looks unsightly on walls, floors or ceilings).Structurally, damp can get into timber structures and skirting boards causing them to rot. Also when water rises it can deposit salt in building structures which causes corrosion and deterioration of integrity through a phenomenon known as ‘salt attack.’  Damp conditions also encourage the growth of mould, which can be a significant health hazard. The damp itself can be a factor in health conditions such as asthma, allergies, cold and flu.Rising damp can significantly affect the integrity and value of a property – and superficial treatments such as repainting, coating, or cleaning the surface won’t make it go away.

Lateral Damp

This bears many of the same hallmarks as rising damp, but the point of intrusion is often from an outside wall, leaking pipes, missing tiles and even overflowing gutters. The damp can appear at any point on the wall.Look out for dark, damp patches on the wall and ceiling, any woodwork that shows signs of damage and for mildew in crevices. Crumbly, wet plaster is also a dead giveaway and any spores should be a clear sign that damp is in the house.


If you spot signs of condensation then it can be the sign of a more serious issue. Excessive condensation is a sign that there is simply too much water vapour inside the house. That comes from somewhere, which is normally an indicator of some kind of damp issue or poor ventilation. Black mould is a potentially life threatening issue for a young child, the elderly or anybody with a pre-existing lung condition. this types of damps found as isolated spores on the ceiling and walls and beside the window and doorframes.

Penetrating damp

This type of damp also originates from outside walls and can be seen on the outside of the house, with patches of damp that increase in size after heavy rain. Check walls that are more exposed to the elements and the roof, ceilings and interior walls that correspond to the external patches to decide if the damp has intruded to a significant extent.It isn’t just the damp you’ll have to rectify if you find its presence, as leaky pipes and faulty joists in the windows and walls can often be the problem and that can be expensive to fix. It is more likely an issue with the brickwork, though, and dislodged or even damaged bricks or render can be the issue.

Penetrating damp can occur for a number of reasons;

Missing roof tiles.

Overflowing gutters.

Faulty flashing.

Leaking pipes.

Poorly fitted doors and windows.

Damaged render or pointing.