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What is Rising Damp and How Does It Cause Mold Problems?


Nov. 23, 2011

Rising damp is ground water wicking upward into the foundation, floors and walls of a building, with resulting mold growth and rot in the building cellulose-based building materials such as wood timbers.  Rising damp is not only a big mold and rot problem in Ireland (as described below) but rising damp is also a worldwide cause of hidden mold infestations and wood rot in homes and buildings. Read this interesting account of rising damp in Ireland, as published in “Live and Invest Overseas” Newsletter by
Kathleen Peddicord, editorial@liveandinvestoverseas.com, Nov. 23, 2011.

The little Irishman pulled a screwdriver from the back pocket of his pants and began poking it into things. He pushed it into every piece of wood he passed, starting with the window casings, then the shutters, the skirting boards at the bases of the walls, the frames of the French doors leading to the side patio, the floor boards... With every poke, his look grew more grave. After he'd finished in the living room, he continued on, poking as he went, through the dining room, the breakfast room, the kitchen. Then back to the entry hall and up the stairs, poking every step as he climbed. On the second floor, he started all over again, poking his way through each of the five bedrooms, each of the three bathrooms, and all up and down the hallways that connected them.

Finally: "Rising damp," he declared solemnly. "All throughout."

"Rising damp? What...uh...how...what should we do?" I stammered.

"Got to treat it," he replied as he walked back down the stairs and toward and then out the big red front door. As I watched him drive away, I picked up my cell phone and called Noel.

Rising damp, Noel explained, is a common phenomenon throughout the Emerald Isle, where damp from the constantly wet soil seeps into the foundation of a house and then rises up the walls until gravity gets the better of it. Left untreated, damp will rise, Noel told me, about six feet before the force of gravity halts its progress. In our house, the damp evidently had been left untreated for a very long time. Once I understood how to recognize the signs, I could see that every wall on the ground floor had been affected. Some were so afflicted that they bubbled with tiny white plaster blisters.

In addition to rising damp, we had rot, both wet and dry. We had mold and fungus, too, in every hidden and covered corner and crevice, beneath the floor boards, under the stairs, and behind the shutters.

This realization turned our simple old home make-over into an all-out renovation that extended over more than a year. 

Mold Victim Rights Association
Are you a MOLD VICTIM because you are:
1. Working in a moldy workplace?
2. Renting a moldy rental house, apartment, condo, office, or commercial building?
3. Sick from staying in a moldy hotel, motel, or resort room?
4. Living in a moldy home purchased from a seller or new home builder who failed to disclose known mold infestations?
5. Having a water intrusion or mold damage problem caused by an adjoining condominium, co-op apartment, or your home owners association?
6. Making mortgage payments to a lender for a moldy house, condo, or commercial building?
7. Being unable to pay for needed mold remediation because your insurance company has wrongfully denied your water or mold damage insurance claim?
8. Living or working in a moldy house or building that was improperly or incompletely mold remediated by a mold remediation company?
9. Sick from living or working in a building water and mold damaged by a negligent building contractor such as a roofing, plumbing, or air conditioning company?
10. Attending school or teaching or working in a school that is mold-infested?

Get mold justice by joining the Mold Victim Rights Association. For help, phone executive director Phillip Fry toll-free 1-866-300-1616, cell phone (480) 310-7970, or email phil@moldinspector.com.

For mold inspection, building mold inspection, mold inspector directory, mold remediation, and mold prevention for your real estate property anywhere in USA, Canada, Asia, Europe, or worldwide, please contact mold consultants Phillip Fry and Divine Fry by email phil@moldinspector.com or by phone Phillip Toll-Free 1-866-300-1616 USA and Canada.

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Copyright 2014 Environmental Hygienists Association   All Rights Reserved  Last Updated: Nov. 28, 2014
For mold inspection, mold remediation, and mold prevention for your real estate property anywhere in the world, please contact
mold consultants Phillip Fry and Divine Fry  email phil@moldinspector.com or call Phillip Toll-Free 1-866-300-1616 or cell phone 1-480-310-7970