Dampness in buildings: Causes, Defects and Prevention

Dampness in building

During the monsoon, dampness is a very prevalent issue that many individual homeowners deal with. It is imperative that it be resolved prior to the onset of the monsoon. Seepages begin to form in the walls if they are not stopped.  Your health may suffer as a result of the bacteria that grow there if it is not adequately treated. Your home’s structure will be harmful as a result of dampness. It is crucial to prevent it because of this.

Understanding Dampness

The term “dampness” refers to the unwanted moisture content found in structural concrete components, including walls, ceilings, and floors. Moisture can affect a building’s structural integrity, and mold development can be harmful to people’s health.

Typical building moisture sources include the following:

Plumbing leaks: If neglected, leaks in pipes or fittings allow water to enter walls and compromise the structural integrity of brick and concrete.

Rainwater: Penetrating damp is water seeping into buildings through external walls due to roof, wall, or window issues.

Groundwater: If the foundation is not constructed with enough drainage, groundwater may seep through the flooring and groundwater levels may rise. Rising damp is the term used to describe dampness caused by groundwater.

Bad construction: Using premium gray cement and aggregates is crucial throughout the building phase. It is important to give the concrete enough time to cure since this strengthens the bonding inside the concrete. Additionally, this is done to help concrete’s water resistance improve. Therefore, shoddy construction may cause moisture to infiltrate into your walls.

Signs of Dampness

  • Walls will start to show wet spots. When it’s windy and rainy outside, the moist patches are more inclined to occur; they will go away after the storm.
  • Paint blistering and degradation of plaster.
  • Decaying skirting boards
  • Growth of mold and a moldy odor

Methods to Prevent Dampness

Proper Building Design and Construction

Drainage systems and waterproofing go hand in hand. Drainage systems make sure that any water that gets past impermeable barriers is quickly and effectively removed, whereas waterproofing concentrates on building impermeable barriers.
An important danger to foundations is hydrostatic pressure, which is reduced by proper drainage. Drainage systems help ensure the general stability of structures by managing water levels.

Internal Damp Proofing Techniques

Tanking is an internal damp proofing technique that forms a barrier to prevent water intrusion into a building. Although tanking products are commonly utilized externally in construction, we shall concentrate on their inside use. It is possible to create a cozy, waterproof, and warm area with cementitious tanking.

Cementitious Tanking: What Is It?
A cement-based covering called cementitious tanking is made of cement mixed with particles and chemical modifiers. Because of its microporous nature, it allows for complete airflow.

How does one go about tanking?
The acrylic polymer used in cementitious tanking products hardens into a vapour-permeable layer that can tolerate hydrostatic pressure. Enhancing the surface’s strength, bonding, and resistance to abrasion also helps.

Defects Caused by Dampness in Building

The building’s moisture causes unpleasant and harmful conditions for its occupants. Appropriate preventive measures for humidity in buildings should be implemented in order to eliminate such situations.

Some of the primary causes of moisture are leaks from pipes, groundwater, and precipitation.


Since the rooftop is not entirely covered in waterproofing materials, rainwater may seep into the building.

Faulty roof slopes

Improper roof slopes on flat roofs cause water to collect, which results in dampness.

Top of the wall

Water can easily enter a building if the topmost layer of the wall is not protected by impermeable layers like concrete, etc.

Wall exterior

Raindrops landing on the building’s exterior can cause water seepage into the wall. Faulty outside plastering may also contribute to humidity.

Improper repair of drainage pipelines

Water blockage occurs next to the drain pipe mouth if the roof-top drain pipes are not tightly fastened, which results in the creation of moisture.

Joints with poor construction

Moisture forms as a result of improper wall joints, improper sunshade slopes, and poorly constructed roof joints, among other things.

Treatments of Damping in Building

Installation of damp-proofing material

By removing short pieces of the mortar course and placing tiny portions of the damp-proof course component, a physical plastic damp-proof course can be placed into an existing building. Although this approach can be a very effective barrier against rising damp, it is not commonly used since it takes a lot longer to install than other methods of rising damp treatment and necessitates the involvement of expert contractors if movement in the structure is to be prevented. Additionally, the price is many times greater than that of other rising damp treatment methods. Additionally, the damped section can be gradually removed, the lower course cleaned and prepared, and new bricks, DPC, and mortar can be put in place after that.

Application of Cement Wash

This approach involves using adhesive gum to make a thin cement solution in water. The surface is cleaned and then this solution is applied.

Injection of Liquid Damp Proof Products

The type of formulation and installer skill level determine how successful liquid injection damp proofing goods are. In actuality, injection periods are typically shorter than what is necessary to deliver an optimally effective damp proof course.

Step 1: Drill 12 mm holes at 120 mm intervals in the mortar joint, located between 75 and 150 mm above the exterior ground level. Drill the holes to a distance of between 10 and 20 millimetres from the opposite face. Clean out the holes of dust and debris.

Step 2: Insert the injection probe or nozzle into the inner part of the bore hole and begin filling it with the damp proofing cream using a low pressure injection device or cartridge applicator gun. Pull down the lance or nozzle as soon as the hole begins to fill to make sure it is completely filled. Proceed to the other bore hole and continue the injection procedure once the first one has been filled.

The new damp proof course should be created by the Damp Proofing Cream deeply penetrating the masonry substrate and returning to its liquid phase over the course of the following seven to ten days. After the cream has completely evaporated from the hole, the bore hole can be sealed using a plastic DPC Plug or waterproof sand and cement. 

Regular Maintenance and Inspection

The prompt identification and avoidance of moisture-related issues is a major benefit of routine / annual damp checks. A number of things, including as leaks, condensation, or inadequate ventilation, can cause dampness. Professionals can see the early warning signs of moisture before it becomes a bigger issue by performing in-depth inspections. This enables us to respond quickly, stopping additional property damage and lowering the possibility of future expensive repairs.

Importance of Professional Assistance

Although the cause of the dampness may be presumed in the absence of a professional damp inspection, there is no guarantee of proof. The precise source of the moisture must be identified because attempting to solve the wrong kind of damp issue could make matters worse. Therefore, it is important to get professional assistance for best results in the future.


Weather variations and other events might cause some of a building’s parts to become temporarily wet over time; as a result, many parts of a structure may exhibit symptoms of microbial growth. Conditions, competing organisms, and available resources all influence microbial growth. The parameters of the HVAC system, building materials, foundation type, and indoor humidity and temperature all have an impact on the concentrations of microorganisms. This is why it is important to get the building checked by professionals in time before dampness starts destroying it.


What are the causes of dampness in building?

Moisture and dampness are a breeding ground for bacteria, which lead to illnesses—many of which are life-threatening. Furthermore, the building’s structure might collapse. A building’s demise from dampness is caused by moisture from the subsurface rising through the foundation beds.

How do you fix dampness in a building?

Give your interior and external walls a waterproof covering. Install waterproof tiles after addressing seepages and cracks to prevent rainwater from rising from the ground. Installing a damp-proof course is another method to prevent water from seeping through the soil and onto your floors.

What are the effects of dampness in building?

Moisture that accumulates in a building will always result in unsanitary conditions, which poses a major risk to the residents’ health. Moisture in a building can cause moss, fungus, and corrosion, which can cause materials like stones, granite, steel, wood, etc. to deteriorate and disintegrate.

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