Building Construction, Renovation, Maintenance & Advice

Rising Damp

rising damp in a wallRising damp in walls is a very common problem in Bali. Even the most expensive houses suffer from this perenial problem which can make a luxurious home into an unpleasant place to live.

What is Rising Damp?

House walls are usually built from red brick or concrete blocks, both are materials that are like sponge and water from the ground below can soak up through the wall with what is known as capillary action reaching a height of up to a metre above ground level. The lower portion of the wall is constantly damp, paint peels off and fungus may grow on the wall. It can be very unpleasant and can cause the following problems:

1. Unsightly appearance with paint peeling and patches of black mildew on the wall.
2. Rooms, cupboards and wardrobes are damp so that clothing and shoes can grow mould and mildew.
3. The house may be constantly musty.
4. It can cause health problems from the mould spores in the air.

How do we prevent it?

When any building is built in a Western country a waterproof layer known as a "damp proof course" is built through the bottom of all ground floor walls. Back in Victorian times the first damp proof courses were a thin layer of impervious rock such as slate, as time passed slate was replaced firstly by roofing felt and later by plastics. This layer prevents water from soaking up inside the walls.

Why Do We Have So Many Rising Damp Problems In Bali?

The problem is caused at the building stage. Here in Bali most builders simply do not know about damp proof courses or how to install them. Even when an architect specifies one on a drawing (many don't) the builder will often ignore it.

How Can We Solve Rising Damp In A House in Bali?

Quick fix methods such as injecting silicone or waterproofing the outside of walls simply do not work. Faced with serious challenges a local technique has been developed for solving rising damp problems.

The technique involves the installation of a permanent waterproof barrier along the bottom of walls and provides a comprehensive solution that will last the lifetime of the building. It has proved highly effective in several seriously damp affected houses.

Is It Expensive?

No, in fact the cost is very reasonable. It is one of those jobs that represents excellent value for money in that the improvement to a living space is considerable for the amount of money spent.

Rising Damp Case Study

A lovely old Balinese house with red brick and carved stone walls had a serious problem with rising damp, paint was peeling and the wall surface was crumbling along the lower half metre of internal walls through most of the house. In spite of the house being a sunny house with excellent ventilation wardrobes were damp, rooms were very musty and the walls unsightly.

The problem was further exacerbated by the fact that the house is close to the sea and the moisture rising up the walls had salt water in it. The salt was causing the beautiful brick and stone work on the outer sides of the walls to crumble and fall off.

Several test walls were treated using othe damp proofing technique. After several months a huge difference was found and the rest of the walls throughout the house were treated. The house owner and the tenent are very happy that the house has been saved and has become far more liveable.

8 February 2017 Copyright © Mr Fixit,
Jl Bypass Ngurah Rai, Gg Penyu No 1, Sanur, Bali 80228, Indonesia
Telephone: +62-361-288-789, Fax:+62-361-284-180