Rising damp in masonry walls and the importance of mortar properties

E. Rirsch, Zhongyi Zhang

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper briefly reviews the rising damp phenomenon with a discussion of the controlling mechanisms and contributing factors such as capillary effect, water absorption, evaporation and salt formation. It also presents the results of a study on rising damp based upon a practical year-long test. Measurements were made on rising damp on walls made from different mortars and the observations were compared with theoretical models. It was found that mortar characteristics would significantly affect the height of rising damp. It was also observed that there was a strong correlation between rising damp and the Sharp Front Model, and the rate of absorption of water into the mortar was a key factor in determining the height of the rising damp front. In addition, walls with rising damp treatment are warmer than their control counterparts due to a reduction in surface moisture evaporative cooling.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1815-1820
    Number of pages6
    JournalConstruction and Building Materials
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


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