Damp in buildings is a vast and complex subject.

No aspect is more hotly debated than the dreaded Rising Damp (Capillary Action).

One school of thought argues it is a complete myth.

Another appears to discover rising damp at every opportunity to justify the sale of chemical Damp proof courses, materials and services.

Despite the confusion, damp can cause significant damage to sensitive historic structures, possessions and pose a health risk to occupants.

That is why we take a pragmatic, conservation led approach here at Cheshire Lime Ltd and promote the use of breathable natural materials wherever practicable.


It might sound obvious but the appearance of Damp inside a house is a symptom. 

There must be a cause which is responsible for the excess moisture.

We find the main causes of Damp are:

  • Penetrating Damp (e.g. external ground levels too high)
  • Surface Condensation / Interstitial Condensation
  • Non-breathable / Inappropriate Materials (e.g. cement pointing)
  • Internal / External Leaks (e.g. pipes / drains / guttering)
  • Hygroscopic Salts / Deliquescent salts
  • Poor Ventilation
  • Capillary Action (Rising Damp)

It is no mistake that Capillary Action is at the bottom of the list.

Arguably, the term Rising Damp might almost better describe a symptom than a cause. 

We do acknowledge the existence of capillary action and the role it plays in the wider picture of damp problems, however, only a very small percentage of damp issues are solely caused by this phenomenon.

As such, once all of the prior items on the list above have been properly addressed, the majority of damp issues are usually resolved. 

Over time, ground levels can build up, the way we use our properties can change and non-breathable materials creep in until the balance is upset and a building is no longer able to deal with its moisture effectively.

If You have a damp issue and would like to discuss returning Your property to a healthy condition using breathable materials, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.