From the Banana Box to Rising Damp. From Rooksby to Rigsby. Rising Damp seems to be far more famous as a television series than a serious damp problem in buildings – and rightly so!
A television sitcom that ran in the 1970s, Rising Damp was loved and watched by millions and repeats of the show still continue to be regularly shown on several tv channels today. This cannot be said of the actual damp problem of the same name, though it does still appear in homes today (not through the television set of course).
Anyone who has had a rising damp problem before will understand the real damage and problems it can cause in the home. From rotting skirting boards to damaged plaster and internal decoration, sorting out the problem with the help of a rising damp expert is only the start, then you have the headache of re-decorating – repairing damage to your beloved wall paper or replacing your skirting board. The set of the tv series showed very cramped living conditions and tatty wallpaper, perhaps it too had a genuine rising damp problem?
The main causes of rising damp are known and can include the failure of a damp proof course, or not having a damp proof course in the first place. Leaking water pipes can sometimes be the cause, as can residual dampness from a previous penetrating damp problem.
Luckily a damp survey by a qualified technician can easily identify the problem and the main cause and recommend the most appropriate treatment. I remember watching a damp specialist in my home using these clever little monitors, which when placed on a particular wall, can identify if the wall has damp or not – it lit up like a Christmas tree in my case!
Most rising damp specialists will not only fix the problem with the installation of a damp proof course, they should also be able to carry out the necessary re-plastering work, leaving you to re-decorate. Perhaps it may even be a blessing in disguise. Time to try out a new bolder paint colour on your wall or to attempt wallpapering for the first time!
Getting back to the television series (see Rigsby in action)…apparently the format for the tv show was sold to American TV bosses, but it was a flop and never even aired! Our friends over the pond truly missed out on a classic! Unlike television bosses though, rising damp is not picky. It can take hold of properties anywhere in the world…well, anywhere there is damp and moisture. I reckon buildings in desert locations are pretty safe though, don’t you?