Picture this: you wake up one morning to find damp patches on your walls and ceiling, and a musty smell in the air. Your first guess is rising damp, a common problem faced by homeowners around the world. The good news is that a dehumidifier may be the solution to your problem. But, is a dehumidifier good for rising damp? In this article, we will take a deep dive into the causes of rising damp and find out whether a dehumidifier is an effective solution to combat it. So, keep on reading to find out everything you need to know about dehumidifiers and rising damp.

1. Understanding the Causes of Rising Damp in Your Home

Rising damp is a serious problem that affects many homes, especially those with basements or older constructions. This type of damp occurs when water from the ground rises through the porous materials of the walls and floors, leading to a range of issues such as mold growth, structural damage, and health problems. To effectively combat rising damp, it’s important to understand its underlying causes.

Causes of Rising Damp

The primary cause of rising damp is capillary action, which refers to the ability of water to move upwards against gravity in materials with small pores, such as bricks and mortar. When the ground around your home becomes saturated with water due to heavy rainfall or poor drainage, this water can seep into the walls and floors, leading to rising damp. The problem is exacerbated by the lack of adequate ventilation, which prevents moisture from escaping.

Signs of Rising Damp

One of the first signs of rising damp is the appearance of a horizontal damp line on the lower part of your walls or floors, which may be accompanied by mold, peeling wallpaper, or a musty odor. If left untreated, rising damp can lead to more severe issues such as cracks, damp patches, and weakened foundation.

Preventing Rising Damp

Preventing rising damp involves several measures, including ensuring proper drainage around your home, improving ventilation, and reducing the amount of moisture in the air. Installing a damp-proof course, which is a barrier that prevents water from entering your home through the walls or floors, can also be effective. Additionally, considering the use of a dehumidifier can help control the indoor moisture levels and prevent further damage to your home.

In the following sections, we’ll explore how a dehumidifier can help combat rising damp, and provide tips on choosing the right type of dehumidifier for your home.

2. Can a Dehumidifier Help with Rising Damp Issue?

Rising damp is a problem that can affect any home, regardless of its age or location. It is caused by moisture rising up through the walls and floors of a building due to several factors such as a lack of damp proofing, surrounding high ground levels, poor ventilation, or water leaks. Over time, rising damp can lead to structural damage, mold growth, and health issues. That’s why it’s essential to tackle it effectively.

How does a dehumidifier work?

A dehumidifier is an excellent solution for reducing the levels of moisture in a room. It does this by removing excess moisture from the air, making the room feel drier and more comfortable. Dehumidifiers work by drawing in warm, damp air and passing it over a cooled coil that causes the moisture to condense, forming droplets of water. This water is then collected and stored in a tank or drained away through a hose. As the air is cooled, it is reheated by a heating element and released back into the room.

Can a dehumidifier help with rising damp?

The short answer is yes, a dehumidifier can help with rising damp. It won’t stop it completely, but it can reduce the levels of moisture in the air, which can slow down the progression of damp. If left unchecked, rising damp can cause significant problems such as structural damage, mold growth, and health issues. By reducing the moisture levels in the air, a dehumidifier can help prevent these issues from occurring.

However, it’s important to note that a dehumidifier is not a substitute for proper damp proofing measures. If you suspect that rising damp is affecting your home, it’s essential to identify the cause and take appropriate remedial action. A dehumidifier can be used alongside other solutions to increase their effectiveness.

3. How to Choose the Right Dehumidifier to Combat Rising Damp

Dehumidifiers can be a valuable tool in combating the effects of rising damp in your home. However, choosing the right dehumidifier is crucial for ensuring that it’s effective in reducing the moisture levels in your home and preventing the growth of mold and mildew.

Consider the Size of Your Space

When choosing a dehumidifier, it’s important to consider the size of your space. A dehumidifier that’s too small will not be able to effectively manage the moisture levels in your home, while one that’s too large will use more energy and could be costly to operate. Look for a dehumidifier that’s appropriately sized for the square footage of your home.

Look for a High-Quality Unit

Investing in a high-quality dehumidifier can be beneficial in the long run. A good unit will be energy-efficient, durable, and will effectively remove moisture from the air. Look for a unit that has adjustable humidity controls, multiple fan speeds, and a timer to help customize your dehumidification needs.

Consider the Noise Level

Dehumidifiers can be noisy, especially units with larger fans. If you’re using a dehumidifier in a common living space, it’s important to consider the noise level of the unit. Look for a dehumidifier with a low decibel rating or an option for low-noise operation.

By choosing the right dehumidifier for your space, you can successfully combat the effects of rising damp in your home. Remember to consider the size of your space, look for a high-quality unit, and consider the noise level when making your purchase decision.

4. Maintaining Optimal Humidity Levels to Prevent Rising Damp

To prevent rising damp, it is important to maintain optimal humidity levels indoors. A humidity level that is too high can lead to dampness and mold growth in your home. On the other hand, a very low humidity level can cause your paint to crack, skin dryness, and respiratory problems. So, it is crucial to keep the balance right.

The optimal humidity level recommended by experts is between 30% and 50%. You can use a hygrometer to measure the humidity levels in your home. If the humidity level is higher than 50%, there are several ways to mitigate the issue:

  • Use a dehumidifier: A dehumidifier works by removing excess moisture from the air and maintaining optimal humidity levels in your home. It can be very helpful in managing the effects of rising damp.
  • Ventilate your home: Improving the ventilation in your home can help reduce humidity levels. You can open windows and doors to let fresh air in or use extractor fans to remove dampness from the air.
  • Avoid drying clothes indoors: Drying clothes indoors can increase humidity levels in your home. So, if possible, try to dry your clothes outside or in a well-ventilated area.
  • Fix leaks: Leaks in your home can lead to rising damp and high humidity levels. So, it is essential to fix any leaks as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your home.

By maintaining optimal humidity levels in your home, you can prevent rising damp and other problems associated with high humidity levels. Using a dehumidifier is an excellent solution that can help manage the effects of rising damp.

5. Other Ways to Mitigate the Effects of Rising Damp on your Home

While a dehumidifier can be an effective solution to combat rising damp, there are other ways you can prevent and mitigate its effects on your home. Here are some additional measures you can take:

1. Improve Ventilation

One of the primary causes of rising damp is poor ventilation. To improve air circulation and prevent moisture buildup, consider using extractor fans in your kitchen and bathroom. You can also open windows and doors regularly to let in fresh air, especially in rooms that tend to be humid or damp.

2. Repair and Seal Cracks and Gaps

Small cracks and gaps in your home’s structure can allow moisture to seep in, leading to rising damp. Inspect your walls and floors for any signs of damage or wear and tear, and repair them promptly. You can use a sealant to fill in gaps and prevent water from entering.

3. Install a Damp Proof Course

If rising damp is an ongoing problem in your home, you may need to install a damp proof course. This is a physical barrier that prevents moisture from rising up through your walls and floors. It typically involves injecting a waterproof material into the affected areas.

4. Use Waterproof Paints and Coatings

You can also protect your walls and floors from moisture damage by using waterproof paints and coatings. These products are designed to repel water and prevent it from penetrating the surface. They can be particularly effective in areas that are prone to dampness, such as basements and bathrooms.

By taking these additional measures, you can further protect your home from the damaging effects of rising damp. While a dehumidifier can be a helpful tool, it’s important to address the root cause of the problem for long-term solutions.

People Also Ask:

1. How does rising damp occur?

Rising damp occurs when groundwater enters a building’s walls and floors through small cracks and gaps, leading to an increase in moisture levels and damage to the structure of the building.

2. Can a dehumidifier prevent rising damp?

Although a dehumidifier can reduce the humidity levels in a room, it cannot prevent rising damp. Rising damp is caused by water entering a building’s materials from the ground, and it requires a different solution such as damp proofing.

3. Does a dehumidifier help with damp walls?

A dehumidifier can help with damp walls by reducing the moisture levels in the air, which can prevent further damage to the walls. However, it is not a solution to rising damp, as this requires professional damp proofing to fix.

4. Can a dehumidifier make damp worse?

If a dehumidifier is used incorrectly, it can make damp worse by drying out the surface of the walls and trapping moisture inside. It is important to follow the instructions and use the correct settings when using a dehumidifier to prevent this.

5. What is the best way to treat rising damp?

The best way to treat rising damp is to hire a professional damp proofing company who can assess the extent of the damage and carry out the necessary repairs. This may involve installing a damp proof course, repairing or replacing damaged building materials, and improving ventilation.


While a dehumidifier can help to reduce moisture levels in a room and prevent further damage to damp walls, it is not a solution for rising damp. Rising damp requires more extensive repairs, and it is best to hire a professional damp proofing company who can carry out the necessary work. It is essential to deal with rising damp quickly, as it can lead to structural damage and health problems.