Problems of rising & penetrating damp

Rising dampDamp is the most common problem affecting 'luxury properties' in Cyprus. As you'll see in the photos below, many developers cut costs by conveniently forgetting about including a damp proof course and other forms of damp proofing.

Without adequate protection, moisture is drawn up into the building structure through capillary action; it's a bit like dipping the corner of a piece of kitchen roll or blotting paper into water and watching the water creep into the paper.

Rising damp can usually be identified by the characteristic tidemark at the base of walls inside and outside the property.

Penetrating damp is most often seen on the ceilings of flat roofed properties where rainwater has penetrated the concrete. But it can also be seen on the interior of external walls where rainwater has seeped through poor external rendering and finish.

Luxury Properties in Cyprus: Suffering from damp

Click on any of the photos below to get a larger picture.

A luxury home with no DPC

Rising damp

The problems with damp are obvious. Eventually, the 'spritz' render will fall away and structural damage will occur.

In this case, the developer has laid the patio incorrectly. Rather than allowing the rainwater to run away from the base of the wall, it runs towards it collecting in puddles. The concrete wall then acts like a sponge soaking up the water and there's no damp-proof course to prevent the water creeping up the wall.

Another home with no DPC

Another home suffering from rising damp

A neighbour of mine recently had this problem. Damp had seeped into the walls of her home for several years, but the tell-tale signs were hidden behind a stone rendering. The only solution was to remove the rendering and the concrete back to the reinforcing steel. The steel was then clean and treated, rendered over and the home redecorated. The concrete columns were chemically treated to prevent the problem happening again.

The cost - a mere €30,000! All of money, worry and hassle could have been saved if the builder had properly protected the property against damp when he built it.

A luxury home with internal damp

Internal damp

This is a photograph of an internal wall - and the signs of rising damp are clear. In this case, the developer 'forgot' to lay a damp-proofing membrane under the concrete float; every room in the house has the same problem. With no damp-proofing membrane under the float, the building draws up water like blotting paper from the ground beneath making the property damp and musty. Not good for your health (or your wallet).

Another home with rising damp

More internal damp

When the couple who bought their home, they pointed out this problem to their property developer. He just shrugged his shoulders and said "all Cyprus properties are damp" and walked away.

Damp rotting the caprentry

Damaged carpentry

The lack of adequate damp proofing not only affects the property's concrete structure, brickwork and paint.

As you can see in this photograph, it also causes dry rot in door frames and other carpentry.

It is possible to have a property damp-proofed to prevent this problem - take a look at the Building Custom Property section.