The Devastating Effects of Rising Damp in the Construction Industry

Gladstone Sena Kportufe


The unacceptable access and penetration of moisture into building through its structural component such as column’s, walls, floors, roofs etc. is called dampness. This study seeks to provide sound up to date information about the various causes of dampness in buildings, the effect of dampness in buildings, method of preventing dampness in buildings or remedies of dampness and diagnosis of dampness.

Causes of Dampness in building are a great concern in the construction industry as it often leads to deterioration of structural component such as columns, walls, floors, roofs, and encourage rapid growth of molds and bacteria which causes related health problems. The foundations of all structures are embedded into the soil, blocks and bricks being porous or masonry below ground level can absorb moisture from adjacent ground or by capillary action.

Causes of dampness are numerous and most of them are not completely solvable later, this is why this research work seeks to provide all the necessary precaution and preventive measures in order to avoid it because prevention is always better than cure.

While water molecules are present in the air and adsorbed by materials within all buildings, when the materials become sufficiently damp to cause material damage or visible mould growth we often say that the building has excess dampness or has dampness problem or we characterize the building as a damp building. The dampness and mould growth may occur on visible interior and exterior surfaces in the building, including within basements or crawl spaces, or hidden inside walls and air conditioning plants and ducting.

The study entails a careful and intensive library research interspersed with a well organize program case study in the Greater Accra Region in Ghana.

It is also recommended that further, researches must be carried out on the above issues in the similar newly developing areas in the Greater Accra Region in order to avoid this problem of rising dampness in the Ghanaian Construction Induction Industry.

Keywords: Penetration, structural component, dampness, capillary action chlorides, nitrates and sulphates.

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