The purpose of our 2013 Rising Damp Symposium was to provide builders, architects, preservationists, and homeowners a platform to understand the challenges surrounding rising damp as it affects the structural integrity of historic buildings. Rising damp is a process within historic structures whereby water, through the process of water capillary action, rises up and into the foundations of built structures. Through the repeated process of water saturation and evaporation, the effects on the masonry will become quickly evident. Beyond the initial aesthetic consequence of rising damp, long term deterioration can intensify as the structure is left with corrosive solutes (usually salt), which, in turn, can accelerate the degradation of the material affected.
The Gulf Coast, including Galveston Island, is especially susceptible to moisture-related issues as it experiences above average occurrences of storm surges, hurricanes, ground erosion, and natural flooding.
As the CCH continues its mission to become a regional leader in sustainability and coastal resiliency, this symposium provided necessary resources and tools for the experts in their field, and by extension, the larger community in which they serve.
The two day symposium met this objective by featuring presentations, hands-on site tours of affected structures, and a panel discussion pulling together the diversity of perspectives by our speakers.
After the completion of this symposium, participants were able to properly identify rising damp, understand the variety of approaches toward source remediation, and recognize many of the larger environmental effects contributing to its process.