There is a considerable amount of confusion online about the topic of rising damp. Some say it does exists, others say it's very rare, while some others categorically deny its existence.

If you have been doing research on how to tackle dampness in old buildings, you probably run into Peter Ward from Heritage House dot org, ending up upsetin disbelief or alarmed by some of his statements and conclusions.

Heritage House - A Web of Lies

The information contained on his sites is the personal opinion of ONE man only who depicts a very sinister story of the UK building and conservation industry.

His whole ideology and website is built upon two fundamental statements - both of them lies. These two statements are: (click on the arrows / toggles for more info)

1. Rising damp, as a phenomenon, doesn't exist.

2. Rising damp has been invented in 1962 by the damp proofing industry with the sole purpose to scam and defraud the general public.

Let's look at some of the facts about both of these statements.


Statement #1: Rising Damp Doesn't Exist

After an extensive research of the scientific literature, here are some of the many research papers from all over the world, all of them confirming the existence of rising damp, while also highlighting some of the damages it can create in old buildings.

Click on the arrows / toggles below to view more details about each paper.

Old House Journal, USA, 1994

Research Paper - The Royal Society UK, 2007

Research Paper - University of Bologna, Italy, 2006

Research Paper - University of Porto, Portugal, 2012

Research Paper - University of Bologna, Italy, 2013

German Professional Textbook, 2017

Research Paper - School of Architecture, China, 2019

Many more technical papers are listed on our scientific research papers page

Statement #2: Rising Damp has been invented in 1962 by the damp proofing industry with the purpose to defraud the general public

Spending a few hours digging through Google's old books digitization project, I found some very interesting and relevant historical references dating between 1840 to 1910 which not only consistently mention rising damp, damp proof courses and various period damp treatment methods, but show a clear track of development of period damp proof course technologies.

Click on the arrows / toggles below to learn more.

The Builder (architectural journal), Vol. II - 1844

The Builder's Guide: A Practical Manual (book) - 1851

Papers of the Royal Institute of British Architects - 1863

The British Medical Journal - 1873

Notes on Building Construction (book) - 1876

Helps to Health - 1885

Public Health Act London - 1891

Some Obvious Questions...

The facts presented above are all independent information published by reputable third parties (books, research papers, historical documents).

With so much obvious information about rising damp in the public domain you should probably ask yourself some of these questions:

  • Why is Peter Ward trying so hard to deny the existence of rising damp? Why is he obsessively propagating and maintaining a technical falsehood despite all historic evidence?
  • Why is he fanatically discrediting any rising damp solution and DPC technology, regardless of its performance or nature?
  • Is all this just an "innocent" mistake or a crafty underhanded strategy? (e.g. "every damp company is a con", except him - creating fear and panic, thus selling his £1,000 surveys)
  • Why is he obsessively undermining the character and professional reputation of anyone advocating rising damp, even resorting to ethnic and religious discrimination?
  • Why so much hatred against us, who

- never crossed path with him before
- never did chemical injections
- never used cheap pin-type resistance meters for diagnosis
- always advocated lime and breathable materials / technologies
- always investigated dampness from a holistic point of view, not just rising damp
- went to great lengths to keep the peace and deal with him professionally

  • Is he desperately trying to suppress the truth about rising damp because he built up a lucrative business promoting fear and technical falsehoods, and truth would terminate him - his income, his business and his professional reputation? Hence he is on a delusional fight against the whole industry.

Badmouthing His Own Customers

His offensive and unprofessional attitude is not only towards other professionals he is disagreeing with. but he is publicly badmouthing on social media some of his own paying customers he has disagreement with. You're welcome to draw your own conclusions. 

  • His thoughts about a customer who disagreed with him on the price
  • Throwing nails onto his customer's driveway - a way to "settle" some personal disagreement
  • Retaining the customer's deposit because he decided to go with another local tradesman 

Wider Implications

Peter Ward’s nefarious activity has the following negative consequences for the British conservation and construction industry:

  • Littered the field of building conservation with a multitude of incorrect technical information
  • Promoted incorrect / inefficient technical solutions which long-term damaged old buildings
  • Undermined the reputation of an industry based on a self-invented "conspiracy theory"
  • Eroded the trust between old building owners and building professionals dealing with dampness
  • Hindered innovation and progress in this field

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