Recreating Rising Damp in the Lab

Rising damp can be recreated in a lab under "artificial" conditions very easily.

We used some common "old-style" porous bricks, purchased from a brick factory. We put it in a plastic tray, added some water to it which started rising pretty fast. If it sounds too incredible, try it. Give it a go, it's really easy.

By watering the bricks we managed to get the water up to about a meter high in 4 days. Here are our numbers:

- The water has risen to the top of the first brick (200 mm) after 2 hours
- To the top of the 2nd brick in 14 hrs
- To the top of the 3rd brick in 35 hours (1.5 days)
- And to the top of the 4th brick (850 mm high) after 4 days

All this in a condensation-free, uniformly-heated, protected environment.  

We captured the whole process on a time-lapse camera - it looks pretty cool. 

We also built a larger test wall and after watering it, the water started rising shortly.

After 6 hours it reached the 3rd row of bricks...

Rising damp after 6 hours

.... after 18 hours the 5th row...

Rising damp after 18 hours

... then on the 3rd day it reached the top of the test wall, 8 brick courses high.

Rising damp after 3 days

Easy, simple experiment, no complications whatsoever.


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