Rising damp is a common problem in the inner west. Some buildings do not have a damp course to prevent moisture rising from the ground up through the walls. It does not help that many yards have only a few centimeters of good draining topsoil before you hit clay. The walls at the back of this house were wet to touch and beginning to develop a stubborn colony of mold despite regular cleaning. The ground had been built up against the wall of the house and the previous owners had laid thick pavers that were flush with the floor of the house.
When it rained the water had nowhere to go except into the wall of the house.
We lifted the pavers and started digging. The ground was wet and a mixture of clay and rocks.
This is what we found what we found when he started digging. The blue-grey markings on the clay are a sign of old clay pipes leaking. A we dug deeper pools of water settled in the holes. This was wet ground. We filled two 4 metre skip bins with sodden clay soil. Allowing the walls to breath and dry.
We ran new PVC pipes from the house, renewed the sewer pipes and the storm water pipes. By adding a drain to area adjacent to the house and so that all rainwater would be directed away from the house.
We then laid a deck for two reasons. To create a clean and aesthetic look and to allow free air movement around the base of the house.
This solution has fixed over ninety percent of the damp problem. Unfortunately there are lots of causes of damp walls and they need to be addressed separately.
If you have a problem with rising damp check out this document