Building Project Topics

An Assessment of Dampness in Buildings in Ekpoma, Edo State

An Assessment of Dampness in Buildings in Ekpoma, Edo State

An Assessment of Dampness in Buildings in Ekpoma, Edo State

Chapter One

Aim and objectives of the study

The study sought to advance knowledge on the problem of dampness in buildings in Ekpoma, Edo State. The following are the specific objectives of the study:

To help achieve the outlined aims, the following objectives have been set; 

  1. To assess, diagnose and document the extent of the problem of dampness in walls of residential buildings. 
  2. To establish the degree of knowledge among building occupants regarding damp problems in the walls of their buildings. 
  3. To proffer solutions to the problem of dampness




The word dampness defined by Oxford Dictionary is ‗a condition contained with little water‘. Dampness can be described as an excessive quantity of moisture contained within building materials and components which cause adverse movements or deterioration and results in unacceptable internal environmental conditions Briffett, C. (2018). According to Burkinshaw R and Parrett M (2020) dampness as the amount of moisture content in the material and can be classified as capillary moisture content, equilibrium moisture content, hygroscopic moisture content, total moisture content and potential moisture content. Dampness in a building could be classified as ―an excess of moisture that is causing a problem; a cosmetic problem; the spoiling of decoration; the deterioration of the fabric; structural problem; or a condition that has an adverse  effect to the health of the occupants‘‘( Oxley, R. 2018). 

Dampness is the most popular and main defect to the buildings and about 50% the causes from all defects available. It adversely affects the living conditions of occupiers, cause rapid deterioration on building materials and components, may lead to structural problems, degrade finishes and results in deterioration in furniture, fixtures and fittings Briffett, C. (2018). Dampness in the form of rain penetration, condensation, entrapped moisture and rising damps contributed more than 50% of all known building failure Trotman P. (2018). Dampness is inextricably linked to most building deterioration Hollis M. (2017). Water contributes to oxidation of metal leading to the corrosion of steel reinforcement in concrete and the proportion of fungal decay or beetle infestation in timber. Water also facilitates chemical changes in the component of a building as well as being source of damage where it penetrates into a building. 

A practitioner, surveyor, students and others must have awareness and understanding the type of dampness. This is an essential requirement to successful diagnosis and making appropriate recommendations for remedial action. The types of dampness arerising dampness, penetrating dampness, lateral water penetrating, trapped/ displaced moisture, salt contaminations and hygroscopic salts, condensation (surface and interstitial) and other dampness create from defective plumbing, drainage or other sources. The sources of moisture have to be understood and identified. The ultimate objective of any dampness is to identify the lead source of moisture in order to recommend actions to terminate the source and to remedy the dampness problem. An analysis by Professor Malcolm Hollis in a book entitled Surveying Building classified source of dampness into four (4) categorieswhich were rising dampness, penetrating dampness, condensation and pipe leaks Hollis, M. (2020). 

 Ralf Burkinshaw and Mike Parrett in their book entitled Diagnosing Damp divided sources of dampness into five main divisions for surveyor‘s guideline such as air moisture condensation, penetrating dampness, internal plumbing leaks, below ground moisture and site/building specific sources Burkinshaw, R. and Parrett, M. (2015).  Moisture in all its physical forms is commonly regarded as the single greatest threat todurability and long-term performance of the housing stock (Halim and Halim, 2020). 

In many situations the professional investigating the dampness will need an indication of the actual level of moisture within the structure.  There is often a perceived need to know when a material is what might be called (dry) although in absolute level terms a porous material in a building will always retain some moisture, either from its own natural properties (for example hygroscopicity) or from the effects of water – absorbing (deliquescent) salts. 

Even in a normal (dry) building, there is always a surprising amount of water present in porous materials, most of which does no harm what so ever. Although the amount varies widely, depending on the nature of the material and on the humidity of surrounding air, the following figures indicate the range that may be expected in some common materials: 





The chapter sought to outline the processes and procedures through which the study found solutions to the problem statement. It also addressed the steps undertaken to achieve the aim and objectives of the research study. It again discussed the strategies, procedures of the research and the type of data collection option adopted in the research study. 

 Research design

The study employed a descriptive survey method. This method was adopted because of the need for the researcher to assess the dampness of buildings in Ekpoma through the collection of primary data.

Population of the study

A study population is a group of elements or individuals as the case may be, who share similar characteristics. These similar features can include location, gender, age, sex or specific interest. The emphasis on study population is that it constitute of individuals or elements that are homogeneous in description (Prince, 2019). In this study the study population constitute of residents of Ekpoma, Edo state. The total drawn population of the study was 69190.

Sampling and sample size determination 

This study employed purposive sampling, we sample with a purpose in mind. We usually would have one or more specific predefined groups we are seeking. For instance, have you ever run into people in a mall or on the street who are carrying a clipboard and who are stopping various people and asking if they could interview them? Most likely they are conducting a purposive sample (and most likely they are engaged in market research). 




The overriding aim of this study was to advance knowledge on the problem of dampness in walls of residential buildings by assessing, diagnosing and documenting the extent of dampness. The research also sought to establish the degree of knowledge among building occupants. 

 The subsequent data had been used to assess the form or type of dampness affecting walls in the research sample area. 

This chapter concentrated on the presentation, analysis and discussion of the data attained from the research study. The outcomes of the study were then compared with the data collected from secondary sources so that significant conclusions could be drawn and appropriate recommendations made on the subject matter. 




This chapter present the concluding segment of the research. The research was undertaken to assess, diagnose and document the extent of knowledge and awareness among building occupants. 

 In all One Hundred structures were inspected through respondents. Questionnaires were sent out for respondents’ views and observations on issues on dampness. A checklist aided the researcher identify the type of dampness after a physical and visual observation of the structure. 


  1. It was discovered that though respondents saw dampness as a defect they really did not understand the phenomenon. 
  2. Some respondents indicated dampness has health effects and related damp to cough though there is on scientific proof. 
  3. It was discovered also that dampness was more prominent in older structures (over 4years) 
  4. Data analysed based on the physical and visual observations made on dwellings 
  5. Rising damp is the defect in the study area.  


The phenomenon of Rising Damp as evidenced is a major subject matter in the study area and it is recommended that further studies should be undertaken because respondents want a solution to the problem. 


  • Adams, E.C. (2016). Science in Buildings, Volume 3, London. Hutchinson and Co. pp 356. 
  • Ahmed, A.G. and Rahman, F.A. (2020).Treatment of Salt Attack and Rising Damp in Heritage Buildings in Penang, Malaysia. Journal of Construction in Developing Countries, Vol 15(1), pp 93-113. 
  • Ana S. Guimeraes, Joao MPQ Delgado and Vasco P de Freitas, 2017 
  • Assenheim, J. G., Moisture measurement in the concrete industry, Concrete plant and production, September/October (2018). 
  • Briffett, C. (2018). Building Maintenance Technology in Tropical ClimatesInvestigating dampness problem in buildings, Singapore, Singapore University Press. 
  • BS 5250 : 2017  Code of practice control of condensation in buildings.  
  • BSCP 102 : 1973 Code of practice for protection of buildings against water from the ground.   
  • Burkinshaw, R. and Parrett, M. (2015).Diagnosing Damp, Coventry, RICS Book. 
  • Cheetham, D.W. and Howard, C.A., Translating research into practice. Wall dampness diagnosis-let‘s get it right, Building Engineer, February (2019). 
  • Construction Research Communications, Treating rain penetration in houses, CRC Ltd. London, BRE Good Repair Guide 8, April 1997, ISBN  1 86081 135 3 
  • English house condition survey 2016. Department of the Environment. London, The Stationary Office, 2018. 
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