Complete Preservation were instructed to carry out a damp and dry rot survey of Bath Abbey using thermal imaging and dry rot search dogs.

Charles Curnock and Sarah Jermyn from Bath Abbey are forward thinking, and when looking after such a magnificent prestigious Grade 1 listed building, you need to look for things before they cause serious problems. Predictive maintenance is a must when looking after this type of building, you don’t leave a leak to make its way into the building, especially when its tracking across timbers that could potentially cause dry rot.

Complete Preservation offer predictive surveys, this means we can nip things in the bud if they are happening, or even before a defect externally has caused an internal problem.

To carry out this type of survey we use our thermal imaging cameras, and a dry rot search dogs (the beautiful Meg and Jess).

Thermal imaging will locate problems that are not visible with the naked eye, if you have a small penetrating damp problem leak 50ft up in the air, no damp meter will reach that high and you can’t check every inch of wall on a building of this size.

Thermal imaging will visibly show these areas, images can then be interpreted by us and these can also be stored to check at regular intervals for comparison. There may also be no signs of a leak, but this area is getting wet externally which is making it colder, if an object that’s uniform to other areas this will be noticeably different.


Our Surveyor Ross Charters below carrying out thermal imaging


Dry rot survey

How many timbers are in the roof voids of Bath Abbey? Lets just say a lots, what makes a survey so difficult in this area is that there isn’t much room to say the least! After I had been crawling around on my hands and knees for two hours with my head torch on, thermal imaging camera in one hand, and damp meter in the other, its fair to say I needed a lie down, and a cold drink!

This is where Enviro-Dogs come in, working in such a tight environment with minimum head room a dog can search the areas quickly and efficiently. Meg and Jess are specifically trained to search for dry rot only, they will not indicate on wet rots. She will search areas where she is instructed by her handler, from low-level to standing up on her back legs. It’s a joy to see Meg at work as she truly enjoys her job.


Mark from Enviro-dogs and Meg.



No dry rot was noted during the survey, so Bath Abbey got the all clear from Complete Preservation and Enviro dogs 🙂

To book a survey with Complete Preservation, you can contact us on 01225 769215


To book a survey with Enviro-dogs

About Bath Abbey

There has been a place of Christian worship on this site for well over a thousand years. However, the Abbey has undergone many transformations and changes during this time, and much like the city of Bath has experienced rise and falls in fortune, survived a number of major conflicts, architectural and religious reforms, and two World Wars, but still stands proudly today as an essential place for both worshippers and visitors.

As the history of this sacred place stretches as far back as Anglo-Saxon times, there is a great deal to discover: tales of Kings and Queens, saints and sinners, as well as stories of ordinary people.

Bath Abbey are currently raising funds for the footprint project

By supporting Bath Abbey Footprint you will be helping to ensure the Abbey remains fit for purpose and is enjoyed by future generations and beyond.

Donate online
You can donate to Bath Abbey Footprint online via Virgin Money Giving

Donate by text message
You can now donate to Bath Abbey Footprint via text message.
Simply text BAFT20 £5 to 70070 to donate £5 to support the project.

Donate by cheque
Cheques payable to Bath Abbey Footprint may be sent to:

Bath Abbey Footprint
12 Kingston Buildlings

Gift Aid
If you are a UK Taxpayer and would like to Gift Aid your donation download a declaration form here. Please complete this and return to the address above alongside your donation.

If you would like to discuss making a donation with our fundraising team please contact Katie McGill, Fundraising Administrator on (01225) 303314 or email

Bath Half Marathon
Sunday 1 March 2015
Run the Bath Half Marathon 2015 in aid of Footprint. Our assistant priest, Dr Sarah Hartley will be leading a team of intrepid runners and will be providing expert advice for newbies. We have 10 Silver Bond places for Bath Abbey Footprint, further information is on the Bath Half website.If you need any further information please contact Katie McGill

The Abbey will provide you with a T-shirt and a nutritious bowl of porridge, plus plenty of cheering on the morning of the race! Find out from two previous marathon runners about the experience of running a marathon here.


Posted by Complete Preservation


  1. I never knew dogs could smell dry rot, I also didn’t know that you could use thermal imaging to look for damp.
    It’s great to see that Bath Abbey have found a true specialist in Complete Preservation that offer such a unique service.


    1. Hi Steve,

      Thanks for your kind comments.
      Sarah and Charles are doing a great job of looking after Bath Abbey. It was also very rewarding working on such a prestigious building.


  2. Great case study Ross well done.


    1. Thanks James, certainly a nice location 🙂


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