Our surveyor Ross Charters also offers his services as an independent damp and timber specialist consultant. Customers are offered to take advantage of our surveyors vast experience in damp and timber defects where we can carry out just a survey only, you can then with all the data received contact your chosen contractor to carry out any necessary remedial repairs. We offer this service mainly to Housing Associations, landlords, tenants, and private home owners.
Many people claim to be a damp expert surveyor without the necessary equipment to be able to tell what is really going on. A damp meter can’t be used to give quantitative diagnosis to rising dampness, a survey should be carried out to BRE Digest 245. We offer this full analytical service to find out the true cause of the dampness problem, whilst this might be more expensive than a free survey you will find out the real cause of the problem and the necessary repair that is needed rather than expensive unnecessary treatments. Ask your surveyor when he uses a damp meter is it reading hygroscopic salt or moisture……. he will not be able to tell you as they will not know!
Traditional and listed buildings especially timber framed buildings that are suffering with rising and penetrating damp need to be surveyed by a competent surveyor. The surveyor should have a good understanding of how these buildings are built, this gives the advantage of knowing where to look, and what to look for, and what sympathetic repairs are needed to preserve the long term future of the building.
Our surveyor is a qualified and registered surveyor in dampness and timber decay and infestation with the Property Care Association http://www.property-care.org and is also a member of SPAB wwwspab.org.uk
Where we differentiate ourselves from others is our vast amount of the latest technology for surveying, laboratory analysis, and over 12 years experience as a damp and timber surveyor.
1. The thermal image in picture 1, shows the timber frame that is hidden behind the original lath and lime plaster.
2. The thermal image in picture 2 also shows the timber frame and also the original lath and plaster.
3. The thermal image in picture 3 actually shows hygroscopic salt damp, which was confused with penetrating damp, this was confirmed with gravimetric and salt analysis.
4. The thermal image in picture 4 shows a leak beneath the tiles and also that the floor tiles haven’t been fully bonded.
Being a qualified level 1certified thermal imager gives us the edge,as we can see what others can’t!
Using the latest in Flir Thermal Imaging technology and our E60 BX, we are able to view not only hot spots within your property, but also cold spots. Buildings can be quickly scanned using our Flir thermal imaging camera, identifying problem areas that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Thermal Imaging can facilitate repairs quickly and thoroughly, and is much more cost effective than other conventional methods that can be invasive and destructive. The camera is specifically designed for building inspections such as moisture detection, penetrating damp, leak detection, cold bridging, insulation defects and much more. The thermal imaging camera shows a temperature related picture. With our knowledge and experience, this allows us to ascertain what is happening beneath the surface, and the extent of the issue.
The below graph shows how important long-term data logging is compared to snap shot condensation surveys, this graphing showed that the every now and then the temperature went below the dew point and condensation occurred. This proved that it wasn’t a rising damp problem and actually a condensation problem.
We specialise in data logging of the internal environment when there is disputes for condensation and mould related problems. Condensation surveys are normally a snap shot in time, this means at that time on that particular day. At that time condensation may not be occurring, or you need to prove its condition because of a tenant dispute which is what we regularly do for Councils and Housing Associations. Data logging is a very powerful tool, to get the most out of the data loggers we also use wall surface temperature sensors and also taking external data so we can calculate the differential vapour pressure. All is this is calculated through specialist Excel spreadsheets.
Rising damp surveys to BRE Digest 245
BRE Digest 245 is how a rising damp survey should be carried out, only when all defects have been eliminated as the source of moisture should rising damp be the cause. This is also done quantitative by using a full profile drilled into the wall to enable us to remove the necessary mortar samples within the wall. By taking these samples and using our laboratory services we can then tell the exact free moisture content, or if there is none. We can also tell if there is a hygroscopic salt present from long term rising dampness, how much and what type. Please don’t confuse this with a speedy meter/ carbide meter test, these are completely useless on site and are worst for damp diagnosis than a damp meter.
Please read the below blog post for a full explanation
Speedy meter-carbide meter damp survey
We don’t offer this service, we have a speedy meter, but it can’t be used on site for rising damp quantitative diagnosis.
Read the below blog post to find out why.
The importance of hygroscopic salt contamination is very important and is a mistake in BRE digest 245, hygroscopic salt analysis is a must. The distribution, the amount and the type, paint the picture of whats been going on with the rising damp. For example if there is free moisture in the wall and hygroscopic salt but no nitrates or chlorides it wouldn’t be a long-term rising dampness problem, so could possibly be a leak etc. Some building materials have a high hygroscopic moisture content when moisture/water has gone through them, this often confuses people into thinking that is definitely rising damp because of the high hygroscopic moisture content. This is why it’s necessary to test for nitrates and chlorides to then see if these salts are present, nitrates and chlorides can be present from groundwater/rising dampness, but I must stress it’s the distribution, amount and type that clearly defines rising dampness.
Anemometer for measuring fan speed
How important is it to measure fan speed? Very important, especially for us when were helping in a dispute between landlord and tennant. We can then prove the fan is working to the correct specification.
Flir MR 77 damp meters
A rather expensive damp meter compared to some of the others, but this is the Rolls Royce of damp meters, we can put all the internal and external environment data on to our thermal; imaging camera, which is excellent especially when this is pictured in our reports so you can see all the measurements during our survey.
High powered boroscopes
We have a range of boroscopes with a head size ranging from 6mm in length up to 22mm, and up to 20 meters in length. These are mainly used for cavity wall the inspections, sub floor inspections or any out of sight voids.
Telescopic camera surveys and video surveys
These are mainly carried out on telescopic poles and are used for general roof and chimney surveys, we also offer a drone survey that can video and take pictures of the property.
We have a range of cameras for drain surveys, please contact us for further details
The Listening Stick is old school but still performs when needed, it naturally amplifies the sounds listened to, which is brilliant for mains leakage.
Structural wall tie surveys
We have been trained and passed our exams by Thor Helical remedial for defect surveying, report writing, and installation of cavity wall ties, masonry beaming and crack stitching.
Dry rot search dog, Dry rot and wet rot surveys
Dry rot is not as common as wet rot but can be expensive to repair as it often hidden from view whilst the damage is being done. It’s important with dry rot to find the actual cause of the problem and ensure rapid drying of the structure. We specialise in pre purchase surveys of large listed buildings when non destructive techniques are used to identify if there is dry rot hidden.
For this we use Mark Dogget from Enviro-dogs, Complete Preservation supplied Mark with samples of dry rot which we grow in our laboratory, we have been with him on his journey from the beginning. Mark is passionate about his business and puts his dogs through rigorous training. When I first heard about these dogs and spoke to Mark of course I was sceptical but after the first survey we did together I was blown away!!! These dogs are something else which is a credit to mark as I know how hard he has worked to fine tune them into the masters of dry rot surveys! Dry rot search dog prices vary depending on the location and size of the property, please contact us for further details.
Deathwatch and woodworm infestations
Detailed investigations to find woodworm infestation activity, and the causes.
Examples of previous large listed building surveys for damp and timber defects
Devizes Castle dry rot and damp survey link below.
Bath Abbey dry rot and damp survey link below.
You can contact Complete Preservation on 01225 769215