This is some very basic stuff showing diagrams that visually explain damp issues that just drilling a new damp proof will not solve. It is well documented in BRE Digest 245, BS 6576, BS 5250, THAT YOU HAVE TO FIND THE CAUSE OF THE RISING DAMP, ALONG WITH CORRECT DIAGNOSIS BEFORE YOU CAN MOVE FORWARD WITH A REPAIR.

I have massive issues with Estate Agents that offer their damp expert to carry out a free pre purchase survey, and basically give a quote to do the cheapest job. The quote is referred to as a ‘report’ and is presumed to be worth something along with the Mickey Mouse guarantee. These are often a couple of pages, with no mention of any possible defects or the actual cause of the damp.

If you have a property that is cavity construction it is essential that you have to eliminate some of the possible causes of rising damp. It is very unlikely that the physical damp proof course has failed. If you have a solid walled property, these below pictures can also be relevant in some cases especially if there is a physical damp proof course, or a chemical damp proof course installed.

The below picture shows a basic issue, this being debris in the cavity that has bridged the damp proof course.

The below shows bridging of the damp proof course by the path.

The below shows bridging of the damp proof course by the plaster.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The below shows bridging of the damp proof course by the external render.

 

The below shows bridging over the damp proof course by mortar pointing.

The below shows bridging of the damp proof course by the screed.

Some facts…. lots of damp proofing experts claim to work to BS 6576:2005 (This is the British Standard). THEY DONT, please read the below and read some facts published in the British Standard.

I have highlighted NOTE 2 BELOW.… it clearly states that a damp meter gives a qualitative reading. Gravimetric tests give more detail, this will tell you exactly what is going on. Chemical tests, this is a speedy meter or a carbide meter will only show a total moisture content. Gravimetrics differentiate between hygroscopic and free moisture contents….. this is the only way we carry out our surveys.

Please see the facts in BS 5250 regarding rising damp.

 

 

 

 

 

BS 5250 also nearly states that the gravimetric method gives the most reliable results.

BRE Digest 245 states the below.

 

Again BRE Digest 245 recommends that  plaster/mortar samples are taken to determine what is exactly going on.

What do you do if you have a damp issue? A damp survey should be more an investigation, and you should expect to pay for it. If your damp surveyor doesn’t eliminate some very basic issues you will get a quote for a new damp proof course.

Damp meters are brilliant but they beep even when the wall is dry, and just hygroscopic salts are present, and can’t tell you if the wall is damp by free moisture or hygroscopic salts.

All of the British Standards recommend that gravimetrics should be carried out to determine what is actually going on.

An interesting post about free damp surveys in Leeds offered by an Estate Agent. http://www.preservationexpert.co.uk/damp-proofing-specialist-recommended-by-your-estate-agent-beware/

If you would like a survey to be carried out email enquiries@completepreservation.co.uk or ring the office 01225 769215

Posted by Complete Preservation

13 Comments

  1. Mike Bridge July 3, 2018 at 06:00

    Reading this has given me such a quick understanding that the damp proof specialists we have had recent quotes from have lied as they haven’t checked these things before providing a diagnosis and report. I’m not sure why they have lied to me, and why they haven’t provided factual truth in the damp recommendations. This has made me very concerned as the damp proofing is booked in for October. I would be really interested if you could carry out a damp survey for me I Devizes Wiltshire please. Shall I email you with my details?

    Regards

    Mike

    Reply

    1. Hi Mike, we do offer damp surveys in Devizes. Email me please enquiries@completepreservation.co.uk, I will then ring you and discuss.

      Reply

  2. Fascinating read. What I find strange is that the Independent damp surveyor we had to look at our property never mentioned any of this. We were charged £300, and he never carried out a survey to prove if there was other issues that you have demonstrated in the pictures. Obviously we’re very upset about this now as we can’t move forward especially as we have our kitchen fitter booked in. Could you carry out a survey next week for us? Obviously we’re prepared to pay, how much is it going to cost?

    Mary

    Reply

  3. Fascinating read. What I find strange is that the Independent damp surveyor we had to look at our property never mentioned any of this. We were charged £300, and he never carried out a survey to prove if there was other issues that you have demonstrated in the pictures. Obviously we’re very upset about this now as we can’t move forward especially as we have our kitchen fitter booked in. Could you carry out a survey next week for us? Obviously we’re prepared to pay, how much is it going to cost?

    Mary

    Reply

  4. Hi Mary,

    You should ask for your money back if they haven’t carried out the very basics regarding a survey.

    Some surveyors claim in the small print that you haven’t asked for an invasive survey…….there is no way you can determine what is going on at the base of a wall without carrying out an invasive survey.

    I can’t carry out a survey next week, I can the week after though. Regarding cost I would need to speak to you regarding the property in question, and how many areas etc. Costs can vary depending on what exactly I have to cover. As one over very few people that actually follow the methodology in BRE Digest 245, you can be assured we will be able to give you the answers on the defect in question.

    Reply

  5. Hello Complete Preservation.

    An Estate Agent in Trowbridge has got a so called “damp expert” to look at a property we purchased. They produced a quote in the Estate Agents name, and said that trickle vents need to be fitted. We have just had a structural engineer look at a planned extension and has confirmed the damp diagnosis isn’t correct and that it’s rising damp. He told us to speak to you regarding a survey and helping us to fix the issue.
    1. Can you help with this?
    2. Can I make a claim against the Estate Agent?

    Reply

  6. If only I would have seen this last year before I spent thousands with a big Company that have failed miserably to fix our damp issue. We don’t know what to do at this stage; please can we talk to you to discuss everything that’s happened?

    Mike

    Reply

  7. Hello Complete Preservation

    Our Estate Agent has instructed a ‘damp expert’ to quote for works at our property we’re selling.

    The surveyor has no qualifications just approved status from a chemical supply company. He has found rising damp to every wall in our property although we can’t see anything wrong with the walls.

    The property is in Trowbridge Wiltshire; can you help with this?

    Reply

    1. Hi,

      As you can see in the post above it clearly states in the British Standards this is how a damp survey should be carried out to give a quantitative understating of the damp problem. You should ask your Estate Agent why they have an instructed an expert with no qualifications to survey your house……they have a duty of care to recommended a qualified professional.
      If you wish for another opinion by us please could you email enquiries@completepreservation.co.uk

      Reply

  8. The Estate Agent has organised a quote for damp proofing work on a cavity built house. The quote we received explained that the damp is rising and hygroscopic salts as the cause, and the quote is higher than we thought we would have to spend to fix the issue. On the 2nd viewing we got speaking to the neighbour who told me I should speak to you because you fixed her damp issue by cleaning the cavity wall out and cut out some bridging screed floor. We haven’t had this quoted for which is alarming! We’re paranoid about all of this and understand the Estate Agent is obviously on a back hander. We would be very pleased if you could help us out with a survey like you have mentioned in this web page please. Is it best to email or ring you?

    Reply

    1. Hi Mike

      Drop me an email with your number and I will give you a ring to discuss. enquiries@completepreservation.co.uk

      Reply

  9. […] Rising damp, prove it…………….. […]

    Reply

  10. Our walls are still damp after new cavity wall insulation was pumped in and we also had the damp proof course checked and replaced with a new one. This has been an issue now for 7 years and we’ve still not fixed it. It would be marvellous if we could get you to give us your damp expert opinion to finally get this fixed please. I will ring you tomorrow first thing. Thanks for publishing this damp stuff as it really has made me understand there is more to it thsn we were told judging by the previous surveys.

    Reply

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