Damp & Timber Surveys | JW Surveys Ltd

JW Surveys specialises in all forms of damp and timber defects affecting both private and commercial properties of all types, designs and age.

If your property is under threat from damp or timber problems then JW Surverys is the first choice option for you.  At JW Surveys we offer accurate and unbiased surveys throughout the Kent, South East and Essex Area.  We cover a vast area of everything South East of the M20.  We cover all of the major towns such as Maidstone, Sevenoaks, South Dartford, Ashford and Folkestone, Hastings, Eastbourne, Brighton Colchester, Chelmsford, Braintree and Whitham and surrounding smaller villages such as Hythe, Hawkinge, Lyminge. Fairlight, Pevensey, Barnstone, Dengie, Fordham, Langham, Shalford and many more.  Just pick up the phone to see if your area is covered

Our surveys are for a variety of clients including home owners, landlords, building contractors and developers.  JW surverys offer a jargon free report which highlights problems as well as potential ones.  We offer a no obligation, thorough timber and damp survey and a report from expert advice.

If you are a homeowner with a damp or timber problem our expert and honest knowledge will give you an accurate diagnosis and recommend treatments. A damp survey can be carried out to minimise disruption to the family and prevent further damage.

If you are trying to sell or rent your house JW Surveys can provide you with a damp and timber report and quotations from our qualified independent surveyors.  Mortgage lenders often ask for a damp and timber survey for satisfaction that the buildings structure is sound. This will ensure your property is ready and safe for a smooth transaction.

JW Surveys is the leading company in Kent that can liaise with vendors and estate agents on your behalf if you are in the process of purchasing a property we can.  We will arrange access to your potential property and carry out the damp and timber survey.

If you are a letting agent, estate agent or builder we can provide specialist advice and knowledge on forms of damp.  It takes a qualified expert to spot potential problems with damp in a building.  With our experience we can provide an onsite service with diagnosis, recommendations and quotations for remedial works.

As a member of the Property Care Association (PCA) you can be assured that you are selecting a professional and trusted tradesperson.  PCA members offer advice and help to customer in their area of expertise.  These areas include damp proofing, structural waterproofing, structural maintenance and timber preservation.  With the PCA promise you and your money are automatically protected and as a TrustMark operator you are offered extra piece of mind.

There are many different ways that timber can be affected making a need for replacement or treatment.

Dry rot is a wood destroying fungus which feeds on moisture. It is also known as Serpula Lacrymans.  It can be found in poorly ventilated buildings or water exposed timbers.  Once fungus spores germinate, fine strands of fungal growth sprout and spread, devouring wood. Dry rot can cause widespread, often unseen damage.  Dry rot is difficult to detect but can be diagnosed by JW Surveys.  Signs of dry rot include orange spores resembling fine brick dust, the cracking of joinery and timbers, fine red/orange spore dust scattered around or fluffy, cotton wool like strands that are brittle and develop under humid conditions.

Untreated dry rot is destructive and can result in extensive repair bills. JW Surverys offer a thorough investigation and a detailed report.  You may need to remove the affected timber and any surrounding plaster.  Eradication of the moisture source will be important to prevent more damage and a quotation will be offered for treatment to the affected area.

Coniophora puteana is the most common type of wet rot.  Coniphoria can be found in most properties in some form within timber.   The higher the moisture content the higher the chance of wet rot decay.  Wet rot is typically confined to the area of dampness because the mycelium does not spread into walls.   Wet rot is not as destructive as dry rot, however can and does cause structural damage.  Signs of wet rot are cracks in skirting boards and is usually first identified when floor timbers start to bounce or have movement.  There may be a damp musty smell and visible fungal growth.  Wet rot can be caused by unprotected timber, possible leaks from pipes or domestic appliances and insufficient ventilation below suspended floors.

Whatever the type of Wet Rot, they all require the same treatment.  Try to find out why it’s damp and remove the source.  Make sure the surroundings dry out quickly and remove or repair damaged timber. Cut out damaged parts of the timber as they will not be strong enough to do their job. If the rot is seen in an enclosed area, you’ll need to increase the ventilation to ensure the area dries out quickly.  Our detailed reports identify defects found sp that they can be rectified.

Woodworm refers to the larvae of any wood-boring beetle, rather than one particular species. In the UK, the most common are the Common Furniture, Deathwatch Beetle House Longhorn Beetle and Powderpost Beetle. All invade and consume wood, and then leave when they have reached maturity.

Woodworm have a 3–4 year life cycle.  Therefore it may take years for an infection to manifest actual holes in timber or timber products.  Beetle eggs are laid into the crack in the wood.  The eggs take about 3 weeks to hatch and each egg produces a larva. They come closer to the surface when ready to pupate. The adult  make an exit hole by breaking through the surface.  This creates dust which is the first visible sign of an infestation.  So if you find crumbly edges to your boards or joints, find small round holes in your woodwork with a fine, powdery dust around each hole or find adult beetles emerge from the holes then call JW Surveys to investigate and determine the type of infestation.   It is important to identify the type of infestation as not all types of beetles require the same treatment.

To prevent future outbreaks causing damage to timbers ensure you keep humidity levels low and ensure wood is well-ventilated.  Remove infested pieces of furniture or timber to prevent woodworm spreading.  Kill emerging adult beetles by installing electric fly traps in loft spaces and under ventilated areas.  This will reduce the chances of infestation.

There are different ways in which damp can affect a property.  Rising damp occurs when ground water soaks up into unprotected brickwork, stone masonry or through the softer mortar.  Ground water contains salts which absorb into a walls base.  This can cause damage to your home and if left untreated can lead to timber decay.  Rising damp happens when the existing damp proof course deteriorates.  This then allows water to absorb through the waterproof barrier which has weakened.

Penetrating damp is as a result of poor external maintenance.  This could be from damaged gutters which allow rain water to penetrate the buildings structure when the external bricks or renders are cracked.  There are various causes of penetrating damp.  From porous bricks and stones to driveways, paths, lawns and patios which have been raised above the damp proof course against the external wall.  Missing or cracked roof slates or tiles could be another factor along with faulty flashing. 

Our impeccable customer care has grown over the last 20 years and has meant that we concentrate on individual needs and solutions.  Our main objective is to ensure your property is safe and habitable.  We base our surveys on evidence and facts and offer a comprehensive independent report.

Our fully qualified surveyors and technicians understand the nature and the extent of issues regarding damp.  We can therefore offer information and insight to gain the correct diagnosis for you. Whether it is a diagnosis of wet rot, dry rot, damp issues or timber infestation our diagnosis will be the correct one. In many cases what was thought to be dry rot was diagnosed as wet rot and therefore saved hundreds of pounds and unnecessary treatment. We will carry out a full inspection and produce your personalised report within 48 hours.

The inspection will cover the exterior of the property to identify any present timber decay or defects.  This could possible leas to future timber decay.  It will cover the accessible timbers of the roof and floors including the staircase.  Floor boards will be lifted where possible to inspect voids and timbers.  This will enable us to gain evidence of any infestation by wood-boring beetles/wood destroying fungi.  Timber survey requests are to investigate the presence of any beetle infestation or timber decay.  The first floor walls will be tested for damp ingress.  We will pay particular attention to areas at high risk of penetrating damp such as chimney breasts and walls adjacent to external water goods.  We will then look at the walls at ground level for evidence of rising damp from ground water and water ingress from internal or external defects.  We will also inspect the walls below ground level in basement areas for evidence of penetrating water from the ground.

JW Surveys will provide you with a comprehensive report which will cover the envelope of the property to assess its general condition.  External observations including photographs of areas of concern as well as an internal observation.  You will be provided with conclusions including a full plan highlighting the work required.  Specification and budget estimates are based on current industry rates.

So if you live within one of the many towns or villages of the Kent, South East or Essex area contact JW Surveys.  We will arrange a property survey with one of our independent damp and timbers surveyors approved by The Property Care Association and provide you with a report and finding within 48 hours.

Our Services

JW Surveys carry out the following surveys and reports within the South East of England:

  • Independent Damp & Timber Surveys and Reports
  • Damp & Timber Pre-Purchase Surveys
  • Structural Waterproofing Reports
  • Structural Waterproofing Design to BS8102:2009
  • 7 Days A Week subject to availability

These are all carried out by our Independent Damp and Timber Surveyor who is approved by The Property Care Association.

PCA Membership

JW Surveys are members of Property Care Association


*Based on a domestic 2 bedroomed property

Limited Survey (Level 1) - from £195.00*

Suitable for clients with a specific limited area of dampness or decay.  JWSurveys will carry out a limited non-destructive inspection.

Property Condition with combined Timber & Damp Survey  (Level 2) - from £250.00*

This survey is suitable for most conventional properties, built as early as 1900s except period properties and those with a “Listed” status.


Period Property Condition with Timber & Damp Survey (Level 2a) - from £300.00*

Suitable for the more unusual property. Eg period properties or those with “Listed” status.


Reports Compliant with Civil Procedure Rules Part 35 - from £390.00*

Suitable for use as evidence for the purpose of civil proceedings in a court in England or Wales


Available Add-Ons

  • On site salt analysis - £15.00 per sample
  • Calcium Carbide Test - POA - (Note: - The calcium carbide test involves the taking of a number of material samples by drilling into the strata)

Click here to find out more about what to expect.