Is it really "Rising Damp?"

 

Excess water/moisture in all its forms (vapour, liquid, and flooding) is still the most common problem in housing. Damp in buildings may be apparent from:

  • Damp patches.
  • Mould growth.
  • Mildew, salts, staining and tide marks.
  • Damage to surface finishes, such as blistering paint and bulging plaster.
  • Corrosion and decay of the building fabric.
  • Slip hazards.
  • Frost damage.
  • Poor performance of insulation.
  • Damage to equipment, or electrical failure.

Successful treatment can only be achieved if the type of damp is correctly diagnosed. The complexity of existing buildings means that damp is very often misdiagnosed, leading to future problems, cost and disruption to the occupants.

When identifying damp and its causes, architects, surveyors and project managers need to consider the current condition and the expected post-construction condition of the building.

There are a number of established methods for diagnosing damp:

  1. Observation - Manual viewing is the least costly, but potentially least reliable method of diagnosis.
  2. Moisture meters - Moisture meters can be used as a tool in identifying areas of "suspected dampness". In skilled hands with regular site calibration moisture meters can be a good starting point, however, depending on the complexity of the building, the materials used, its present condition and maintenance history, relying solely on the use of moisture meters can lead to misdiagnosis.
  3. Laboratory techniques - Drilled samples and moisture contents can be subjected to techniques such as a carbide meter, oven drying and soluble salt analysis. These can be used to confirm the results of thermal imaging and thermo hygrometry.
  4. Temperature and humidity measurement - Recording the relative humidity (RH) and temperatures in a series of rooms and outside can be an effective way of diagnosing damp. A thorough understanding of the relationship between temperature, relative humidity, and absolute humidity is essential. RH and temperature can vary wildly, yet the moisture content of the air stays the same. Good, dry air should be around 7 grams/cubic metre.

All our surveys take the above methods into account and are carried out in accordance with:-

  • BS7913:2013 Guide to the Conservation of Historic Buildings
  • BS 5250:2016 Code of practice for control of condensation in buildings.
  • And the SPAB approach to building conservation which combines well-proven principles with practical repair techniques.

Our Services

All surveys are carried out in accordance with:-

  • BS7913:2013 Guide to the Conservation of Historic Buildings
  • BS 5250:2016 Code of practice for control of condensation in buildings.
  • And the SPAB approach to building conservation which combines well-proven principles with practical repair techniques.

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

 

Fees

*Based on a domestic 2 bedroomed property

Limited Survey (Level 1) - from £250.00*

Suitable for clients with a specific limited area of dampness or decay.  JWSurveys will carry out a limited non-destructive inspection but will undertake an onsite salt analysis test.

Property Condition with combined Timber & Damp Survey  (Level 2) - from £350.00*

This survey is suitable for most conventional properties, built as early as 1900s except period properties and those with a “Listed” status. JWSurveys will carry out a non-destructive inspection but will undertake an onsite salt analysis test.

Period Property Condition with Timber & Damp Survey (Level 2a) - from £400.00*

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

Reports Compliant with Civil Procedure Rules Part 35 - from £500.00*

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 a series of holes into the strata and we would require written permission from the vendor/owner before carrying out this test as we do not "make good" to the disrupted areas tested)


Click here to find out more about what to expect.