Impartial Advice on Damp and Damp Treatment

Damp treatment of any house is almost certain to be unnecessary, as is damp proofing of any kind.  We are the leading consultancy in the country when it comes to damp problems in old houses.  Damp is not nearly as widespread as people are told it is.  We are scientists and Chartered surveyors.  We have years of technical experience and study under our belts.  None of us have ever seen 'rising damp' except on the telly.

We do more damp surveys in London than anywhere else.  Why I wonder?  Houses and flats are smaller. More people living in a smaller space - which stresses the fabric of the building much more than in large houses where moisture can dissipate more easily and quickly.  If you live in the London or South East area, you are more likely to need help with a proper damp survey than anywhere else in the country.  

We are impartial.  We have nothing to sell.  If you call Rentokil, Peter Cox, Timberwise, Sovereign, Kenwood, Dampco, or any other Property Care Association 'timber and damp contractor' - you will end up with a guaranteed 'rising damp' diagnosis, about 30 pages of rubbish about how good they are, a 10 line 'report' stating the damp course has broken down and a statement that you need injection damp proofing and re-plastering at a cost of £5,000 or more.

Our surveys will inform you.  They explain the exact diagnosis for any problems, and provide simple guidance to sort out any issues found.

If you search this site, you will realise that 'damp' is pretty rare.  What you see, when you think you have damp, is symptoms. Not actual damp, but the physical manifestation of trapped moisture trying to escape and dry out the building fabric if it can. Things like flaky paint, crumbly plaster, rotting skirtings - all of these are telling you that there is moisture present, and if you release it, the place will be dry.  Damp patches on chimney breasts are not damp - they are salts.  

You don't have 'damp' - you may have a few symptoms that indicate your home has been overloaded with moisture - perhaps from the kitchen, from too many showers, maybe the under floor vents are blocked - and humidity built up so you got some condensation. Every family produces around 2 gallons of water a day - hard to believe at first - but each human being breathes out around 2 litres of water a day - add to that showers, cooking, auto defrost fridges, dishwashers, and you can see how easily moisture can build up. 

There ARE some things that cause real damp problems - penetrating damp for one.  If you have leaky gutters and downpipes, you can get all manner of problems internally. If you have leaky drains, there's a good chance you'll end up with a gungy wall somewhere. If external ground levels are too high, of course the walls will be a bit stressed inside.  All these things are common sense - they don't need the local Property Care Association 'timber and damp' contractor to come and tell you that you have 'rising damp'. We show you how to sort the problems once and for all - WITHOUT any form of damp proofing or damp treatment.

If rising damp really existed, why is it that Google only shows it in England!  Have a look at this site for more detail on damp  The fraud of rising damp


We are aware that damp companies charge nominal fees of around £100 to do 'surveys' which result in a quote for damp proofing.  Our fees for London based 'Timber and Damp'surveys, or just plain old Damp surveys, start around £1500 - but we solve problems, instead of creating more issues for the future by damp proofing.  

We are a professional survey company - and charge appropriate fees and travel expenses.  We carry a lot of expensive scientific equipment with us, and where appropriate will take calibrated scientific measurements of the building fabric and environment to back up our observations.  We don't use 'damp' meters.  We measure moisture in the air, and temperature of the building fabric - using thermo hygrometers and thermal imaging cameras.  We help you understand where moisture actually goes in youor home, and how to deal with it. 

Have a look at our Timber and Damp Survey page:

John Edwards is the author of the BS 7913 - Guide to the Conservation of Historic Buildings.  He and Peter wrote this article in Context, the IHBC Journal

Understanding Dampness

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