Damp Surveys

Been told to get a 'timber and damp survey'?

Have you had a report from a RICS chartered surveyor that recommends getting a PCA timber and damp survey?

Or perhaps you think you may have a problem with damp.  Don't let damp get you down - there's no such thing as Rising Damp - we have never in our collective experience seen it. It is also a VERY ENGLISH TERM.  Have a look at the map at the bottom of this page if you don't believe me!  Rising Damp is a term that should stay on the telly with Leonard Rossiter. Every instance of damp can always be very easily and simply diagnosed.  And it's never rising.  The only thing we ever see rising is all the hot air from the damp company salesman.  He will quote his useless Property Care Association qualifications of CSSW and CSRT and desperately try to flog yet another injection damp proof course, after the last three all 'failed' inexplicably.  He probably calls himself a damp surveyor. He writes a damp report - it's a quote for injection damp proofing. We see 'damp' surveys from companies like Peter Cox Ltd, Rentokil, Kenwood, and Timberwise - all of which advocate totally unwarranted damp proofing.  The solutions are simple - better ventilation, constant heating and fixing simple leaks to pipes and drains for example. 

Pete has written the best selling book, The Warm Dry Home, which blows the Rising Damp myth out of the water and explains every aspect of dampness in your home in a clear and easy to understand way.

Our damp surveys are Professional surveys.  We follow the guidance of the BS 7913: 2013 - Guide to the conservation of historic buildings.  We take a holistic view of the building - looking at the environment, the way it sits in the landscape, the materials it is built with - the various interventions already made over the years.  Our damp and timber surveys can take all day in some cases. Please bear in mind that these surveys are not far from being a full building survey in terms of the knowledge, equipment and time taken.  We don't charge for carbide tests, whereas most other companies charge around £150 per test.  We have our own equipment and use it as and when required at no further charge to you.  They are still cheaper than chemical injection/re-plastering work which doesn’t even solve the problem

Most PCA 'damp' surveys are free, and take 10 minutes to arrive at the conclusion you have rising damp.  They are useless, and fraudulently attempt to sell you thousands of pounds worth of unnecessary plastering and chemical injecting.

We carry an array of equipment - thermal imaging cameras, thermo hygrometer, probes of one sort or another, carbide meter. Pete actually does have a 'damp meter' which he uses to show how damp salesmen can con the public into thinking they need damp proofing.  With a background in geochemistry, Pete KNOWS what is actually going on - the way salts are produced, where they come from, and why they are in your walls.  And they aren't there because of rising damp.  'Damp' meters - and their use in surveys has been roundly condemned - they are unsuited for use in building materials. Three British Standards - BS:5350, BS:6576, and BS:7913 all state that these meters are unsuitable for measuring moisture in building materials, and that chemical methods should be used.  (We use chemical methods to confirm moisture levels if needed)

This extraordinary chart from Google says it all - search for Rising Damp - and see where that search term is concentrated globally. Note that the term just doesnt really appear in Europe!

Worldwide searches for Rising Damp


The criminal incompetence of RICS Chartered Surveyors using damp meters

If an RICS Chartered Surveyor uses a damp meter to 'diagnose' damp - and you have paid that surveyor for a professional survey, then they are negligent and incompetent in using the damp meter.

It is common knowledge that these meters do not measure moisture. RICS surveyors use them because they cannot be bothered to learn about water. The chemical responsible for 95% of building defects. It is barely taught at university. The RICS refuses to ban the use of these meters, and thus perpetuates the incompetence of their surveyors. Pete is co-author of the RICS moisture methodology, but they do not insist that their members work to the methodology. Pete's view is that RICS is not fit for purpose, and their domestic surveys simply do not do justics to the buildings concerned. Here at Heritage Survey we probably see on average 4 or 5 incompetent RICS surveys a day - written by MRICS chartered surveyors who use damp meters. Often the reports actually state that the client must get a 'PCA timber and damp survey' to diaagnose the reasons for damp. Our clients are told to ask for a refund, and often take legal action against these uneducated individuals. The reports they produce are useless. If you use a damp meter, you show that you fail to understand the cause of 95% of the defects you are supposedly there to survey.

Ask for your money back and get a decent survey from someone who actually knows how to properly diagnose damp issues.  It is a source of constant annoyance to us that RICS still promotes or allows the use of these ridiculous damp meters, instead of educating Chartered Surveyors to properly understand the causes of dampness in buildings.

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