London Building Surveys

London scares me - its so vast, so busy, so many people - but I have to admit to having a ball last time I was there. We all went to the launch of the new British Standard - BS 7913: 2013 - in Historic Building Conservation at Somerset House. We ended up in Belgo's - under Covent Garden - and finally, I know why people like London... ! What a night - great beer, great food, and great company!

Next trip was a bit scarey - I was bowled over by about 12 heavily armed paramilitary types in black from head to foot who sprinted into the tube station. I gave it a wide berth and headed back to Kings Cross on foot - half expecting to see bombs going off somewhere. I think I rather like the peace of Shropshire fields! 

Building surveys in London tend to focus on things like drainage - as much of the place was bombed during the war, you can imagine there's a lot of broken drains. We ALWAYS end up telling people to get them surveyed - leaking drains are one of the main causes of damp in basements. Also, many basements are not properly ventilated - you MUST have good humidity controlled ventilation. Tanking of basements, and damp proofing is a complete waste of time and will damage the building - it does NOT stop any inherent dampness which is just trapped behind the tanking, and then goes on to basically dissolve the mortar and brickwork of the foundations. You NEED to diagnose and properly deal with any damp issues - and they won't be rising - thats for sure. Forget the damp companies like Kenwood - who we see all the time giving fraudulent diagnoses of rising damp, and look to getting a proper survey that correctly identifies problems, and gives you credible and sensible solutions.

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