Dampness in Buildings

By Paul Gowers
Posted on:
What is Rising Damp?

Another thing most likely to scare off a buyer is the reporting of dampness in a survey.

Many properties have some kind of dampness issue and in most cases this can be addressed fairly easily. However, if dampness is allowed to continue it can seriously affect the fabric of the building, especially supporting timbers which can suffer from rot.

Many surveys suggest if there is any indication of dampness that a ‘damp proofing specialist’ is called in to address the issue. This is particularly the case if dampness is found to the base of a wall and ‘rising dampness’ is suspected. However, while rising dampness happens in theory it is almost never the root cause of damp issues in practice. Unfortunately, most ‘damp proofing specialists’ work for companies which install damp-proof courses so may not be best placed to offer independent advice. Quite often installing a new damp-proof course can not only fail to address the problem but can cause further problems.

Dampness coming in from outside can usually be addressed through proper maintenance of the fabric of the building. In most properties however the majority of dampness is due to condensation, including ‘interstitial condensation’ within solid walls and this can usually be addressed by resolving issues of ventilation, insulation and heating. Providing the dampness is not affecting structural timberwork it can usually be managed effectively.

Woodworm is another issue that can result in unnecessary worry. Old wormholes are usually inactive and providing the moisture content of the timberwork is reduced by the methods detailed above then an ongoing attack can usually be avoided without resorting to chemical treatments.

We specialise in the assessment of dampness in buildings and use the very latest and most comprehensive moisture measuring equipment which will help find the cause of the dampness and work out the best course of action.

At Gowers Surveyors we specialise in high quality surveys.  We’ll point out the good and bad, putting it all into context, so you can move forward with the purchase, with confidence.  Call now to book.

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