About Damp Proofing
If left unattended, dampness in buildings can lead to structural deterioration. It can result in fungal decay of wood, spoil decoration and, by encouraging the development of moulds and mites, can be dangerous to the health of occupants.
What To Look For
Property owners should be looking for staining on interior walls, moulds forming or unusual odours.
Externally, all rainwater goods (downpipes, etc.) should be checked every six months. Look out for green staining on external walls - this is an indication of a long term moisture problem.
How would a potential customer know whether they might have a problem?
How We Fix It
Our surveyors will visit the affected property and carry out a detailed inspection. Once the cause of dampness has been established, all incidents of damp will be reported on. A full written report, including our recommendations, will be prepared for the client.
Where plaster is affected, it is usually removed. In cases of rising damp, a chemical damp proof course (dpc) can be installed and a new plaster system applied.
In the case of high ground level, or in a basement, a tanking system can be introduced. This will prevent lateral penetration of damp.
Condensation may be a simple case of providing the client with information in how they can control airborne moisture. More serious problems can be tacked by, for example, the introduction of insulation and ventilation.
Rising Damp is caused by moisture which rises by capillary action through the masonry.
A good indication of how high Rising Damp has travelled is the white salt band that can some times be seen because the salts are carried with the water.
The ground salts carried up via the Rising Damp contaminate the wall plaster. As the damp evaporates, the salt migrates to the surface of the plaster and can some times leave a salt band.
Penetrating Damp can be caused where the level of the ground against a wall is higher than the building's damp-proof course. It can also be caused by defective rainwater systems, etc. or any one of many other problems.
Waterproofing is necessary when Penetrating Damp (as opposed to Rising Damp) travels across or down masonry.
Where high ground or below ground areas (i.e. your basement / cellar) are affected your surveyor may inform you that these areas require a tanking system.
Condensation is air-borne moisture caused by cooking, bathing, drying clothes, poorly insulated walls and ceilings, etc. without providing adequate ventilation.
Defective Plumbing & Flooding
Damp can also be caused by the leakage of water from the property's water pipes or drains, external flooding, storm damage, etc.
Action should be taken as soon as anyproblems are detected. This will minimise the damage water will cause to the fabric of the building if it is left unattended.