What’s a Damp Survey?

damp surveys
Damp falls, so a damp survey starts outside

What is a damp survey?

A damp survey is an thorough investigation undertaken by a professional damp expert or specialist surveyor to establish both the cause and effect of dampness in a building. It is also known as a damp and timber survey.

5 damp survey examples;

  1. Homebuyers report; “you are advised to obtain a damp survey from a Property Care Association qualified damp surveyor”.
  2. Mortgage lenders; “Borrowers should have a comprehensive damp survey carried out by an independent surveyor to minimise the risk of discovering penetrating or rising damp”.
  3. Buyer; “I just bought a house and foolishly only had a basic survey. On the first day we discovered severe damp in the kitchen. By chance we found out that the previous owner had a damp survey which uncovered a problem, but she chose not to fix it. It wasn’t declared during the sale. She sold the house knowing about a severe damp problem. Do I have a legal case?”
  4. Caveat Emptor – buyer beware; “Sellers can and do hide evidence of damp in their homes, behind pictures and furniture or omit to mention that a shower leaks. You are advised to have a comprehensive damp survey“.
  5. Home owner; “I had treatment for rising damp 5 years ago and the damp has returned between the old and new plaster. The damp proofer tells me it will replace the damp proofing under guarantee, but only if I spend more money on damp proofing the wall up to ceiling height. I would like an independent damp survey before deciding whether to go ahead.”

How much should a damp survey cost?

Damp Survey Cost
The real cost of a Damp Survey is the cost of not finding and treating the source of damp!

There are two choices;

  1. Instruct a qualified independent specialist damp surveyor. Professional fees average around £200 Buyers sometimes instruct the surveyor, then negotiate a contribution from the vendor. The ISSE Institute of Specialist Surveyors and Engineers & CheckaTrade.com are a good places to find specialist surveyors.
  2. A free or low cost damp survey from a surveyor working directly or indirectly for a contractor. Like unregulated mortgage advice, if the service is free, then higher profit is loaded into the cost (to account for surveys that come to nothing).  Contractors look to make £1,000 to £10,000 from from each treatment. Justification for high profit is either through incorrectly identifying the cause of dampness, or over engineering the treatment. The motivation recommend impermeable plaster requiring extensive building work , that hides the problem for a few years, rather than finding the source, which may take hours to identify, but only minutes to fix.
Damp misdiagnosed as requiring treatment
Two of London biggest contractors recommended damp proofing, ignoring evidence of recent (misdiagnosed) treatment

What differentiates Damp Surveys Ltd?

We cover the whole of London;

Damp proofing against rising damp, condensation, penetrating damp and leaking pipes is almost always free to solve.

Damp Surveyor Qualifications

There are really only two forms of qualification for damp survey;

  1. A Certificated Surveyor of Dampness in Building; after passing written and orals exams by the Property care Association (a trade body for the damp Proofing industry).
  2. By relevant experience evidence by membership of the Institute of Specialist Surveyors and Engineers.

Robert Simon Hichens has both qualifications.

PCA Certificated Surveyor of Dampness in Buildings CSDB
PCA Certificated Surveyor of Dampness in Buildings CSDB (registered number 00001)

Your peace of mind is our goal. For you to be satisfied that the property will be properly protected against damp now and into the future, not just a short term fix.

[contact-form-7 id=”127″ title=”Untitled”]