Damp misdiagnosed as requiring treatment

Rising damp market

The market for rising damp treatment

The figure or £200 Million market for rising damp market is widely banded about. 

Large specialist damp proofers probably account for 50% of the market.

Kenwood, Rentokil, Tapco, Peter Cox, Lifecote, Timberwise, ProTen, Rosewood, Bryhill, Swiftcure etc.

Frank Schrijver is a dutch system. It may work in theory, but the downside is the system cools the base of the wall, increasing the risk of condensation and mould as I have seen on many surveys.

Aquapol is an unproven system. I doubt they sell much.

Rising damp sceptics

Surveyors are split between rising damp believers and sceptics. Most RICS surveyors believe that rising damp is a common problem.

The truth is complicated. Damp can rise, but it’s almost never the real cause of dampness in properties. In fact Rising Damp is not a cause, but a symptom. The cause is high groundwater in contact with the base of a building.

The issue is, it can take a very long time, sometimes multiple visits, chemical analysis and data-logging devices to eventually identify the root cause.


Most property surveyors simply don’t have the time to identify the root cause of dampness. So they cover their backsides by recommending the buyer obtain a quote from a PCA damp proofing specialist.

If the surveyor is acting for the lender, as valuer, the lender is likely to make a damp survey and treatment conditional on the survey. Fortunately this requirement will stop soon, as lenders move more towards big-data.

Conflicts of interest

If you are offering a free survey and you only make money from recommending damp proofing treatment, what do you do?
You aren’t going to suggest opening the window, or lowering the ground levels, there’s no profit in that.


The damp proofing market is unregulated, full of conflicts of interest. The Property Care Association (“PCA”) is a self appointed trade body. They are trying to make improvements. But they too have a conflict of interest and they also believe firmly that rising damp is a major problem.

The published data puts humidity as accounting for 85% of damp issues in properties surveyed.

This video gives a glimpse of the dilemma; https://youtu.be/Ayw11yDR4O0

Market changes

Here are the changes coming in:
1, New guideline for damp surveyors.https://surveyor.tips/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/RICS-Historic-England-joint-methodology.pdf
2, RICS’s new standardised surveys.https://surveyor.tips/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/home-survey-standard-pdf.pdf
3, Mortgage lenders are decoupling the link between borrowing and damp proofing.


Which! consumer magazine ran a test of damp proofers accuracy.

BBC Tomorrows World exposé

Here are some useful videos.

Stephen Boniface RICS

Stephen Bonifaceformer chairman of RICS states: ‘true rising damp’ is a myth and chemically injected damp-proof courses (DPC) are ‘a complete waste of money’. .https://www.youtube.com/embed/RpZ802XZJXo?fs=1&color=white&showinfo=0&rel=0&autohide=1&enablejsapi=1&origin=https://www.thenbs.com

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