Damp & Timber Surveys

We find solutions to your damp and timber decay problems.

Dan R
Dan R
Homebuyer, Newton Abbot, Devon
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...efficient, professional and extremely friendly. He explained the potential issues and within 36hrs sent me a detailed report that explained the issues present. I would absolutely recommend this company!
Homeowner, Devon
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....punctual and professional and provided not only a comprehensive report but also was able to offer the solution. I strongly recommend Damp Genius if your looking for an honest and professional assessment.
Homebuyer, Devon
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Tom was great. Provided a comprehensive, clear report. Really thorough, professional and helpful. Would definitely recommend.

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Do you need a damp and timber survey on a property you own or one you are buying? Damp Genius can carry out comprehensive damp and timber surveys to detail exactly what is happening in the property and why it is happening.

Our process starts with gaining a broad understanding of the issues present in the property plus any relevant background information. In some cases, such as a pre-purchase survey or a newly purchased property, the full background may not be known. Building survey reports and a healthy amount of on the job experience can help our surveyor build up a picture of the building.

Types Of Damp We Can Find

During the damp and timber survey and investigation of the property the surveyor will map out the building using a range of instruments. Once this has been completed a more in depth look at specific areas will be undertaken to identify the type of damp and the cause.

Damp Survey and Investigation

Get to the bottom of your damp problem and find a solution.
damp and timber survey round house

Common Causes Of Damp Problems

As the list above demonstrates there are many types of dampness commonly present within buildings. All of them have the potential to create an unhealthy living space while damaging the property long term. Damage from dampness is often most serious when it involves the structural timbers in a building and this is why typically a damp and timber survey is asked for. 

The list of causes are numerous and can often be very unique to the particular setting of the building. However, broadly speaking these are the most common ones a damp surveyor will find.

Damp and Timber Survey Process

Survey MethodsOur independent damp and timber surveys are designed to provide you with a complete picture of the building construction and how any defects are related to the damp or timber problems.

It is very important to understand that the way your building has been constructed will have a huge impact on the methodology and expected outcomes of any damp remediation. There is a vast difference between a brick house built in 1901 and a brick house built in 1981. There is an even bigger difference between a Devon longhouse and a 2005 built Bovis Home. Construction methodology changed in quite dramatic ways during that time, although to the totally untrained eye it can be hard to notice the difference between two brick houses. Therefore we find that the key to successfully solving damp issues is to first understand the building pathology including how it was originally built and what may have been done to it by well-meaning, but misguided, people over the years.

We take the view that old, traditional and historic buildings should always be fixed using the appropriate methods for the age of the structure. This means that Lime mortars and Lime renders are preferred for most older buildings. These products allow the building to breathe naturally, allowing moisture to evaporate out of the walls, rather than trapping the moisture in them behind an impermeable cement render.

That being said, cement render has its place and its uses. The key is understanding when to use what product and why.

The damp survey process goes as follows:

Scope of the survey: this will be discussed with you during our initial conversations and can include the whole house or simply one specific area.

External: Typically a survey will start outside with an assessment of the chimney condition, the condition of walls, the type of render or pointing mortar used, the condition of bricks, the condition of paintwork. Any potential defects which could lead to dampness will be noted and photographed.

Internal: Once inside the survey will be carried out as per your specific instructions or from the very top all the way down to the bottom. Sturctural timbers within the roof void and flooring will be checked for signs of fungal decay, dry rot etc, or insect attack from woodworm beetles.

Humidity and temperature readings will be taken along with using a standard Protimeter damp meter to rapidly highlight any potential problem areas.

It is worth noting at this point that the standard Protimeter moisture meter used by many contractors cannot be used to diagnose dampness and especially not rising damp without further investigation using other methods. This is explicitly clear in the British Standard BS6576:2005 which states:

"An electrical moisture meter is a useful diagnostic instrument: it can be used to discriminate between explanations for damp conditions, and is non-destructive. The readings it gives are qualitative. [The % moisture content shown is meaningless in any masonry, stone or brick] Surface moisture measurements alone cannot give proof of rising damp, so further evidence may, where permitted, be obtained by disruptive examination within the depth of the wall."

British Standard BS6576:2005

The British Standard is clearly stating that rising damp cannot be diagnosed by using a moisture meter alone. Any damp and timber surveyor who does so should be shown the door.

Should we ever suspect that rising damp is present then we will carry out on site chemical analysis using a calcium carbide meter, also known as a Speedy Meter, to ascertain the free moisture in the wall.

Recommendations and Conclusions: Once all of the testing has been concluded the report then includes a full list of suitable actions which can be taken to remedy the damp. This list could include simple tasks such as unblocking guttering or more complex tasks such as external render repairs. Whatever the outcome we will make sure that you understand what needs doing and exactly what you need to be asking builders to price for. If you are in the process of buying a house then we can give a guide price which is enough for any negotiations.

Damp and Timber Survey Report

Once our surveyor has identified the type of damp and the cause of the damp they will be able to discuss with you their findings either at the property or over the phone afterwards.

A full damp survey and investigation report will be prepared which we aim to send to you within 72 hours of the survey being undertaken. The report will contain all of our findings, large photographs and recommendations for remedial works.

If you have asked us to provide a specification and guide costings for the work then this will also be included in the report.

Damp and timber Survey and investigation report

To book a damp survey and investigation for a property which you currently own or are in the process of buying you can either email or phone using the contacts below or at the top of the page.We look forward to meeting you!

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