Most frequent questions and answers
Yes we can. Your standard RICS Homebuyers survey will often recommend a ‘damp and timber specialist’ takes a look at the property or specific issues. We are happy to carry out these surveys. The survey will be carried out by a qualified damp survey holding CSRT and CSSW qualifications which is the level any mortgage company would ask for. Survey reports will be with you within 3 working days unless you specifically need it sooner which we can arrange.
As independent and impartial specialist damp surveyors all surveys are charged for. We do not wish to sell you any unnecessary works such as rising damp injections or spray on water repellents. Typically our honest and expert advice saves customers money. Surveys will cost around £200 to £450 dependent on the size and location of the building. This represents excelent value when you consider surveys take 2-4 hours plus travel and report writing time.
Yes. All surveys are carried out by a PCA qualified damp specialist.
Yes we can. However, we will need to get your landlords permission to do so. If this is a private landlord then you should ask them to contact us directly to make the arrangements. For social housing associations we work with a number of them so please feel free to ask them to book a survey with Damp Genius.
Alternatively, if you need some advice then we can offer a 1 hour telephone/video call consultation. On the call we can talk through all the issues and provide advice reagrding how to fix the issue and your landlords responsiblity under the law. The cost is £75 plus VAT and we generally do them on a Friday.
We aim to have reports completed and emailed to you with 3 working days of the survey. For a small additional charge reports can be completed on the same day.
Yes we can quote for all ventilation sytems we recommend, including PIV systems and extract ventilation used to tackle condensation.
We do not quote for rising damp works. Generally speaking we do not find rising damp as the problem is often caused by other factors, such as high ground levels, cracked render, leaks etc. These types of works can often be completed by a handy homeowner or a general builder. The difficult part is knowing exactly what you need to do to solve the problem and that that is where we can help.
We do always provide detailed guidance on the works we recommend. For complicated projects we can project manage the works on your behalf.
Stephen Boniface, former chairman or RICS, has stated that true rising damp is a myth and chemically injected damp proof courses are a complete waste of money. Whilst we may not completely agree with this statement we do treat anything which looks like rising damp with caution. Sadly, many contractors and surveyors will conduct a quick 30minute survey using a damp meter, proclaim that rising damp is present and recommend that ££££ of works are carried out.
In truth a detailed 2 – 4 hour survey will often identify other issues which are leading to the damp, such as high ground levels, poorly ventilated sub floor voids, cracked render externally, leaks, blocked cavities, the wrong render used etc etc.Our survey methods include using thermal imaging cameras, calcium carbide meters, opening up walls (where possible) and generally thinking logically to find the actual cause of the damp.
You request a survey here – Contact Us
All surveys follow the methodology laid down within these guidance documents:
- BRE245 ‘Rising Damp In Walls’
- BS7913 ‘Guide To The Conservation of Historic Buildings’
- RICS/Historic England/PCA joint document ‘Investigation of Moisture and its Effects in Tradtional Buildings’
- PCA Code of Practice ‘Investigation and Control of Dampness in Buildings’
Our aim on every survey is to find the cause of the damp or timber decay then provide you with a suitable solution. We will never suggest that rising damp is the cause without first exhausting all other options for the water ingress.
We use a variety of instruments to do this including thermal imaging, calcium carbide meters, capacitance meters, humidity meters, anemometers (measure fan speeds), temperature gauges and a healthy dose of experience to interpret the results of these instruments.
A bigger discussion of methods can be found ‘Survey Methods’.
After many years carring out surveys on all sorts of properties from 1950s semis to historic churches my opinion is that yes, rising damp does exist. Sadly, it seems to be mis-diagnosed and blamed for damp problems far too often.
The large damp proofing companies employ sales surveyors who are taught to recognise signs of suspected rising damp then sell a chemical injection. They have sales targets to meet and products to sell. We offer an impartial survey service because it is genuinely difficult to make money selling rising damp injections once you start surveying in detail and exploring other causes of damp.
It is also vital for the damp surveyor to understand the type of property since a period or historic building is not designed to handle damp in the same way as a modern building. I have undertaken the PCA damp surveyors training, the standard in the industry, and can confirm that no mention was made of this fact at all. Lime plaster was not mentioned. Breatheability was mentioned but only in passing and with raised eyebrows.
Yes absolutely. Mould is generally caused by condensation. We can carry out a detailed survey which will measure the existing ventilation in the property before advising on measures you can take to stop the problem. We install specialist condensation control ventialtion including PIV systems and extract fans.
Surveys typically take 2 – 4 hours depending on the scale of the problem and the size of the house.