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MONEY/MORTGAGE SAVING CASE HISTORIES
With the money markets being really tight nowadays lenders are releasing
mortgage monies for house purchases, re-mortgaging and equity release
only after borrowers satisfy strict criteria and jump through several
hoops to obtain a mortgage.
The Valuation/Building Survey carried out for the lender invariably notes dampness and timber decay and will put a retention on the mortgage or even hold back all of the money until damp & timber reports are obtained and the work carried out. Unfortunately this has lead to the rise some unscrupulous damp-proofing and timber treatment companies ‘diagnosing’ rising damp and woodworm after carrying out free damp and timber surveys.
We can help you avoid these unnecessary damp and timber treatments and if you in the process of obtaining a buying a house or obtaining a mortgage we can carry out independent, impartial damp and timber surveys by qualified surveyors who are not intent on selling chemical damp-proofing or timber treatments. These comprehensive damp and timber reports will satisfy your lenders demands so that your mortgage is processed successfully without the need for any damp-proofing or timber treatments.
Below are some of the cases that we have helped recently:
Never trust a man with a meter.Croft Road,Newmarket,Suffolk CB8 0AQ.June 2013
Our client was buying this Victorian semi-detached house and dampness was picked up on the mortgage valuation survey so the estate agent arranged for a free damp survey by a Cambridge based damp-proofing and timber treatment company. Using a moisture meter they asserted that high damp readings were due to the failure of the original slate damp-proof course and recommended the installation of a new chemical d.p.c. and water-proof plastering at a cost of around £3,500.00. We were asked to carry out further survey to include sampling of plaster. We found that although there was some surface dampness this was due to condensation which was confirmed using a digital hygrometer and surface thermometer to determine relative humidity and dew point temperature. We also took samples from the wall and using the oven-drying method of moisture determination proved that the capillary moisture content was less than 5% and there was no need for any chemical damp-proofing. Even after allowing for our survey fee our client saved over £3,200.00 and avoided the need for unnecessary and disruptive chemical damp-proofing.
Homeowners should never depend on surveys and reports which rely solely on the use of hand-held moisture meters as they give inaccurate and misleading readings which are often used by damp-proofing companies to sell chemical damp-proofing.
Rising damp or low-level moisture ingress Carterspiece, Coleford, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire.May 2013
During the selling of this stone built cottage the estate agent arrange for a free damp survey to be carried.
A Hereford based, Property Care Association member, damp-proofing and timber treatment company undertook the free damp survey and found ‘rising damp’ in most of the walls when using a moisture meter and quoted for damp-proofing and plastering at a cost of over £5,200.00. They recommended the injection of a chemical damp-proof course when most people know that this is virtually useless in a stone wall as the fluid just runs away in the rubble infill and no doubt the treatment company would just rely on the waterproof render to hold back any damp.
Moisture meters are not calibrated for use on plaster and the readings obtained are often mis-leading and result in the mis-diagnosis of rising damp and unnecessary damp-proofing and plastering. We therefore took samples from the walls and dried them in a moisture balance which showed that there was only one area of damp on the front wall and this was due to water ponding on a concrete abs e at the front of the house. No damp-proofing works were required and all that was needed was the installation of a drainage channel at the base of the wall which was done by a local builder for less that £600.00.
Homeowners should never depend on surveys and reports which rely solely on the use of hand-held moisture meters as they give inaccurate and misleading readings which are often used by damp-proofing companies to sell chemical damp-proofing.
Free damp survey recommends whole house damp-proofing– Northbridge Street, Shefford, SG17 5DH. April 2013
Our client was in the process of buying this terraced house and received a building survey report which stated that it was ‘a damp property with significant areas of dampness ’ and recommended further investigation.
A Bedfordshire based, Property Care Association member , damp-proofing and timber treatment company carried out a damp and timber survey and quoted for damp-proofing and plastering at a cost of around £1,900.00 plus spaying the roof with an insecticide as they found light ,scattered infestation of woodworm activity.
Our survey noted that the house was built with a physical (slate) damp-proof course which, contrary to assertions by most damp-proofing companies, rarely break down and this had been supplemented by a chemical damp-proof course and water-proof plastering system. The combination of the original physical damp-proof course and the injected d.p.c. were sufficient to prevent any further rising dampness and the only damp that we found was on the front wall where residual moisture in the wall had been pushed up passed the section of water-proof plaster and caused some slight staining on the plaster. No damp-proofing works were required and all that was needed was the removal of the damp section of plaster and replacement with a renovating plaster.
We also inspected the roof space for woodworm and found that there was no active woodworm or fungal decay and therefore no justification for chemical preservative treatments.
Our report was submitted to our client’s lender and they accepted our findings and removed the retention clause eon the mortgage offer.
We found that there was some low-level damp penetration at the base of the walls caused by slightly raised ground levels which had partially bridged the original damp-proof course and this could easily be rectified by either lowering ground levels or installing a drainage channel at the base of the external walls at a cost of less that £500.00.
We submitted our report to the buyer’s lender and they accepted our findings and granted a mortgage without any retention for damp-proofing works.
Free damp survey finds rising damp– Highham Hill Road, Walthamstow, London E17 5QY. April 2013
We were due to carry out a pre-purchase damp survey on this ground floor Warner flat in Walthamstow when the purchaser phoned us a couple of days beforehand to cancel as the estate agent had arranged for a free damp and timber survey from a Walthamstow based damp-proofing and timber treatment company. A couple of weeks later the buyer phoned us again and asked us to go ahead with our survey as the free damp and timber survey had diagnosed rising damp in all the external walls and the recommended damp-proofing and plastering works were going to cost approximately £4,500.00.
We found that there was some low-level damp penetration at the base of the walls caused by slightly raised ground levels which had partially bridged the original damp-proof course and this could easily be rectified by either lowering ground levels or installing a drainage channel at the base of the external walls at a cost of less that £1,000.00.
We submitted our report to the buyer’s lender and they accepted our findings and granted a mortgage without any retention for damp-proofing works.
Low level moisture ingress causes rising damp– Anglesey Road, Enfield EN3 4HZ. April 2013
A North London based damp-proofing and timber treatment company stated ‘Tests with a moisture meter showed high readings indicating there is rising damp due to the lack or breakdown of the damp-proof course’. They then recommended that a new chemical damp-proof course should be installed into the walls, together with extensive re-plastering works internally at a cost of around £6,500.00.
We found that the damp was due to raised ground levels leading to low-level moisture ingress which then causes ‘rising damp’ internally. Chemical damp-proofing should only be considered when all building defects causing dampness have been rectified and we therefore suggested installing a drainage channel at the base of the affected walls which will remove the moisture reservoir that was causing the dampness and prevent any rainwater ponding which was the actual cause of dampness.
These works were carried out by our clients’ builder at less than a quarter of the price of the recommended damp-proofing works.
Leaking tap causes induced rising damp– Hollybush, Blackwood, Gwent, South Wales NP12 0SW. February 2013
Our client was in the process of buying this terraced cottage and the Building Society put a £10,000 retention on the mortgage until damp-proofing works were carried out. The house had been neglected for a few years and had started to fall into disrepair. We found that most of the damp was from a leaking tap in the kitchen which was allowing water to sit on the solid floor and then drawn into and up the walls by capillary action to appear as rising damp. No damp-proofing works were required and all that was need was plumbing repairs to fix the leak and the wall would dry out gradually.
We submitted our damp report to the Building Society and they accepted our finding and lifted the retention clause on the mortgage
Plinth bridges damp-proof course and causes rising damp– Hillbrow Road, Pokesdown, Bournemouth, Dorset BH6 5NT January 2013
This detached house was being sold by our client and a mortgage survey picked up dampness and timber decay. A Poole based damp-proofing and timber treatment company recommended that a chemical damp-proof course together with water-proof plastering be fitted as there was no physical damp-proof course.
We found that there was a slate damp-proof course but this was hidden by a cement plinth at the base of the wall. The plinth was cracked so we took a section off to expose the damp-proof course and because the plinth had been cracked it had allowed water penetration through the cracks and the brickwork had become saturated. Water then passes through the brickwork by capillarity to appear as rising damp internally. Instead of recommending damp-proofing we suggested that the plinth should be removed to allow the brickwork to breathe and let moisture evaporate before re-instating the plinth in a lime render on the brickwork below the damp-course.
Raised ground levels bridges damp-proof course– Station Road, Alvechurch, Birmingham, West Midlands B48 7SD AL3 5PT January 2013
Most houses built around 1900 in the Birmingham/West Midlands area usually have a slate or bitumen damp-proof course which was fitted at the time of construction and the two or three courses of brickwork below the damp-proof course are usually dense engineering bricks which further inhibit rising dampness.
Despite this a mortgage survey and a free damp survey from a Solihull based damp-proofing company both stated that an injected damp-proof course was required but we found that the damp was due to water penetration from raised ground levels which had bridged the damp-proof course. The recommended damp-proofing and plastering works would have cost over £3,000.00 but these were not required and all the only work needed was the reduction of ground levels to expose the original damp-proof course.
Raised ground levels– Normandy Road, St Albans, Hertfordshire AL3 5PT December 2012
Dampness was picked up during the mortgage survey of this terraced house in St Albans and a free survey was obtained from a Watford based damp-proofing and timber treatment company and they recommended that a new chemical damp-proof course should be installed as well as chopping off all the plaster internally to a height of 1.2m and replacing it with a water-proof render. The total cost of this work was approximately £4,500.00
Our survey found that the dampness was due to high ground bridging the damp course leading to low-level moisture ingress and induced rising damp internally. This was easily rectified by lowering the ground levels so that there was 150mm clearance between the original slate damp course and the ground so there was no risk of bridging or rainwater splashback. No specialist damp-proofing works were required and the repairs were carried out by a local builder for less than £500.00.
Dormant woodworm- No treatment required– Clifton Court, Royal Terrace, Southend-on Sea SS1 1DX December 2012
A mortgage survey of this 2 bedroom flat overlooking the seafront in Southend noted that there was evidence of woodworm in some floorboards and recommended further investigation. The estate agent arranged for a Chelmsford based woodworm treatment company to carry out a free timber survey. Even though they found no active woodworm they still recommended that the whole property should be sprayed with a preservative as a precaution against any possible decay at a cost of£1,500.00. Our survey also found that the woodworm was not active and no treatment was required. The average moisture content of the floor timbers was around 8% which is too low to sustain any woodworm or fungal decay. Our report stated that provided timbers remain dry there is very little risk of any infestation and there was no justification for any chemical timber treatments and this was sufficient for the lender to grant the mortgage without any retention clauses
Rainwater ponding causes rising damp – Westfield Grove, High Barnes, Sunderland SR4 8QZ- December 2012
Rising damp was diagnosed by a Sunderland based damp-proofing firm after a mortgage survey said there was some dampness in external walls and damp-proofing works costing over £5,000.00 were recommended. This house was built around 1930 and the damp-proof course is still functional and e found that the damp was due to water ponding at the base of the walls where the gutter was discharging onto a concrete hardstanding. The only works required to stop any more rising damp was the re-routing of the downpipe away from the wall and the installation of a drainage channel in the concrete base- the total cost of this work was around £500.00.
Splashback from decking causes rising damp – Dover House Road, Putney, LONDON SW15 5AF- November 2012
The popularity of timber decking in recent years has unforeseen consequences and we often find that it causes rising damp due to rainwater splashback. In this house the mortgage surveyor detected dampness on the rear elevation wall of the house going into the back garden and said it was ring damp. This diagnosis was confirmed by a Wandsworth based damp-proofing firm who recommended chemical damp-proofing even though the original damp proof course was visible eon all external walls. We recommended that that the only work required to stop further rising damp was to cut back the decking to allow rainwater to run off instead of splashing above the damp-proof course.
‘Rising damp’ in 1950s semi–Sandrocks Way, Haywards Heath,West Sussex RH16 4JL- October 2012
Building Society survey picked up rising damp during a mortgage survey despite the house only being about 60 years old and with the physical damp course visible on all external walls. A Brighton based damp-proofing firm carried out a free survey and said the dampness was due to failure of the damp- course and recommended chemical damp-proofing which would cost around £2,000. We found that the damp was due to an overflowing water-butt which was causing water penetration at the base of the walls and the damp could be fixed for less than a hundred pound and no damp-proofing works were required.
Bridging of damp course causing ‘rising damp’ – Swanscombe Road, Chiswick , West London W4 2HQ- September 2012
The front and rear gardens of this terraced house had been concreted over and the original slate damp-course had been bridged leading to low-level moisture ingress and damp internally. An Ealing based damp-proofing a timber treatment company recommended the installation of a chemical damp-proof course with waterproof sand/cement rendering cost £4,500.00 to all external walls after their free damp survey despite their being a perfectly good slate damp course in the property. Our clients wanted a more environmentally, chemical free solution and we therefore advised lowering ground levels and the installation of drainage channels at the base of walls to prevent water from ponding and therefore removing the moisture reservoirs which caused the rising damp internally.
‘Rising damp’ in new build slows sale–Cheshire Street, London E2 2EE August 2012
This ground floor flat, near Brick lane between Shoreditch and Bethnal Green, was built around 10 years ago and had a physical damp-proof course installed at the time of construction but a Building Society surveyor still found rising damp in the external wall and wouldn’t accept our initial report stating that there was no rising damp so we had to go back and take samples from the walls. These were dried in a moisture balance (Adams AMB 50) which showed that the average moisture content was around 6% which is considered dry for brickwork and plaster. The Building Society were happy with our updated damp report and the sale of the flat eventually went through.
Splashback from decking causes rising damp – Despard Road, Archway , North London N19 5NW- August 2012
Timber decking had been fitted to rear of this ground floor flat just along from the Charlotte Despard pub on Archway Road and it was butting right up to the base of the wall. This lead to rainwater splashback and perceived rising dampness internally. Several damp-proofing firms from North London diagnosed rising damp and recommended chemical damp-proofing and water-proof plastering to all external walls of the rear addition which would also mean ripping out the kitchen and bathroom units.
We avoided the need for any damp-proofing by cutting back the decking to allow rainwater to run off and also improving ventilation under the decking which provided better ventilation to the brickwork and encouraged evaporation of dampness in the walls.
Induced rising damp causes house sale to fall through – Parkhurst Drive Rayleigh, Essex. SS6 9RD- August 2012
A price had been agreed on this neglected terraced house which had started to fall into disrepair. A mortgage survey said a damp and timber survey was required so a Southend based damp-proofing timber company obliged and provided a damp and timber report which said that damp-proofing and timber treatment was required throughout at a cost of £10,000.The buyers sought a reduction on the price but the vendors wouldn’t budge and the sale fell through.
New buyers then asked us to carry out a damp and timber survey and we found that even though the house was in a poor condition it had not been badly affected by dampness or timber decay. The only damp that we found was in the kitchen where a plumbing leak had allowed water to sit on a solid floor where it was drawn into the walls causing ‘induced rising damp’. No damp-proofing works were required as the damp would dry out gradually without the need for any chemical damp-proofing.
Rising damp and wet rot found during mortgage survey – Kinsale Road, Peckham South London. SE15 4HL- June 2012
This run down ground floor flat in the now much sought after area between Peckham Rye and Dulwich was bought by out client at auction. It had been badly maintained and fallen into disrepair and there was a lot of penetrating damp from leaking gutters and low-level moisture ingress from raised ground levels but not enough to warrant a £5,000 retention until a damp and timber survey had been carried out. A South London damp-proofing company carried out a free damp and timber survey and recommended that damp-proof and timber treatments costing around £4,000 were required.
Our surveyed found that most of the damp was due to raised ground levels and lack of sub-floor ventilation which cause dampness in walls and wet rot in timbers and repairs for these could be included with other essential maintenance at a cost of less than £1,000 saving our client around £3,000.00 as well as avoiding the need for unnecessary chemical damp-proofing and timber treatments.
Diagnosing rising damp with moisture meter. Fife Street, Wincobank, SHEFFIELD S9 1NN- May 2012
Our client was in the process of buying this 2 up/2 down terrace house in Wincobank, just off Barrow Road and near the M1 and Meadowhall Shopping Centre. The mortgage survey said it was damp and a free damp survey carried out by a Leeds based damp-proofing and timber treatment company diagnosed rising damp purely on the strength of using a protimeter and recommended damp-proofing and water-proof plastering on every ground floor wall at a cost of around £3,000.00. Our client was not convinced that there was any rising damp as the house was built with a physical damp-proof course and had also had a chemical d.p.c. installed during previous renovation works.
We took samples from the plaster and brickwork on all the ‘damp’ walls and had these dried in an Adams Moisture Balance (AMB 50). The average moisture content on the party walls of the house was less than 5% which is considered dry for building materials. The only areas of damp that we found were on the front and rear elevation walls and this was due to raised ground levels which had bridged the original damp-proof course and also partially blocked the air bricks, leading to induced ‘rising damp’ which could easily be rectified by lowering ground levels or installing a drainage channel at the base of the damp walls. The cost of these works was less than £400.00 and therefore saved our client over £2,500.00 as well as avoiding the need fro unnecessary chemical damp-proofing and water-proof plastering.
Rising damp or low level moisture ingress. Hillbrook Street, Tooting, LONDON SW17 8SF- April 2012
Dampness was noted during a mortgage survey on this terraced house in Tooting and a retention was put on the mortgage until a damp and timber survey was carried out. A Wandsworth based damp-proofing and timber treatment contractor carried out a free survey for the buyer and said that this was rising damp caused by the lack of an effective modern damp-proof course and recommended a new chemical d.p.c. and removal/replacement of plaster with a waterproof render. The total cost of this remedial work was around £4,000.00. We found that the house, which was built around 1910, had a perfectly good slate damp-proof course which was still effective in preventing rising damp and that there was the only damp we found was due to a blocked drain which had caused flooding in the back yard. This moisture reservoir allowed water to be drawn into the wall which could then travel through the brickwork to appear as rising damp on plaster internally. We recommended that the drain was unblocked to prevent further flooding and penetrating damp. The only remedial works that were required was the replacement of skirting boards which had become damp and could start to decay, the cost of these works were around £250.00. We submitted our damp and timber report to the Building Society and the mortgage was granted without any retention.
Rising damp found during mortgage survey. Hook Hill, Timsbury, Bath BA2 0NE – March 2012
The building society surveyor said there was rising damp in this stone built cottage and recommended further investigation by a damp-proofing specialist. A Bath based damp-proofing and timber treatment company recommended the installation of a chemical damp-proof course and water-proof plastering, despite knowing that chemical damp-proofing is never successful in stone walls as the fluid just runs way in the rubble infill, at a cost of over £6,500.00. We found that there was no severe dampness and what little damp was due low level moisture ingress where water was ponding at the base of the external walls which leads to induced rising damp internally. No damp-proofing works were required and all that was needed was the provision of better drainage at the base of the walls to remove the moisture reservoir effect.
Penetrating Damp or Condensation ? University Road, Colliers Wood, South London SW19 2BU – March 2012
The tenants in this first floor flat called their landlord about a damp problem in one of the rooms and he obtained a survey /quote from a Croydon based damp-proof company who said that the problem was caused by penetrating damp through the brickwork and quoted for extensive repairs which included waterproof tanking membranes and plaster at a cost of around £8,000. We found that the dampness was due to condensation caused by inadequate heating and ventilation and recommended the installation of passive dehumidifiers plus the re-siting of a radiator under the window, which helps create convection currents and distributes heat more evenly, at a cost of around a tenth of what the damp-proofing contractor had quoted.
Rising Damp or Condensation? Wheeler Street,Stourbridge,West Midlands DY8 1XJ – March 2012
The tenants in this house complained of dampness and the landlord obtained a free survey from a Birmingham based damp-proofing company who suggested a new damp-proof course together with waterproof plastering to the whole of the ground floor as a remedy. The landlord was not sure that this was the right course of action as a new chemical damp-proof course had been installed a few years earlier and the house also had a physical damp-proof course.
We found that there was some surface dampness on some of the walls but this was not due to rising damp but condensation and we were able to prove this with the use of a digital hygrometer and a surface thermometer which showed that the wall temperature was below the dew point temperature which allowed warm air to condense of the cooler wall surfaces.
The condensation was alleviated by the installation of extract fans in the kitchen and bathroom plus a passive dehumidifier in the lounge which resulted in lower humidity levels and a much healthier indoor environment and no damp-proofing works were required.
Rising Damp, Woodworm & Dry Rot-Moorside North, Fenham, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 9DX – February 2012
Rising damp, woodworm and dry rot were highlighted in a report by a Chartered Surveyor as part of a mortgage application. The property had been unoccupied for some time and because of the perceived dampness and decay as well as other structural repairs the bank put a 100% retention on the mortgage until a damp and timber report was obtained.
We found that there was some dampness in external walls which had been caused by bridging of the original damp-proof course and this could easily be rectified by lowering the ground levels. The raised ground levels had also blocked the air bricks which restricted sub-floor ventilation leading to a build up of moisture and dampness and decay in the joists ends. Once the ground levels were lowered and air bricks opened up there would be a sufficient air flow under the floor to purge excess moisture from the sub-floor void and timbers would dry to a level at which wet and dry rot was not sustainable. No chemical damp-proofing or timber treatments were required and we submitted our findings to the bank and they were satisfied with our report and reduced the retention to a more realistic £5,000 and our client obtained their mortgage.
Eastbourne Gardens, East Sheen, South London.SW14 7NH – February 2012
This is a semi detached house built around 1930 with a perfectly good physical damp-proof course but a free damp survey by a Battersea based damp-proofing and timber treatment company detected rising damp in all the external walls and chemical damp-proofing works were recommended at a cost of approximately £3,500.00.
We found that the only damp was due to the original damp-proof course having previously been bridged by raised ground levels which had allowed moisture at the base of the wall. This allowed water to sit on top of the slate damp course where it was then drawn up the wall by capillary action to appear as ‘rising damp’ internally.
At the time of our damp survey the house owner had already reduced the ground level so that there was 150mm clearance between the ground and the damp-proof course and the walls had started to dry but there was still some residual moisture in sections which needed to be replaced at a cost of around £400.00 saving our client over £3,000.00.
Wightman Road, Haringey, London N8 0NB – February 2012
This property was being sold through Paul Simon Estate Agents in Green Lane, Haringey and our client was in the process of getting a mortgage when damp was flagged up by the surveyor so a free survey was obtained from a Hertfordshire based damp-proofing and timber treatment company. They diagnosed rising damp due to the lack of an effective modern damp-proof course and therefore recommended the installation of a new damp-proof course and associated replaster at a cost of around £7,000.00
The house had stood empty for around six months and we found that most of the dampness which would be easily alleviated once it was occupied and heated and ventilated normally
The only other damp that we found was due to raised ground levels which had bridged the original slate damp-proof course allowing low-level moisture ingress which travels through the wall by capillary action to appear as ‘rising damp’ internally. We recommended the installation of a drainage channel at the base of the affected walls which could be done at less than a quarter of the price of chemical damp-proofing.
Dry Rot-Gowlett Road, Peckham,South London SE15 4HY – January 2012
Our client was buying this house in Gowlett Road, which is just the wrong side of East Dulwich Road to be in SE22, and even though it was a bit dilapidated sold very quickly as the property market in this part of South East London is still very strong. The building surveyor who attended the property must have read Great Expectations the night before as his comments about dry rot were much the same as Miss Havisham’s when she said that ‘dry rot and wet rot and all the silent rots that rot in neglected roof and cellar…. addressed themselves faintly to my sense of smell’ and said there was dry rot in the cellar and because of this valued the house at £0 and in the ‘amount in words’ box had put ZERO stating that ‘upon receipt of a dry rot report and estimated costs for repair a realistic valuation can be given’.
Perhaps the surveyor should have read Edgar Alan Poe’s ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ where he said ‘there was much that reminded me of the specious totality of old woodwork which has rotted for long years in some old neglected vault, with no disturbance of breath of the external air. Beyond this indication of extensive decay, however, the fabric gave little token of instability’.
Although we found that although the house was in a poor state of repair with moisture ingress and lack of ventilation etc causing wet rot in cellar timbers which is much easier to control and their was no need for the drastic treatments and could easily be remedied by removing the source of moisture and improving the ventilation to the cellar as well as removing decayed timbers.
The lender was happy with our rport and a mortage was approved with only a relatively small retention until the damp and timber repairs were carried out.
Russell Grove, Westbury Park, Bristol BS6 7UD – January 2012
This house was being sold as the previous elderly owners had died and being old they neglected the house and at the time of the mortgage survey being carried out was a bit run down. The surveyor stated that “the property appears to be in a poor condition and a you are advised to instruct a specialist damp-proofing and timber contractor to inspect the whole property and report on internal dampness and the condition of all timbers including the sub-floor” and placed a 100% retention on the mortgage and this prompted the Building Society to state “I would draw your attention to section 15, General Remarks and especially the paragraph relating to the damp and rot. Unfortunately until a specialist report has been completed on the property to establish the full extent of the problems and the cost for repair, the Society is unable to progress your application any further.”
We inspected the property and found that there was dampness in most of the external walls which had been caused by bridging of the original physical damp-proof course with a block paving drive and also block drains leading low-level moisture ingress and ‘rising damp’ internally. The raised ground had also block air bricks leading to a build up of water vapour under the floor and dampness and wet rot in sub-floor timbers. We provided a report stating that provided these defects were repaired and the fabric of the property was well maintained there was very little risk of dampness and decay re-occurring and there was no need for any chemical damp-proofing or timber treatments.
The Building Society accepted our findings and granted the mortgage with a more acceptable retention figure of £5,000 until the damp and timber repairs and other works were carried out.
Maple Street, Sheerness, Isle of Sheppey, KENT ME12 1XH – December 2011
Our client was in the process of buying this terraced house in Sheerness and the mortgage survey picked up dampness and possible timber decay and recommended further investigation and a Gillingham based damp-proofing company carried out a free damp and timber survey then recommended the installation of a chemical damp-proof course and water-proof plastering at a cost of £4,500.The Building Society duly placed a retention on the mortgage until these damp-proofing works were carried out.
We found that there was only minor dampness which had been caused by bridging of the original slate damp-proof course which could be remedied by reducing ground levels externally to prevent further bridging and low-level moisture ingress.
These works have been priced at around £500.00 by a local builder so our client avoided having any damp-proofing works done and saved himself approximately £4,000, the retention was also lifted by the Building Society.
Church Lane, Wernffrwd, Swansea, West Glamorgan SA4 3TT – November 2011
This is a stone built property was built approximately 150 years ago, directly opposite St David’s Chapel near the marsh road, was built without a physical damp-proof course and a chemical damp-proof course together with waterproof plastering was retro-fitted during previous renovation works.
The damp-proofing hadn’t been totally successful, which is not surprising as injected damp-proof courses never work in stone walls and damp-proofing firms tend to rely on their waterproof render to hold back any dampness, and our client had tried to claim on the guarantee that had been issued by a local contractor. Unfortunately the contractor had died and the company had ceased trading and there was no GPI or CGS or other meaningful insured guarantee so our client then obtained quotes from various Swansea based damp-proofing companies who recommended damp-proofing to the whole of the cottage as well as chopping off all the plaster and doing the whole job again at a cost of roughly £10,000.00.
We found that the only reason for some of the dampness to re-appear was where the render had been finished flush with concrete flooring which allowed moisture to be drawn from below the floor to appear as rising damp in the plaster. We recommended that plaster should be chopped off at the base of the wall to prevent any capillary action which was causing the damp and the gap could then be covered with a skirting board.
Another contributory factor was the external render which was preventing moisture from evaporating. We suggested removing render at the base of the external walls to allow the masonry to breathe which would reduce dampness internally.
These works were undertaking for less than £1,000.00 so our client saved around £9,000 and solved the damp problem without resorting to unnecessary, expensive and disruptive chemical damp-proofing.
Crystal Palace Road, Dulwich, London SE22 9JJ – November 2011
This property was being sold through Acorn Estate Agents in Lordship Lane, Dulwich and our client had an offer accepted subject to survey.
The house had stood empty for a while and was starting to fall into disrepair so our client had a full building survey and the surveyor’s report highlighted the usual defects such as damp and timber decay and recommended damp-proofing and timber treatments costing around £6,000 even though the property was built with a slate damp-course and a chemical damp-roof course, together with associated water-proof rendering, had been installed within the last ten years.
We tested the damp walls with a Protimeter and high readings were recorded on the plaster but as these meters cannot be relied upon to be accurate on plaster we also took readings from the skirting fitted to the walls and these were well within acceptable limits. But to satisfy the bank that there was no damp in the wall we also took samples of brickwork and plaster and used a Speedy Carbide meter on site to determine the true moisture content. Samples are put in a sealed container and calcium carbide is added which reacts with moisture in the plaster or brick dust and produces acetylene gas in proportion to the amount f water in the sample and this is read directly from a gauge. The average moisture content from the samples was less than 5% which is considered dry for building materials and the bank were satisfied with our report and a mortgage was granted without any retention.
Tyler Street, Greenwich, London SE10 9EY – October 2011
Our client was selling this mid-terrace house which had been built with a slate damp-proof course which was still effective and a chemical damp-proof course together with associated waterproof plastering had also been installed.
The mortgage survey picked up dampness and a free survey was carried out by a Plumstead based damp-proofing company who also said that rising damp was present and damp-proofing works costing around £2,500.00 were required.
We tested the damp walls with a Protimeter and high readings were recorded on the plaster but as these meters are not accurate on plaster we also took readings from the skirting fitted to the walls and these were well within acceptable limits. In order to prove that there was no dampness in the wall we also took samples of the brickwork and plaster and dried them in a moisture balance (Adams AMB 50) which weighs samples before and after drying with a halogen heater to give a precise moisture content. The average moisture content by drying was found to be less than 4% and this satisfied both the buyer and his lender that no damp-proofing works were required and the sale went through soon after.
East End Lane, Adderbury, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX17 3NW – October 2011
This is a stone built mid-terrace house cottage close to Adderbury Lakes off the Aynho Road and as the date of construction was around 1750 would not have had a damp-proof course fitted when built.
Our client had bought the property recently and a condition of the mortgage offer was to have a damp and timber report carried out with any necessary damp-proofing and timber treatments works being carried out within six months. A succession of damp-proofing firms from Oxford, Banbury and Bicester provided free damp and timber surveys and they all came to the same conclusion that the only remedy was the installation of an injected damp-proof course with waterproof plastering and chemical timber treatments at costs varying from five to six thousand pounds which would be unsuitable.
Trying to inject a chemical damp-proof course stone walls is a waste of time and money as they rarely work and the application of a dense waterproof render as part of the ‘damp-proofing system’ offered by most damp-proofing companies tends to make things worse as instead of allowing the walls to breathe naturally the render stops moisture from evaporating and just causes any dampness to rise higher up the wall and emerge above the damp-proof plaster.
We recommended the lowering of ground levels to prevent moisture ingress at the base of affected walls and the installation of extra air bricks to promote better sub-floor ventilation which helps to remove moisture from floor voids which otherwise could condense on exposed masonry and travel up the wall by capillary action to appear as rising damp internally. The improved sub-floor ventilation would also dry out floor timbers to a level at which decay or infestation was unsustainable and therefore chemical timber treatments were also not justifiable.
The mortgage provider was happy with our explanation of why an injected damp-proof course would not work and accepted our report along with our recommendations of a more holistic, environmentally friendly approach to the control of rising damp. The works were carried out by a local builder at a cost of around £500.00 saving our client around £5,000.00.
Shrewsbury Street, Glossop, Derbyshire, SK13 7AN – October 2011
This is a stone built end of terrace house which was bought by auction through Edward Mellor Estate Agents in Stockport.
The house had been neglected and was starting to fall into disrepair so the lender requested various reports before a mortgage was granted. One of these was a damp and timber report which was first undertaken by a damp-proofing and timber treatments company from Buxton. They recommended the installation of a chemical damp-proof course, water-proof plastering and timber treatment throughout the house at a cost of over £8,000.00 and a retention was put on the mortgage until these works were completed.
Injected damp-proof course are rarely effective in stone walls as the damp-proofing usually runs away in the rubble infill and most damp-proofing firms will rely on a waterproof render to hold back the damp. We found that most of the damp was due to low-level moisture ingress at the base of the walls which no amount of damp-proofing would stop and we recommended the installation of a drainage channel at the base of walls to allow rainwater to drain away before it can be absorbed into walls. Internally, instead of using a waterproof render we specified the use of Walltransform, a dual purpose damp-proofing and insulating plaster, which allows walls to breathe and also prevents heat loss. Chemical timber treatment was also avoided by the installation of extra air bricks which will reduce the moisture content of floor timbers to a level at which fungal decay and woodworm infestation are not sustainable.
The Building Society accepted our report and the retention was lifted on the undertaking that works recommended by us were carried out within 6 months. Our client estimated that these works would cost him around £2,000.00, a saving of over £6,000.00 on the original estimate.
Drummond Terrace, North Shields, Tyne & Wear NE30 2AF – September 2011
Dampness was detected during a mortgage survey and a Newcastle based damp-proofing company undertook a free survey for the buyers and said that damp-proofing and plastering was need on all ground floor walls and provided a quote for £4,000.00 for the job
The houses in this part of North Shields were built around 1920 and have an asphalt damp-proof course fitted during the construction process. Asphalt used to be delivered on site in blocks weighing around half a hundredweight ( roughly 25kg ) and then heated and poured onto brick walls, which had been built up to damp-course height, between wooden battens fitted at the front and rear of the wall. The asphalt used to be then floated with a trowel to the top of the battens and then pointed with mortar once the wall was finished to prevent it from being squeezed out and discolouring the brickwork. Asphalt forms and excellent damp-proof course as it is impermeable and virtually indestructible when in the wall and being flexible will not fracture if there is any movement or settlement of brickwork.
We only found a slight area of damp on the front bay where the asphalt damp-proof course had been partially bridged by a concrete hardstanding at the base of the wall which was allowing water to pond above the damp-proof course which was then absorbed into the brickwork. The offending section of concrete was removed by the homeowner at virtually no cost and the buyer and his Building Society were satisfied with our findings that no further damp-proofing works were required.
Normandy Road, St Albans, Hertfordshire AL3 5PT – August 2011
‘Rising damp’ was noted on the Building Society survey and the Estate Agent arranged a free survey through a Watford based damp-proofing and timber treatments company who recommended the installation of a chemical damp-proof course together with associated water-proof rendering at a cost of around £3,500.
We found that the slate damp-proof course which was fitted when the house was built was still effective in stopping rising dampness from the ground and the only damp that we found was where the damp-course had been bridged where the path on an adjoining property had bridged the damp course allowing moisture ingress at the base of the wall which migrated through the brickwork to appear as ‘rising damp’ internally. No damp-proofing works were required and we recommended the installation of a drainage channel along the affected section of wall to remove the moisture reservoir effect and allow rainwater to drain away before it could be absorbed into the brickwork. These works were undertaking by a local builder who charged les than £500 for the work saving our client around £3,000.00.
Meadfield Road, Langley, Slough, Berkshire SL3 8HW – July 2011
A free survey was obtained from a Slough based damp-proofing and timber treatment company through the selling agents, Frost Partnership, who are based just round the corner from the house. The free damp survey, required as part of the mortgage deal, said that there was no physical damp-proof course and recommended an injected damp-proof course plus water proof rendering to all the external walls plus woodworm treatment just to be on the safe side-Total cost £2,800.00.
Our survey found that there was damp on the outside walls of the house which was built in late 19th century but it should have had a physical damp-course but this was not visible. Ground levels had been raised which covered the damp course but we dug down a foot or so to locate the it and this was made of bitumen which would have been pored onto the bricks during construction. Bitumen damp-proof courses are still effective in controlling rising damp from the ground so no damp-proofing works were required and we recommended that the ground levels should be lowered so that there was a gap of around 150mm ( six inches) between the ground and the damp proof course. Internally only minor repairs were required to the plaster and our client’s. The Building Society were happy with our report and lifted the retention from the mortgage. The client did the work himself so after paying £250 for a mini damp and timber survey he saved himself over £2,500.00 and avoid all the mess and disruption of chemical damp-proofing and associated plastering works.
Leatherhead Road, Malden Rushett, Chessington,SURREY KT9 2NQ – June 2011
The mortgage survey picked up dampness and possible timber decay as part of their inspection on this brick built cottage built around 1890 and recommended a further inspection by a damp and timber specialist. The estate agent arranged a free survey from an Epsom based damp-proofing and timber treatment company. They agreed with the surveyor and said that an injected damp-proof course costing £1,200.00 and timber treatment costing £800.00 were both required to in order to give a 20 year guarantee.
Our survey found that there was virtually no damp and that there was a still functioning slate damp-proof course at the base of all the walls. The only minor dampness we found was on the flank wall where the damp course was partially bridged where a concrete path had been laid, we also lifted floorboards to check timbers abutting ‘damp’ walls and found that there was no fungal decay or woodworm infestation and no timber treatments were required. The damp was easily fixed by excavating a drainage channel along the wall and then fitting a damp-proof membrane along the exposed brickwork before back-filling the excavation with shingle. The Building Society were happy with our report and granted a mortgage without any stipulation for damp-proofing or timber treatments.
The Green, West Cornforth, Ferryhill, Durham DL17 9JQ – June 2011
Our client was just in the process of buying this stone built cottage which is just off the A1 and overlooks the green in West Cornforth just down from the Square & Compass pub. The mortgage survey picked up dampness in most of the outside walls and a free survey/quote was obtained from a Sunderland based damp-proofing & timber treatment company. They recommended the installation of a chemical damp-proof course and water-proof plastering costing roughly £4,500.00. Injected damp-proof courses may be partially successful in brickwork but trying to inject a damp-proof course into a stone wall is a waste of time and money as it never works with the damp-proofing fluid just flooding the rubble infill and not having damp-proofing effect. A lot of damp-proofing companies will tell you that stone walls can be injected with a damp-proof course successfully but that is never the case and they just rely on a dense waterproof render to hold back any dampness and then claim that the damp-proofing has worked.
We found that most of the damp was due to low-level moisture ingress, due to water ponding at the base of external walls, which travelled through the wall by capillary action to appear as ‘rising damp’ internally and this was easily remedied by the installation of drainage channels which allowed rainwater to drain away effectively and remove the ‘moisture reservoir’ condition that had created the rising damp. The cost of these works was around £1,200.00 and we were able to issue a guarantee against the recurrence of rising damp which our client used to satisfy the mortgage requirements of his bank.
Natal Road, Streatham, South London SW16 6JA – June 2011
This house had just been bought and the Bank required a damp survey within six months of completion so that£3,000 retention could be released. The estate agent obtained a free survey from a Battersea based damp-proofing and timber treatment company who recommended damp-proofing and water-proof plastering works costing nearly £2,700.00. Our survey found that the house was built with a still functioning slate damp-proof course and the cause for the dampness was due to partial bridging of the damp-proof course and blocking of air bricks. Water penetrating at the base of the wall above the original damp-proof course can travel up the wall by capillary action to appear as ‘rising damp’ internally but usually no damp-proofing works are required and we recommended that the ground levels should be reduced 150mm below the slate damp-proof course and also that air bricks were unblocked. This work was undertaken by a local builder at a cost of around £500 and we then re-inspected the property and provided a guarantee against the recurrence of rising damp which enabled our client to get their retention released.
Wellington Road, Norwich NR2 3HT – May 2011
This house was going through the sale process when the surveyor identified dampness in some walls and asked for further investigation into possible rising dampness and timber decay. The buyer of the house requested a free survey from a Norwich based damp and timber treatment company and they said that damp-proofing was needed to all ground floor walls was needed as well as the removal of all wall plaster which was to be replaced with a waterproof sand/cement render. The total cost of this damp-proofing and plastering works was over £6,000.
Our survey found that there was some minor dampness on the front and rear walls which had been caused by low-level moisture ingress and also the lack of effective sub-floor ventilation. We recommended the lowering of external ground levels to prevent penetrating dampness and the installation of extra air bricks to improve the flow of air under the floor, which dries out timbers and also removes moisture from exposed sub-floor walls.
Our report satisfied our client’s lender and his mortgage was granted without any conditions for damp-proofing or timber treatment and there was no retention on the mortgage.
Aspley Lane, Aspley, Nottingham NG8 5RS – May 2011
This was another last-minute condition by the Building Society on a repossessed house which had fallen into disrepair and the survey stated
‘We noted high moisture meter readings to ground floor areas. It would be prudent to obtain the advice of a Property Care Association timber/damp-proofing firm on the extent of rising damp and condition of sub-floor and adjacent timbers.’
The property was built in the 1930’s and had a perfectly good damp course but had been occupied by low-life tenants who cultivated cannabis in every room of the house. This involved the use of lots of water and high temperature to promote growth of the plant and had resulted in chronic condensation dampness on walls and rot in the floors.
No damp-proofing or timber treatments were required and rapid drying with heavy duty dehumidifiers was all that was required apart from minor timber repairs.
Our report satisfied our client’s lender and his mortgage was granted without any conditions for damp-proofing or timber treatment and there was no retention on the mortgage
Chester Road, Dartmouth Park LONDON N19 5DF – May 2011
This was another mortgage survey on a converted basement and ground floor maisonette just up from the Star pub and close to both Archway and Tufnell Park tube stations
Dampness had been noted on basement walls and woodworm and fungal decay were also highlighted in the Building Society report. A free survey was carried out by a Cricklewood based damp-proofing firm who recommended the installation of a new damp-proof course and timber treatment at a cost of over £4,500.00.
Our survey found that there was no significant damp and no damp-proofing was required and that the decay was not active and timber treatment was not required. There had been some old woodworm in flooring and some large holes in some floorboards which the surveyor had mistaken for decay due to wet rot but was in fact due to the owners’ dog scratching and biting through the boards.
Treatment had previously been carried out a few years ago but the treatment firm had gone out of business but we were able to supply our client with an adopted guarantee against the recurrence of rising damp, woodworm or dry rot and this satisfied the Building Society and his mortgage was granted without any retention.
Barons Keep, Gliddon Road, Barons Court , LONDON W14 9AU – April 2011
Our client rang up in a bit of a panic as she was selling this 2 bedroom flat in an art-deco 1930’s block of flats just off Talgarth Road in West London.
The buyer had just had a survey done and was concerned about the dampness and decay after reading the section under the heading of ‘Dampness, rot & infestation’ which stated
‘Penetrating dampness is affecting isolated areas of the wall in the reception room, I suspect this is due to water penetration from the external metal staircase. Penetrating dampness is affecting the internal partition between the kitchen and bathroom. I suspect this is due to defective plumbing. Concealed timbers may be defective and floorboards in the affected are should be opened up and fully investigated.You now need to instruct a contactor to carry out an investigation to identify the full extent of the problem and the necessary repairs required, together with an estimate for the cost.’
We explained that surveyors often include these caveats in their survey reports and there shouldn’t be too much to worry about but she still asked us to carry out a damp and timber survey. I met the Estate Agent, Faron Sutoria ,at the property who told me that the block used to have some famous residents when it was first built and that Norman Wisdom, Hattie Jacques and Norman le Mesurier had all lived there at various times. I checked all the walls and timbers and the property was virtually bone dry with only a slight bit of damp on the kitchen side of the partition wall with the bathroom where the shower had been leaking. The leak had been repaired but the wall was still drying out and there was no risk of any fungal decay of surrounding timbers and no damp-proofing or timber treatment works were required.
The vendor was under a bit of pressure to get the report to the buyer so we emailed it to her the same day and the buyer was happy with our findings and proceeded to exchange on the property that day.
Marshfield Road, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 4BG –March 2011
This is a 3 bedroom semi-detached house on the Hillfields Park Housing Estate which was built in the 1930’s as Bristol expanded to accommodate workers from the nearby Elisha Smith Robinson paper and printing company and all the houses on the estate were built with a bitumen damp-proof course. The usual scenario panned out with this one. House was up for sale, price agreed and then the Building Society sent their surveyor in who recommended that a damp and timber survey be undertaken. Taylor’s Estate Agents on Fishponds Road arranged for a Bristol based damp-proofing company to carry out a free survey and they came back with an estimate for over £5,000. We were then asked to provide a second opinion and not surprisingly we found that there was no rising damp and that the existing physical damp-proof course was still effective in controlling rising dampness. Our client saved around £4,750.00 and the mortgage was granted without any retention being required.
Montgomery Road, Chiswick, West London W4 5LZ –March 2011
This is a three bedroom terraced house on the Acton Green Estate which is bordered by Bollo Lane, Acton Lane and the North London Link overground rail line. Originally this estate was deemed to be in Acton and was home to several laundries which led to it being named ‘Soap Suds Island’. Most of the laundries have now gone and there is now only one surviving in Antrobus Road.
These houses were built for laundry and other industrial workers of the time and were of quite poor stock but ever since Acton Green was annexed to Chiswick the area has become gentrified and the indigenous working class people of the area are getting forced out by escalating house prices. Another downside is that all the pubs are being changed to gastropubs and it is hard to go anywhere for a quiet pint apart from The Stag on Acton Lane.
The house we worked on was believed to be suffering from rising damp and our client, who was re-mortgaging the house, had a quote from an Ealing based damp-proofing company which recommended the installation of a chemical damp-proof course together with associated water-proof plastering. We found that the house had a perfectly good slate damp course and most of the damp was due to the lack of effective sub-floor ventilation which caused a build up water vapour under the floor and this condensed on the exposed brickwork then travelling up the wall by capillary action to appear as ‘rising damp’ internally. We fitted extra air bricks to provide a more robust flow of air under the floor and we have since been back to the property and found that the walls have dried out and the moisture content of sub-floor timber has also been reduced which lessens the risk of any fungal decay or woodworm infestation.
The cost of our works was less than a quarter of the price quoted for an injected damp-proof course and waterproof rendering and we were able to provide a long term guarantee for the Building Society.
Langham Road, Teddington TW11 9HG –October 2010
Our client was selling this house and the buyer’s surveyor had diagnosed ‘rising dampness’ when using a moisture meter in all the external walls and damp-proofing works at a cost of £3,800 were then recommended after a free damp survey by a Twickenham based damp-proofing specialist. Moisture meters are not calibrated for use on plaster so we took samples from the wall to determine the actual moisture content and after drying in a moisture balance (Adams AMB 50) the dampness level was found to be less than 4% which is considered dry for building materials and we were able to satisfy the buyer and the lenders that no damp-proofing works were required.
Brunel Street,Pillgwenlly, Newport NP20 2JT –September 2010
Newport never seemed to get finished before the Ryder Cup came to town and missed out on a lot of golf tourism as most spectators stayed in Cardiff or Bristol which is a shame as Newport is seen by a lot of people as being a bit rough especially down in Pill. However it does have some good things going for it, one being Diverse Music which is an excellent record shop stocking loads of new vinyl LP’s.
Anyway this property, near the famous Transporter Bridge over the River Usk, and was rented out and the tenants complained of dampness and mould in the kitchen and bathroom areas. Damp-proofing and replastering works at a cost of over £5,000 were recommended by a Cardiff based damp-proofing company when most of the dampness was due to chronic condensation, which was confirmed with hygrometer readings and dew point calculations. We installed a Drimaster PIV (Positive Input Ventilation) unit, supplied by Nuaire-Caerphilly, in the loft and an extract fan in the kitchen at a total cost of less than a thousand pounds. The condensation dampness was eliminated and the mould growth never returned after treatment with a fungicidal wash.
Maidcroft Road, Cowley,Oxford OX4 3EW –June 2010
This property was built around 1930 a had physical damp-proof course installed at the time of construction and was still effective in preventing any rising damp but a Reading based damp-proofing and timber treatment firm diagnosed ‘rising dampness due to the failure of the existing damp-proof course’ and recommended damp-proofing together with associated replastering at a cost of over £4,000. We found that the dampness was due to low level moisture ingress caused by slightly raised ground level at the front of the house which was rectified by the installation of a drainage channel at the base of the wall. The cost of this work was less than £500.00 and as well as saving over £3,500 there was no mess and upheaval internally.
Westfields Avenue, Barnes, London SW13 0AY –February 2009
Our client was in the process of buying this 2 bedroom terraced house in this popular area of South West London which is famous for, among other things, the Bulls Head pub which is one of London’s top jazz venues where I often go to watch the brilliant but ever-so miserable Alan Price. A large mortgage was needed and the mortgage surveyor picked up a number of damp and timber defects and a free damp/timber survey was obtained via the Estate Agent with a Wandsworth based damp-proofing and timber treatment company which came back not surprisingly recommendations for damp-proofing and timber treatment throughout at a cost of around £3,500.
Our client was familiar with this free damp survey ( which is really a free damp-proofing estimate) approach and therefore commissioned us to check the alleged dampness and timber defects. We found that there was slight dampness caused by the damp course being bridged at the front of the property which could be alleviated by reducing the ground level and that there was no active woodworm or decay and no treatments were required. We were running a special offer at the time and the damp and timber survey just cost £200 and the client was able to get his mortgage without having the previously recommended remedial works carried out.
Brooklands Terrace, Cwmcarn, Newport, Gwent NP11 7EA–February 2009
This property had been repossessed and had been empty for a few months before it was sold and surveys were carried out .Dampness was picked up in the survey and a local damp-proofing firm carried out a free survey and recommended that a new damp course together with associated re-plastering works be installed to all the ground floor walls and on the strength of this a £5,000 retention was put on the mortgage.
Our client thought that these works were expensive, disruptive and also avoidable so asked us for a second opinion. We found that the property had been damp-proofed only a couple of years before and that the damp-course was working satisfactorily. The only damp found was due to surface condensation which would dissipate when the property was occupied and was properly heated and ventilated.
The Building Society accepted our survey as proof of the integrity of the house in respect of dampness and the retention was lifted and a full mortgage granted.