Smith Heritage Surveyors

Damp and Timber Survey

We are specialists at detecting damp in buildings and can provide detailed reports on the causes of damp, and most importantly, how to solve the issue.

If you have had a survey and they have advised further investigation by a PCA damp specialist then get in touch, we can help. Do not be pushed around by the mortgage company or estate agents and seek professional advice. We never recommend damp proofing and have never seen a true case of rising damp. If you’ve been told you need this, then get in touch with us.

Our damp and timber surveys will report on the causes of damp within your property and then specify the appropriate remedial repairs and actions that will help alleviate the problem.

What is damp?

There are three forms of damp with regards to property.

Penetrating damp is one of the most common types we see and can be caused by leaks, external moisture, environmental conditions and the like. The good news is is that once we have diagnosed the cause we will be able to tell you how to fix it.

Condensation can be a bit tricky to diagnose as the cause can often be unclear. However, we use a variety of scientific equipment to assist us. If a surveyor tells you he can see damp from a mile away, close the door. Some signs of damp and their cause is indeed sometimes obvious, but in our experience, damp can be caused by multiple items and this needs to be understood in its entirety otherwise the problems will continue to persist.

The hottest topic in surveying and a sure-fire way to fall out with your colleagues. Does it exist, certainly there have been numerous studies undertaken that prove that it does and then several others which say it does not. The idea that moisture travels vertically through building materials like a sponge seems a bit far fetched to us. But we are happy to be proved wrong! Still waiting though and we have surveyed hundreds of properties where a building surveyor has found rising damp in the walls, only for us to undertake specialist testing and find out its condensation caused by a lack of ventilation. It goes back to understanding what type of building it is, how old is it, what is it built from and what are the environmental conditions. Once you understand all of that you can use your kit and find the cause and fix it. It’s that simple, yet we see the opposite every week.

What’s included in a Timber and Damp Survey?

A full detailed report of the property which highlight the issues give recommendations and how to fix it.

Thermal Imaging Survey of the building fabric highlighting any areas of trapped moisture. We use FLIR Thermal Imaging Cameras.

Atmospheric moisture readings. We use Vaisala Thermo Hygrometers to measure, Relative Humidity, Dew Point and Ambient Humidity, and 4mm probes to investigate areas of suspected dampness. We do not use damp meters – they are unsuitable for measuring moisture in anything other than clean felled timber.

Inspection cameras to observe unseen floor joists and within cavity walls so we can see what is hidden.

We can also perform a chemical carbide test on masonry samples with a calcium carbide meter to establish the Total Moisture Content (TMC) of the masonry. Carbide testing is the definitive onsite method for accurately measuring the TMC in masonry.

Damp & Timber Survey - Case Study

Case Study

An ex local authority property in Devon had been brought by our client, but unfortunately the property was suffering with severe damp problems caused by poor ventilation and poor maintenance of the structure. We were able to identify the causes of the damp and help our client simply solve the issues with a step by step plan with associated costs.

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