Advice Hub: Damp

Not all damp is rising damp. Damp is the source of much confusion for homeowners and leaseholders. It's also the cause of many a dispute between landlords and tenants. Making sure property is well maintained, that cavity wall insulation is done properly and appropriately, and that a house is well ventilated are all some of the solutions or preventative measures for damp problems. These articles explain what damp is, highlight the different causes of damp and put to rest some of the myths.

small repairs matter - broken drain pipe - building survey chislehurst

Small repairs matter

Do you have a regular maintenance plan for your home? Do you fix problems when they arise? Perhaps you should.

We’ve seen some significant problems caused by the homeowner putting off small maintenance jobs or fixes. We know there’s always something more fun to do on your day off, but sometimes the jobs just need doing, or there could be trouble ahead.

Put off a cheap job now, expensive repair later

Here are some classic examples of how homeowners put … Read more...

cavity wall

Identifying cavity wall insulation problems

Poorly installed cavity wall insulation can cause problems. In July 2020 the Chancellor announced a Green Homes Grant to give up to £5,000 in vouchers for insulation (BBC News, July 2020)

A few years ago, we wrote this article about the problems (usually damp) associated with cavity wall insulation. At the time it was thought the issue could be widespread as numerous news articles demonstrated. One newspaper reported: : “1.5 million homes are blighted by damp after cowboy Read more...

condensation window upvc double glazed

Condensation dispute calls for expert help

As surveyors providing expert witness advice in housing disrepair cases, we are often asked to advise on condensation issues.

We recently helped a client who was having problems with a tenant complaining of condensation with damp walls and mould growth. Our client, the landlord, thought this was unusual as his previous tenants had not complained and there was no sign of condensation when the previous tenants moved out and the new ones moved in. He asked us to investigate and … Read more...

defective and broken sash window in need of repair, timber decay

Buying a house with sash windows?

Double hung timber sash windows look great on older or period homes, but they can be draughty and offer poor thermal performance, assuming you want to keep them and not replace them with modern double glazed units (we wouldn’t unless they look the part!). Then there are a number of things to keep your eyes open for when you are viewing. There are many defects that will reduce the life and performance of the window and require expenditure to correct.… Read more...

internal damp, rising and penetrating damp

Building surveys vs Specialist Damp Report

As a firm of professionally qualified surveyors, there’s nothing much that annoys us more than those who sit on the fence when they find damp and recommend a ‘specialist damp report’. These are usually poor quality surveyors intending solely to sell their own ‘specialist’ service or solution.
Only last month I carried out a timber damp inspection following a detailed and very damning report from a ‘specialist’. It had identified dry rot, timber decay in the floor and rampant rising
Read more...
water damaged brickwork and pointing

Don’t put off minor building repairs – 79p now or £1,000 then?

That pesky missing gutter end cap, you know the 79p part that push fits onto the gutter if only you could be bothered to go up the ladder. The one you remember every time it rains and the gutter just cascades. Hardly worth it really is it?

Well, this is what we found on a house we looked at last week with a missing end cap. The gutter water had dripped down the front elevation where it then landed on … Read more...