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Damp issues

Dampness in buildings is still a problem for all sorts of reasons and can generally be categorised into:

Rising dampness
Penetrating dampness
Leaks
Floods
Condensation

Rising dampness

This has been a thorn in the side of all owners of old property for years and numerous solutions have been tried with varying degrees of success. Attempts to deal with this problem have included physical replacement of the damp proof course, installation of British Knapen tubes, installation of electric osmotic continuous copper loop systems, chemical damp proof course injections, internal dry lining and waterproof plastering internally. Some systems worked reasonably, some not at all, some needed maintenance and all needed the belt and braces of proper internal replastering!

It is not uncommon to see several different types of damp proof course installation and the record seen so far is 4 separate chemical damp proof course injection systems in the same wall above an existing slate damp proof course, all installed by different contractors over a period of years, each with a 20 year guarantee and each failing for a variety of reasons!

People often automatically assume that dampness on wall plaster is rising dampness. There can be many other reasons for damp plaster and brickwork and careful inspection of the building is always recommended to determine the problems and remedial works necessary.

If you need to discuss this or require a survey Contact Me.

 

Penetrating dampness

Penetrating dampness is an age old problem with a variety of causes. Old brickwork is very prone to penetrating dampness and lack of maintenance is one of the main problems. Penetrating dampness can cause serious damage to the inside of old buildings and lead to fungal decay if left untreated. Click on the link below to see examples of the consequences of simple neglect to external gutters causing penetrating dampness, which led to a serious outbreak of Dry Rot.

Cavity walls in more modern buildings do not necessarily escape the problem For example, if the cavities are blocked with concrete during construction due to poor site practice, this can create a bridge for penetrating dampness. Incorrect ground levels and lack of drainage are other causes. These are all problems which have been found in surveying residential properties and are more common than imagined.

If you need to discuss problems relating to penetrating dampness or require a survey Contact Me.

 

Leaks

Water leaks in a building are not always obvious, but if not identified and if left untreated can cause serious damage. This may be stating the obvious but it is surprising how many leaks are left until a more serious problem arises.

Old plumbing, old tanks, poor insulation and poor maintenance are all culprits. Poor quality materials used in the past are another source of problems, for example, pin hole leaks have been a problem in copper pipes installed in buildings in the 1960ís.

Leaks from flush pipes from cisterns to WC pans are another common occurrence, particularly in older properties.

Since the advent of burying central heating pipes in concrete screeds in houses, leaks from the pipes have created a steady flow of damp related problems normally detectable with a damp meter and often unknown to the occupier.

If you need to discuss a problem relating to dampness from leaks and require a survey Contact Me.

 

Floods

Floods are obvious and generally devastating. The remedial works necessary however, vary enormously depending on the structure of the building, depth of flood and the water contamination. This practice has been involved with all kinds of properties which have been flooded by rivers, blocked drains, heavy rainfall, sewers, and burst water mains.

If you need to discuss flood damage or require a survey Contact Me.

 

Condensation

Condensation has been a long term problem in houses and flats and is still prevalent today even in some modern newly built properties. Black mildew on walls, tiled surfaces and window frames are indicators of a problem.

These problems are commonly found during inspections of buildings. This Practice regularly deals with condensation problems, carrying out inspections, advising on the causes and remedial repairs needed and providing reports.

If you would like to discuss damp problems you suspect are related to condensation or you require a survey Contact Me.

Residential surveys
Party walls
Subsidence
Insurance claims
Timber decay
Damp issues
Cracks in buildings
General building defects
Commercial property