“I need a damp proof course!”

Owner occupiers, landlords and commercial property owners often contact us as they have been advised that they need a damp proof course installed to their buildings. The problem of rising damp is not as common as we are led to believe and quite often unnecessary damp proofing works are undertaken which do not address the issue at hand.

 

We recently carried out a survey the where the owner had been quoted in excess of £3,000 for a damp proof course following a “free” survey by a specialist damp-proofing contractor.

 

Black-spot mould, symptomatic of condensation, was noted around the window and to external walls in the Bedroom. Condensation was streaming off the window pane of the ancient double glazed window.

 

We provided the owner and tenant with practical advice in alleviating condensation issues (particularly moving the bed away from the external wall).

 

In addition to practical measures we recommend that the window is replaced with a more efficient unit incorporating ventilation and that the existing fan in the adjacent en-suite is replaced with a more efficient humidistat controlled fan.

 

We also advised that should problems persist, it would be prudent for them to consider the installation of mechanical condensation control i.e. positive input ventilation and that we could assist further with regard to a suitable installation should they opt for this.

 

Moisture ingress was also occurring around the front door due to gaps in seal around door frame and we recommended that a reasonable drying out period be allowed after this had been rectified before assessing the extent of any minor remedial plasterwork.

 

It was also noted that the gutter along the front elevation is choked and allowing moisture to spill down the front of the building. This should be rectified without delay to guard against issues of potential moisture ingress and subsequent risk of decay.

 

None of these items were commented upon by the specialist damp-proofing contractor.

 

Oh, and …. visual and instrumental inspection did not provide any indication of the presence of rising damp (see photos showing damp readings and mould to surface of the wall only but relatively dry substrate behind).

 

We, therefore, made no recommendations for a specialist damp proof course!