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May 6, 2020

Rising Damp Misdiagnosis

by Geoff Flavell in Damp Proofing Blogs

Rising Damp Wrongly Diagnosed

This is a problem I come across often on timber and damp surveys, I was contacted by a potential home buyer concerned about a damp survey she had carried out by her mortgage lenders who recommended a timber and damp specialist to carry out a damp proofing report.

She explained the problems to me over the phone saying the house sale might drop through because of RISING DAMP throughout the ground floor of the property and wants a second opinion.

I asked a few questions about the property like age of property, is the building a semi, terraced, detached, bungalow and what’s the construction of the ground floors like timber suspended floor or solid flooring, her reply was semi-detached 1930s (approx) and timber suspended floor throughout so now I’m thinking “1930s property rising damp on timber suspended floors something is not quite right relating to this problem of rising damp so I arranged a damp proofing survey.

Upon my arrival at the property I noticed a dense rendering on all external walls and thought I have a very good idea of what the problem is, firstly we walked around the outside so we can see if there are any potential problems relating to the internal walls and floors, properties of this age would have a slate damp proof course built into the mortar joint on construction but in this case the rendering was causing a breach over the DPC as seen on images.

This causes low level damp on the internal plastered surfaces, the majority of subfloor air bricks had been covered by the rendering which was giving the sub-floor inadequate ventilation leading to possible timber decay in this instance the floor timbers including joist bearing ends was in satisfactory condition.

The dense external rendering creating a breach of the existing slate damp proof course (DPC)

low level moisture ingress affecting the plastered internal surfaces caused by DPC breach

So our conclusions were this isn’t rising damp as quoted in original report no need for a new damp proof course saving £900+vat, we recommended the removal of contaminated wall plaster only, and re-plaster to our specification a saving of £4800+vat, also cut back the external rendering to the height of the existing slate damp proof course (DPC) and make good all exposed mortar joints, and increase the airflow to the timber subfloors giving more ventilation these recommendations would save the client a substantial amount of money and surprisingly this damp proofing company didn’t even mention the external rendering causing a breach of the DPC.`

Preservit Ltd cover areas in and around the West Midlands including Staffordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire we always find the cause of problem concerning timber decay & moisture ingress and give you the correct diagnosis with a competitive price if needed, we have over 40 years experience in the timber and damp industry and been in business for 25 years, we are members of TrustMark Registered 00575798 and commit working to Government endorsed standards, contact us now for your timber and damp survey.

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