First of all lets just agree that rising damp occurs. It might get mis-diagnosed by damp surveyors, and it also might not get resolved first time.
It isn’t unusual for people to have spent a few thousand on surveys and damp repairs and still have damp issues. Elimination of all potential causes before coming to a conclusion is essential to ensure the correct diagnosis, and move forward with options of repairs.
High external ground levels are a common issue when it comes to rising damp. High ground levels contribute to the height of which rising damp can rise, as it will restrict evaporation at the base of the wall.
General external basic defects like guttering leaks, and drip detailing also need to be rectified. It is always advisable for you to monitor your building during heavy rain to see how your building is dealing with rainwater. It is easy to spot guttering defects, and possibly a blocked drain.
French drains, or French moats as many people call them actually cause more of an issue in regards to damp. This is because they never get maintained, they can’t get inspected unless a CCTV drain camera is used. If a drain blocks, and surcharges these often get filled with silt etc, and even tissues if connected to a foul drain.
The pictures below from a recent damp survey highlight the above issues with flooded French drains, silt build up, along with root infiltration.
Drains are perhaps one of the biggest contributors to rising damp issues. These rarely get inspected as generally most surveyors don’t own any drain surveying equipment.
The picture below shows a CCTV drain survey picked up the cause of this long term rising damp issue in Wiltshire. As you can see there is a damage to the drain pipe that is connected to the toilet. This cause of rising damp and a rotten suspended timber floor couldn’t of been found without a CCTV drain survey.
We understand how to find and diagnose all types of damp issues, and also have the experience, and know how on how to repair any defects.
If you need a damp survey to help locate potential causes to offer a long term solution, please give us a shout.
This is a property I have previously surveyed last year, where there were issues with penetrating damp. We found external issues with rainwater goods, peeling modern paint, rotten timber lintels etc. We removed the modern masonry paint using our Thermatech super heated hot water system, repointed in lime, lime rendered the rear wall, and the client carried out the lime wash finish. We also removed and repealed the lintels. This year it was about getting the rising damp source identified, and some form of sympathetic damp repair. This video is a classic example of you get what you pay for, in regards to damp surveys. We don’t offer free damp surveys because we offer professional surveys, and reports. If you need to find the source of rising damp, penetrating damp, or condensation give us a shout. We offer quantitative damp diagnosis following the methodology in BRE DIGEST 245.
This shows the very basic damp issues can get confused by some damp survey specialists. In this instance you will see the value of having a paid survey following the methodology in BRE DIGEST 245, which is the only quantitative way to measure moisture, and confirm rising damp with a moisture profile.
My client had a number of free damp surveys and the damp issues on the external wall had been diagnosed as rising damp two times, and also hygroscopic salt damp. This was all diagnosed with a damp meter only, and this isn’t what any of the BRITISH STANDARDS recommend.
When I used the damp meter with the two pins (wme mode) just to map out the moisture in the wall, I noted there were no high readings at the base of the wall, or the skirting board, which would provide a more reliable reading regarding moisture. What I did note was higher readings at high level when the damp meter was used in search mode.
Externally the building is solid red brick and exposed, now this is important because we know there can be a possible issue with penetrating damp because of wind driven rain. On further inspection I noted issues around the lintel that would allow penetrating damp an obvious route into the building.
Now I can understand why the damp surveyor thought it could be hygroscopic salts because often these can be found at higher level. I can’t understand how the other damp surveyors thought it was rising damp, and that a new damp proof course would fix the issues. I can’t understand that the damp surveyors never actually noted the location of the property in regarding the exposed position, and also the external defects.
The below graph shows the moisture profile following BRE DIGEST 245 carried out by Complete Preservation. This visually shows to even a layperson there is no capillary moisture at the base of the wall and that higher levels of capillary moisture are at ceiling height, that are adjacent the external defect. There are no hygroscopic salts present, and no high levels of hygroscopic moisture, which indicates there isn’t a rising damp issue, and never has been a long term rising damp issue.
Now whats the solution of repairing the damp issue?
Simply fixing the external defect by carrying out some lime pointing where voids are visible. And then drying the wall down with tented desiccant drying equipment to ensure there is no risk to the timber lintel. Whilst there is an initial survey fee, you can see the value in this, and also the cost of repairs are a lot cheaper than a new damp proof course and plastering. Oh, and there is no disruption and mess to deal with 🙂
We carried out the lime pointing repairs, and the installed the desiccant drying equipment, and signed it off as dry when finished. The client was also a guest on our SuperVision real time moisture data loggers so they could actually log in to see how it was drying down for a transparent service.
If you have a damp issue please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us 01225 769215