Dampness Defects Report


If you need help on building surveys, engineers reports, dampness defects reports/specific defects reports or any other property matters please call  us on free phone 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat. We also deal with commercial properties, in relation to these we can provide reports on dilapidations, dilaps claims, scots schedules, schedules of condition, and any other commercial matters.

Free phone 0800 298 5424

A dampness defects report or a specific defects report, as we also call it, is a term that we started using about ten years ago. People came to us where they had one specific defect, usually dampness, that they wanted us to look at. Generally this was in relation to cracking or structural problems, such as heave, movement and subsidence in the property, and was commonly known as an engineers report or a structural report.

Dampness coming in through the parapet wall

However, we were also being asked to comment on other specific defects, such as dampness in a property. It seems to have become more popular to use an independent building surveyor for this type of work and as home owners and home buyers begin to understand the way the specialist damp proofing companies work, i.e. their surveyors are salesmen of their products and often can only see solutions that would utilise their products, which weren't necessarily the best for the home owner or home buyer or indeed the home itself!

Equally, we have been asked to comment on resolving timber defects, where again the specialist company's surveyor is little more than a salesman of their products. Ironically, the bigger, better known companies can tend to be less likely to recommend an independent solution, as they are target driven, as are many salesmen. So we developed the specific defects report for this type of problem and issue.

Dampness coming in due to the pointing weathering

Dampness coming in through a chimney

We would also like to give you an example of where we would use this specialist advice. Whilst in the past this meant going to the specialist damp proofing company and woodworm treatment company now it can also mean getting independent advice from building surveyors; the likes of us. This has been recognised by the BWPDA (British Wood Preserving and Damp Proofing Association), which we also know is marketing under the name of Property Care, which does have a section for surveyors offering (hopefully) independent advice.

At the end of this article we offer you examples of our specific defects reports, the common ones that we have on structural cracking, known commonly as engineers reports, where we have looked at cases of movement, subsidence, heave and given technically correct solutions to these problems, which is something we have been carrying out for years.

Dampness coming in due to a gutter leaking

We would also just like to give you an example of where we were of use giving specialist advice on a damp problem, where the mortgage company's surveyor (don't get these confused with independent building surveyors) and recommended a BWPDA approved specialist contractor to give a quote. They quoted for inserting a damp proof course, the owner being quite astute and noticing that the property had already had two previous damp proof courses inserted (you can see the small circular holes sometimes had been filled with mortar, sometimes more recently been filled with a plastic cap) and called us in for independent advice.

Example of a French drain

We identified that the property was on a sloping site, meaning that any rainwater had to go from the top of the site to the bottom of the site. The building was in the way, which resulted in dampness on one wall at the top of the slope.

The solution was to add a French gully. When we say solution we also explained to the owner, the mortgage company lending it and, ironically, to the surveyor working for the mortgage company, that older properties are not meant to be dry (please see our article on damp proofing). As is often the case, the dampness wasn't being caused just by one element. To the gable end there was a soft red brick that was in need of repointing where the prevailing wind driven rain directly attached the side of the property and also at high level repointing was needed to the stonework where the guttering was leaking. This was partly being caused by a building up of moss over the years and the work literally was as simple as finding a building with a long ladder and clearing the gutters.

Dampnes in the cellar due to ground water

It was very interesting for us and eye opening that we had to have many discussions with the mortgage company for them to understand that we really are specialists and offer unbiased advice, whereas the specialist damp proofing companies and timber treatment companies are effectively recommending their own products.

A final comment on dampness

For anyone that is experiencing some of the quick fix specialist contractors we would recommend the askjeff.co.uk website for an insight into this subject or to read the articles that he produces for a well-known national newspaper.

Condensation and rising damp (if such a thing exists)

Minor movement in a bay. Weathering to the pointing

Examples of Reports we have produced for clients with dampness problems in their homes:

If you need help and advise with regard to building surveys, engineers reports, dampness defects reports, specific defects reports or any other property matters please call free phone  0800 298 5424. We also deal with commercial properties. In relation to these we do reports on dilapidations, dilaps claims, scots schedules, schedules of condition, and any other commercial matters. Please note we are independent surveyors.

We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).

The contents of the website are for general information only and is not intended to be relied upon for specific or general decisions. Appropriate independent professional advice should be paid for before making such a decision

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