Independent Specialist Building Surveyors
About the Damp Survey:
How long do you allow for? Typically Stuart and Peter allow for up to 2 hours on-site surveying. In my experience this allows me just about sufficient time to carry out a full survey of the average sized property; or look at a specific area of concern in great detail. So if another company is telling you different, question it!
In those two hours, we typically look at such areas as ground levels, external facades, roofs, chimneystacks, rainwater goods, windows and doors. Inside I look at walls and partitions, ceilings and floors, where possible and time allows or the client requests, I also look at lofts and cellars. Whilst at the property, I undertake a range of non-invasive assessments, taking surface and sub-surface electronic moisture readings, floor temperatures, thermal imaging scans, and relative humidity level assessments to determine the true cause of any defects and the severity.
Why the whole house, when the damp or mould has just been seen in one or two rooms? Well, this is another reason which sets us independents apart from the average contractor surveyor. The reason is because where the source of the damp is, can be totally different to where the problem manifests itself. This is just one of the reasons that a lot of tradespersons totally misdiagnose the type or severity of damp or timber defects. Plus just because it can’t be easily seen, doesn’t mean it’s not a problem in progress. For us to undertake a thorough survey, we have to look at as many areas as possible. After all, it’s another of the reasons you’re paying us!
It’s also why you may catch me talking to the neighbours or the occupants, we're not burning the time we're gathering further information no historical events to the property, so as to aid diagnosis. What won’t we do as normal par for the course? Well, we won’t move large items of furniture (think beds, sofa’s, dining tables, welsh dressers, priceless wall art, ornaments etc) typically the kind of item that’d need two persons to safely move it! However, don’t think we're lazy, we're not unless we’re talking ironing shirts! Therefore, we’ll quite happily move smaller items such as small sofa’s, armchairs, single beds, bedside cabinets etc.
With the owners consent we might lift corners of carpets, underlay to look at condition of concrete slab or floorboards, we might also take a scrape a sample of plaster for chemical analysis and if it’s an invasive survey, then where possible and without causing damage to the floor finish, we can cut and lift a floorboard or two, drill into walls and floorboards, so as to insert the boroscope, dig around at the base of external walls etc.
Ok this next bit, is a little industry niggle, we all have them whatever job we’re in! Our reports include colour photographs. Some of my competitors don’t, I think that’s to their detriment. Yes it profit going out the window inserting photo’s into reports, but so be it, we'd rather put together a great, easy to understand report.
We know what its like, take buying a property as an example. Often, you’re in the home for a snapshot second, ushered round at great pace by the estate agent who’s keen on a sale. The owners are standing in front of that dodgy floorboard, or peeled wallpaper the whole time. You’re hyped up looking at all the positives and not the negative’s. When you’re out and you’ve made your offer all excited, you actually can’t remember all those sections of wall, alcove, floor layout etc. Therefore, if you were to receive a damp report which details defects, but doesn’t include any photographs helping you to visualize where the problem is, then we don’t think that’s of much use. You need to be able to see where the defect we're referring to is.
By the way, I’m regularly asked to look at houses much larger than the norm, and that’s fine just let my office know in advance and we can quote for the additional time to allocate on-site reached after two hours. This saves me the embarrassment of having to call you, to say I’ve arrived at the property where just the kitchen is of a greater floor area, than my entire home! You laugh, but it has happened! - more than once!
So what happens after the survey? Well I’m happy to chat to you about my findings. We then put a detailed damp report together. This report highlights the defects, includes colour photographs, and lists the recommended remedial works in an easy to follow schedule of works. My office will then email and post out a hardcopy to you.
Need an independent damp and timber survey, then contact our damp and timber surveyor Stuart or Peteron 01245 206 250 or via email: email@example.com