Best Fraudulent Damp Survey

This beautifully dry Edwardian house was sold.  The valuation surveyor (MA, FRICS, IRRV (Hons) ) Oh my -what a well educated and intelligent chap he sounds... recommended a 'Timber and Damp Survey' because he hadn't the brains to work out for himself that nothing was wrong with the house.  

Unfortunately the buyer pulled out for other reasons, just as Wally Damp Man himself delivered his report, which recommended that all the downstairs rooms were stripped, tanked, and injected before replastering with horrible modern plasters.  The owners smelt a rat and called us in.

The video says it all - but I'm also going to reproduce our client's testimonial - he's written a brief history of the case from his viewpoint, for which I'm very grateful.  We are helping make sure that the work he does to the house is duly recorded, and that future buyers do not fall into the same trap.  Certainly the video, and information on these pages should help buyers to make sensible decisions. 

Wally Damp Man - who calls himself a 'Damp Proofing and Wood Preservation Services' contractor in Burton - has been reported to Trading Standards.  I shall be following up on this to make sure action is taken to ensure this conman is not allowed to continue his fraudulent attempts to sell damp proofing.


A Cautionary Tale - kindly written by our client...

We had sold our 1928 4 bed roomed house and the buyers had a general survey carried out, this told us that rising damp was suspected, (house has 2 damp courses of blue brick) we were asked by the buyers to have an in-depth damp survey, we duly did this, he went round with his damp meter and confirmed that the money spinning rising damp did exist in most downstairs rooms, not sure why the kitchen was exempt from any damp issues but he’s the expert. The gentleman was there using his damp meter for about 30 minutes and it cost me £60, he now informs me that the plaster needs to be removed from floor level up to about a meter all around the rooms (except for a portion at the rear of the book case), each room would cost in excess of a thousand pounds to sort out, not to mention the need to re decorate. I now have a ‘damp’ report showing lots of red lines where the plaster needs to be removed. (did I mention he can also provide the service of removal of plaster, the wall treatment and the re-plastering)

I now decided to ‘google’ damp meters just to see what the measurements from that meter are, what’s a good and what’s a not good reading, it’s here that I discovered that damp meters are for measuring dampness in wood and any one who uses one for measuring damp on walls clearly does not know what they are doing.

I now stumble across the Heritage House web site and arrange for Peter to come and check my house for ‘rising damp’. Peter duly arrives and over a cup of tea he describes his action plan, various readings are taken above and below the floor boards, we carefully remove a couple of floor boards (or Peter does, I trashed my floor board) to get a better idea of what’s happening below, looks good down there, air flow could be improved with larger air bricks (you get solutions there and then).

The wall at the rear of the bookcase had ‘woodchip’ wall paper on it and it had come away from the wall and the wall felt damp to the touch (condensation suspected here)(the only place in the whole house where there is a problem and my damp man missed it), I removed the floor panel to expose the floor joists, you could visibly see condensation on the joist, a look outside revealed a lack of air bricks down the side of the house and a clay drain taking away the bathrooms waste bath water, I removed some concrete looking for any air bricks that may have been covered over and excavated the drain, the drain was cracked and will now be replaced. Interestingly Peter took a core sample from that wall and as he said ‘it’s as dry as a bone’ (cracked drain and no rising damp, does rising damp actually exist?). Peter carefully took core samples from various spots around the house (carefully lifting corners of wall paper and drilling the wall, these holes are easily filled and the wall paper stuck down again) NO RISING DAMP ANYWHERE IN MY HOUSE, I had kind of guessed that as the wall paper is stuck firmly to the walls! but the damp man said otherwise.

It seems to make complete sense to me to take a core sample and test it, it’s the only way to tell if the wall is damp, slightly invasive and needs minor repairs, but not as invasive as having loads of plaster removed for no good reason.

Peter is a firm believer of having ventilation above and below the floor boards, so I have a bit of a list to work through, but nothing serious or major. Money well spent, brilliant service, learnt a lot about the house and how it should breath.

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