"My wife discovered rising damp in our basement. Not knowing the first thing about damp proofing we called out the experts, Tapco Homedry, to help us. Tapco alleviated our concerns over the phone and arranged a date to solve the problem at our convenience. Fortunately Tapco were able to sort..."
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We have been established since 1971 and for over 46 years, have been recognised as one of London and the home counties most established and reputable Damp Proofing, Dry Rot, Water Damage Restoration, Basement Conversion and Property Preservation companies.
Are your surveyors qualified?
Yes they are Property Care Association (PCA) qualified Timber & Damp surveyors with many years experience.
What areas do you cover?
We cover the whole of London and surrounding counties. If you are unsure if that includes you, please look at our map on the ‘contact us page’ or call 0800 195 9878. If we can help we will.
Do you make a charge for surveys?
Yes. It is our company policy to make a nominal charge for surveys but if you instruct us to carry out the work, we will deduct this from the final invoice, so it becomes an actual free survey. Don’t be fooled by the companies who offer a ‘free’ survey because it has to be hidden in their prices. We do not charge our regular or corporate clients for damp and timber surveys.
How soon can I expect my report after you have carried out the survey?
You will usually receive your report within three working days of the survey being carried out. This is initially by email, followed by a hard copy, or which ever you prefer.
Do I have to accept all of the work you recommend?
No, but we strongly recommend that you use us for all of the specialist work, including and especially the Damp Proof Plastering System, which, if not done exactly correctly, could invalidate our guarantee.
Are your operatives trained?
Yes, our operatives are fully trained and very experienced, especially at working in occupied properties; they will respect your property and belongings and consider your needs at all times.
What happens to my guarantee if Tapco ceases trading?
For a single premium you can insure our guarantee with Guarantee Protection Insurance (GPI). The premium is very reasonable and we will process this for you. This is a very good thing to have if you ever decide to sell your property.
What other services can Tapco provide to ensure my property is free from damp?
We carry out every aspect of property maintenance to STOP DAMP damaging your property, from the roof to the drains. We are a one stop company. You can find more details on our Services page.
How do I know I have Woodworm?
If you have noticed small oval holes in timber, with a little pile of wood dust around them, you probably have an infestation of ‘Woodworm’ and it is active. There are several species of Woodworm and all cause a different degree of damage, so it is very important not to ignore it.
How do I know I have Dry Rot?
If you have noticed a smell of mushrooms when you first enter the room or you are constantly wiping a red/rust coloured dust from the surfaces of your furniture, these are the first signs of Dry Rot Fungus. Maybe you have noticed a springing in your floors of cracked joinery timbers, again all the signs of Dry Rot. None of these should be ignored because this is the most insidious problem that can affect your property and delay can be costly.
Do the rooms need to be empty to treat them?
Yes but some large items can be left. Floor-coverings have to be fully lifted when carrying out timber treatment, as we need access to all of the floor. We can provide special floor protection material and sheeting if you require.
Does the preservative treatment smell?
No it is water based, classed as non-hazourdous, has a very low odour and a one hour re-entry time.
Does the treatment take very long?
No a room can usually be treated in less than two hours, however if timbers replacement is required it will take longer.
Do you lift all of the floorboards?
No we lift approximately every sixth or seventh floorboard which will enable us sufficient access to the sub-floor timbers to clean and carry out preservative treatment.
If timbers are beyond treatment can you replace them?
Yes. We can carry out every aspect of timber replacement including joinery and structural timbers. This is carried out to a high standard, in accordance with good building practice using pre-treated timber and protected by a damp proof membrane.
Can the work be done whilst we are living here?
Yes. Most properties we work in are occupied and although it is disruptive for the first day or two, whilst removing contaminated wall plaster, our operatives are very experienced at working in occupied property and fully aware of your needs and what is necessary to protect your property.
Is the work dusty?
Yes unfortunately it is but mainly for the first day or two when we are removing the contaminated wall plaster. It is important that polished floors etc are covered and soft furnishings are removed from the areas to be treated prior to us commencing. This is something we can do under separate contract.
Can my builder do the re-plastering?
It is not advisable. The majority of guarantee claims we receive are because a third party has carried out the re-plastering incorrectly. It is not simply re-plastering; it is an important part of the damp proofing system and serious consideration should be given before instructing a third party to do it.
Can I remove the skirtings and wall plaster?
Yes but the plaster must be removed to a minimum height of 1.2 metres or to the heights specified by us in our report or floor plan. This should be carried out prior to us commencing the remedial work.
Can my own contractor carry out the recommended preparation, repairs and maintenance work?
Yes but it is important to ensure it is done to a high standard, in accordance with good building practice so any water ingress is eliminated.
How soon can the re-plastering be done?
We can carry this out as soon as the injection of the damp proof course has been completed. The plastering materials and method we use allow the wall to breathe so it can continue to dry out.
When can I decorate?
Redecorating should be delayed for as long as possible, however the walls can be painted using two mist coats of Dulux TRADE emulsion paint three to four weeks after the walls have been plastered. It is very important not to use vinyl paint because this will seal the wall and seriously restrict the drying, which could invalidate our guarantee.
Can I refit the skirtings?
Yes but where structural waterproofing (Tanking) has been carried out or a Cavity Drain Membrane has been installed, they must be stuck on only. It is very important not to drill through the tanking or membrane.
I have salt like crystals forming on the new plaster, is this normal?
Yes this is normal they sometimes appear when the wall is drying. They are efflorescent salts, not hygroscopic so they don’t absorb moisture. Just wipe them off with a dry cloth and eventually they will stop
The new plaster is cracking , what is causing this? Does it have to be re-plastered? What can you do?
Unfortunately this sometimes happens especially if the room is too warm and the plaster dries out too quickly. In most cases they are surface cracks to the finish coat and as long as the render coat hasn’t become hollow it can be made good by your decorator.
What is the difference between a cavity drain membrane and tanking?
A Cavity Drain Membrane is a high density Polyethelyne studded sheet that is installed to the walls and floors. It allows moisture to enter so it can then be directed to a place chosen by us, or directly into a sump pump, to be connected into a suitable drain.
Tanking is Structural Water Proofing. Separate coats of a cementitious water proof slurry are applied to the wall to block the damp and stop it transmitting to the inner surfaces.
What is a Condensation Control Unit (CCU)?
It is a special unit that can either be installed in the loft or in a wall. It draws in air which is then filtered. The unit produces a slight air pressure (Positive Ventilation) in the property, which controls the level of humidity produced. It is very quiet and cheap to run costing about one third the cost of a light bulb.
Is the Condensation Control Unit (CCU) covered by a guarantee?
Yes. It is covered by a 5 year manufacturer’s warranty. They are very reliable but should be serviced annually by us. We will contact you to remind you.
Is a Condensation Control Unit noisy?
No it is very quiet.
What does a Condensation Control Unit (CCU) cost to run?
It costs the equivalent of a 20 watt light bulb so it is hardly noticeable on your electricity bill.
What is a Passive Vapour Vent?
It’s a special air vent that is installed in the wall of rooms that are affected by condensation. It allows air into the room but not cold air or drafts.
Is there anything else I should be doing to reduce condensation?
Yes. There are several things you can do to reduce condensation including keeping the property at a constant warm temperature and properly ventilated. Avoid drying laundry in rooms and allowing humidity (steam) from the kitchen and bathrooms by immediately by opening windows or switching on your extractor.
Can I use a dehumidifier?
Yes as long as it is powerful enough and left on constantly. Be aware; they are quite bulky and noisy, plus they will need emptying of water daily.
What can I do about the black mould on my walls and ceilings?
This is Black Spot Mould fungus and can cause a lot of damage to decorations, furniture, clothes and personal items. More importantly some of these, such as Aspergillus spp, are also very bad for your health, especially if you already have respiratory problems. The mould affected areas should be washed with an anti mould solution before painting with an anti mould paint.
Other Tapco Services
How do you do a Cavity Wall Tie Survey?
We inspect inside the cavity by drilling random holes in the walls to enable us to inspect the existing ties with a Borescope. When we are satisfied that we have seen enough, we will make good the small holes and send you our detailed report on the condition of the existing wall ties and brickwork.
Do you deal with cracked walls and masonry stitching?
Yes we do. We will carry out a thorough survey of the walls and masonry and report on the extent of the damage and what structural and damage repairs are required. If required we can install stainless steel Helical bars and wall ties, replace defective brickwork and inadequate door and window lintels, including all re-plastering, external rendering and damage joinery replacement. We are recognised by all leading insurance companies.
Tapco HomeDry based in Surrey, is one of London and the Home Counties most established and reputable damp-proofing, wood-rot and property preservation companies. We are long term members of the Property Care Association (PCA), Trust Mark (Government Endorsed Standards), the Guarantee Protection Insurance (GPI), and an accredited Which? Trusted trader, providing thorough, professional surveys for both commercial and domestic properties. For pre-purchase surveys we are the all-inclusive property preservation experts, providing solutions for damp, from the roof to the drains.