Tapco HomeDry were recently instructed to carry out a damp survey on a basement flat in Fulham, London SW6. The client advised us the property ‘has a considerable damp problem’ diagnosed by a ‘damp surveyor’ (from a well known damp proofing company) who was instructed by a prospective purchaser. Because our client knew the history of the property and had never seen evidence of any damp she contacted Tapco HomeDry, who had been highly recommended to her, for a second opinion.
Upon arrival our surveyor was informed that ‘the previous damp proofing surveyor was only here 20 minutes and said nearly all the walls are damp and approximately £10,000 worth of damp proofing works are needed’. This can’t be so declared our client ‘the whole property was renovated, including extensive damp proofing works and ‘tanking’ in 2008′ and it is covered by a 20 year guarantee? When asked by our surveyor what the other companies surveyor did he was told ‘he just sort of scanned the walls with a damp meter which kept making a screaming noise and telling me the walls were damp’. ‘He didn’t ask if any previous damp proofing work had been done or not.
Damp meters used today by the majority of damp proofing companies and property surveyors have two modes, ‘sonic mode’ and ‘surface mode’. Damp surveys should only ever be carried out using the ‘surface mode’ because the sonic mode reads deep into the masonry and can record moisture that isn’t relevant. The whole point of damp proofing is to provide ‘a dry uncontaminated wall surface for decorating’ and if this has been achieved the damp proofing is sound and working. What the other ‘damp surveyor’ had done was simply use the ‘sonic mode’ which recoded moisture readings behind the damp proofing system, which is normal and insignificant but it finds a lot of unnecessary work and commission for him.
On completion of a thorough survey by a Tapco HomeDry PCA qualified surveyor using the correct ‘surface mode’ of the damp meter he reported that there were no significant recordings of damp to the wall surfaces and no further damp proofing was required. His opinion was that the company who carried out the work appeared to have done a good job and the client hadn’t experienced any problems.
Does the fact that the surveyor from this well known damp proofing company and others are on commission, influence them on what they find?
Only necessary damp proofing works are carried out by Tapco HomeDry who cover the whole of London, Surrey and the Home Counties.