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Rising Damp Not Picked Up On Survey

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Key Takeaways:

  • Significance of Undetected Rising Damp: If rising damp goes unnoticed in a property survey, it poses a serious concern as it has the potential to cause structural damage and compromise the overall integrity of the building. 

  • Factors Contributing to Non-Detection: Various factors may contribute to rising damp not being identified in a survey. L

  • Post-Survey Steps for Rising Damp Concerns: In the event of discovering rising damp after the survey, it is advisable to consult with a damp specialist or qualified structural engineer. 


So, you saw some wet spots in the old house – not very big, only tiny little ones, which had the potential to scare you and think of them as damp patches.

Well, guess what? – You discussed it with your family members, friends, and neighborhood and what came up is that everybody said there a rising damp issue in the ground floor of your house. You need to get it fixed as soon as possible unless your house will get destroyed.

Therefore, you went around hiring for a damp survey. You called the professionals in, and they surveyed your house, but eventually, the final result that came out was like an unexpected surprise.

The damp survey says that there’s no rising damp in your house. Now what? Should you be happy or feel upset about your lost money on the damp survey that eventually showed up nothing? Well, let’s see what it means when rising damp is not picked up on a damp survey.


Damp moisture and stains on a wall


What if Rising Damp Was Not Picked Up On Survey?

If rising damp is not detected during a property survey, it becomes a major worry since it has the potential to cause structural damage and jeopardize the overall integrity of the structure. Nonetheless, the lack of identification throughout the survey might be attributed to a variety of complex circumstances, such as:

Limited Access

Some areas of a property may be difficult to access during a survey. If particular walls or spaces were not thoroughly examined, rising damp may have gone unnoticed.

Recent Occurrence

Rising damp may not have been present at the time of the survey or may have developed after the survey was conducted. Conditions contributing to rising ground damp, such as changes in groundwater levels or drainage issues, can evolve over time.


Damaged wall due to damp moisture


Hidden Symptoms

Rising floor damp can sometimes be concealed behind plaster or wall coverings. If the visible symptoms were not apparent during the survey, it might have been challenging to detect.

Inadequate Surveyor Knowledge

Not all surveyors may have the same level of expertise in identifying rising damp. Some may focus more on structural issues or other aspects of the property.

If you discover rising damp after the survey, here are some steps to consider:

Consult with a Damp Specialist

If you suspect rising damp, consult with a damp specialist or a qualified structural engineer. They can conduct a more detailed assessment to confirm the presence of rising damp and identify the underlying causes.

Request a Review of the Survey

If rising damp was missed during the initial survey, contact the surveyor to discuss the findings and request a review. Provide them with the new information and ask if they can reassess the property.


Black mould spots on a wall


Document the Issue

Document the rising damp issue with photographs and detailed notes. This documentation can be valuable when communicating with the surveyor, seeking professional advice, or discussing the matter with relevant parties.

Obtain Multiple Opinions

It’s often beneficial to obtain opinions from more than one professional. Seek quotes and assessments from different damp specialists or structural engineers to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the issue.


Penetrating damp and mould on interior of the roof


Check for Warranty or Insurance

Review any warranties or insurance policies that may cover the property. Some policies may provide coverage for specific structural issues, and you may be able to make a claim for necessary repairs.

Address the Issue Promptly

Rising damp can lead to further damage if not addressed promptly. Once identified, take steps to remediate the issue by implementing the appropriate treatments and repairs.

I Think the House Has Damp, But the Survey Says Otherwise

Begin communication with the surveyor who did the initial survey, ensuring that the data you have carefully gathered is conveyed while expressing your concerns. Request a thorough explanation of the survey findings and explicitly ask about any potential limits in the evaluation procedure. Further:

Request a Reassessment

Request a reassessment or a follow-up inspection from the original surveyor or a different professional. It can help verify the accuracy of the initial findings and provide additional insights into the condition of the property.


Damp surveying negotiation between surveyor and house owner


Seek Legal Advice

If the damp issue is significant and the surveyor’s report is misleading or inaccurate, you may want to seek legal advice. Consult with a solicitor to understand your options and whether there are grounds for a complaint or legal action.

Obtain Multiple Opinions

Consider obtaining opinions from more than one professional. Seek quotes and assessments from different experts to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the issue.


Rising damp and moisture on a wall


Take Prompt Action

If the presence of damp is confirmed, take prompt action to address the issue. Delaying repairs can lead to further damage and potentially higher repair costs.

What if the Damp Surveyor Hasn’t Looked for Damp Thoroughly?

If you have concerns about the damp surveyor’s lack of thoroughness in checking any damp issues in your house, it is critical that you address the problem as soon as possible. Poor-quality surveys have a tendency to overlook the hidden problems that might worsen over time. Herein, we provide a set of actions for your consideration:

Note Down Your Concerns

Note down your specific concerns about the survey. Note any visible signs of damp, such as discolored patches on walls, peeling paint, or musty odours. Take photographs as evidence.


Ceiling affected due to penetrating damp


Review the Survey Report

Carefully review the survey report to understand what areas were assessed and what methodology was used. Check if there were any limitations mentioned in the report.

Contact the Surveyor

Reach out to the surveyor to discuss your concerns. Provide them with the evidence you’ve documented and ask for clarification on the areas that were or were not thoroughly examined. Inquire about the reasons for any limitations in the survey.


Damp moisture on a wall


Request a Reassessment

If you are dissatisfied with the initial survey, request a reassessment or a follow-up inspection. Clearly communicate the specific areas or issues you believe were not adequately examined. Make sure that the surveyor addresses your concerns in the reassessment.

Seek a Second Opinion

Consider obtaining a second opinion from another damp specialist or a qualified structural engineer. They can provide an independent assessment of the property and offer insights into the presence of damp issues.

Can You Get Compensation for Damp Surveyor’s Mistake?

A surveyor is required to exercise reasonable care and competence, and if they overlook a flaw that a qualified surveyor would have discovered, they can sue for professional negligence. The amount of protection varies based on the type of survey.


Bubbling of plaster on a wall due to damp


Claiming reimbursement for a fundamental value survey (conducted for the lender) is complex and limited to severe faults such as an unsupported chimney breast. You have a good case for compensation if you have a homebuyer’s report or a thorough structural survey. Because these surveys give adequate data, it is likely that the surveyor is to blame for failing to uncover hazards such as moist walls.


Peeling of paint work due to rising damp


If you prove negligence, your reimbursement is restricted to the difference between the actual purchase price and what you would have paid if you were aware of the faults. It might be less expensive than the full cost and expense of repairs.

What is Included in a Damp Survey?

If you see any indicators of moisture in your home, it is recommended that you get a thorough damp survey. This rigorous inspection is overseen by an experienced damp specialist, whose primary role includes a complete evaluation of the caused damage, as well as the giving of a precise estimate that provides for repair costs and continuing maintenance needs.

The damp survey’s complexities include both external and internal examinations, ensuring that the damp specialist is well-equipped to provide you with a very exact and thorough damp report indeed.


House surveyor surveying a house


Inspecting the External Area of the House

Your Damp Specialist will begin a thorough external evaluation of your house, carefully evaluating its outside features. Prior to this, the property survey is thoroughly reviewed, allowing them to incorporate any essential information about the outside and offering a strategic roadmap for their inspection.

The thorough exterior inspection includes:

  • Extensive analysis of the pebble dash and rendering
  • Investigation of the bricks thoroughly for any evidence of deterioration or fractures.
  • Examination of damp proof course to ensure its existence and effectiveness.
  • Detailed examination of doors and windows, with emphasis on any sealant damage.
  • Comprehensive inspection of guttering and downpipes for any existing problems.
  • A thorough assessment of the property point.
  • Identification of probable roof concerns, including a look for damaged tiles.

Even if the preliminary structural investigation revealed no exterior issues, this comprehensive external check is required. It acts as a preventative approach, addressing and minimizing possible concerns that may arise in the future.

Inspecting the Internal Area of the House

Following the external evaluation, professionals undertake an internal audit. Most specialists analyze the initial property study prior to their arrival, identifying key issues. Furthermore, findings from their external inspection help to their internal evaluation.

This full inside inspection includes thermal imaging, damp and moisture meter readings, and detailed visual assessments. The Damp Specialist carefully notes thorough observations and photographs, allowing for the creation of an accurate and complete report.

What if Damp is Revealed in the Survey?

If your survey reveals damp in your home, respond quickly and carefully. Determine the type of damp (penetrating, rising, or condensation) first, as each demands a different approach.

For a thorough inspection and tailored solutions, consult a skilled damp specialist. Get a detailed report from them that includes their findings, proposed remedies, and anticipated expenses.

Priority repairs should be made to address the severity of the damp problem, especially if it causes structural damage or health issues. Install a damp-proof course, improve ventilation, repair leaks, or resolve structural difficulties to address the underlying causes.

Obtain service quotes from damp removal professionals to ensure competitive pricing. Before making a decision, consider the recommended solutions, materials, and professional reputations.

Advanced Damp Ltd. Can Help!

If you are dealing with damp issues in your home and require the aid of a surveyor to identify the underlying reasons, Advanced Damp Ltd. is here to help.

As a long-standing Chartered Surveyors firm with a strong presence in the United Kingdom, our staff is well-versed in the execution of comprehensive property surveys aimed at detecting moisture and a variety of property-related faults and difficulties.

We welcome you to contact our friendly team as soon as possible to take advantage of our services. Please contact us immediately by phoning 0300 373 7251 to obtain a complimentary quotation and learn more about how our experience may help you.


Should a survey pick up rising damp?

Certainly, a thorough property survey usually identifies signs of rising damp. Surveyors, trained to assess various structural issues, including dampness, visually inspect walls, floors, and affected areas. Moisture meters may also be employed to measure damp levels. If rising damp is found, it is documented in the survey report along with suggested remedial actions.

Can you hide damp from a surveyor?

It’s not recommended to hide damp during a property survey. Doing so can have serious consequences, as surveyors are trained to detect damp signs. Concealing the issue may lead to inaccurate property assessments. Transparency during the survey is in the best interest of both the seller and buyer for a fair and reliable evaluation.

Do mortgage surveyors check for damp?

Mortgage surveyors carefully evaluate a property’s condition, checking for damp issues that could impact its structural integrity. Mortgage lenders want assurance that the financed property is in good shape. Surveyors examine both the inside and outside for visible signs of damp, like stains or mold. If damp is found, it’s noted in the report, and the lender may ask for repairs before approving the mortgage.

Can rising damp be invisible?

Rising damp is often seen through signs like damp patches, stains, or salt deposits on walls. Sometimes, it may not be immediately obvious, especially in early stages or after recent renovations. Even if not visible, it can be detected using tools like moisture meters during surveys. Regular inspections are essential to spot rising damp early and prevent significant property damage.

Jake Fitzgerald - Damp Surveyor

Jake Fitzgerald - Damp Surveyor

Surveyor of Timber & Dampness in Buildings (CSTDB) & ( MRICS ) Chartered Quantity Surveyor

Jake is a qualified chartered quantity surveyor and experienced damp specialist with a unique skill set in thermal imaging. With a focus on effective solutions, Jake combines his expertise in quantity surveying and thermal imaging to accurately assess and address damp-related issues. He utilises advanced technology to identify hidden moisture sources and develop targeted strategies, ensuring comprehensive and cost-effective solutions for his clients. With a commitment to open communication and client satisfaction, Jake delivers cutting-edge solutions that tackle damp challenges head-on.

Connect with him on Linkedin...

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