Waterproofing Survey

Everyone is familiar with the tiny droplets of water that form on windows and walls when the air is humid. When warm air hits these colder surfaces the moisture laden air changes from vapour back to water droplets, which gradually join together making larger droplets, which can stream into puddles creating damp problems.

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The Ultimate Cure for Dampness in Walls

The effects of a damp problem can trigger allergic reactions and health issues in some people. Mould spores emitted by mould growth are easily ingested setting off allergic reactions, such as skin rashes, coughing and itching eyes. Similarly, breathing mould spores into the lungs can aggravate existing medical conditions such as bronchitis and asthma. These direct and sometimes serious effects of mould can be all stopped by investing in a waterproofing survey, which will specifically identify damp issues in walls and how best to solve them.

By being proactive a damp surveyor will be able to detect damp issues in walls early and react, before they have had a chance to become more seriously established. This preventative approach ensures that the costs of treatment are minimised and dry areas maintained, while also retaining a healthy living environment in each room through effective moisture control. Wall panels, made from materials such as uPVC, Marine Ply, and Solid Core, offer a fantastic alternative to traditional tiles, being quicker and cheaper to install while providing a wide variety of designs and colors.

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What Does a Waterproofing Survey Involve

Waterproofing surveys can be carried out to have either general or specific focus. A general survey will include an assessment of all the potential pinch points for damp in walls throughout the property. A more specific survey will be requested when a particular issue has already been identified, such as problems with a damp cellar, floors, the damp proof course in walls or particular walls, where the surveyors skill is directed at specific locations in the property.

The aim of any damp assessment is to identify and evaluate the extent of water damage that has already occurred and the source of the water that has created it. The causes of damp problems are complex and a surveyor will need all of his experience and specialist tools to be able to identify the problem accurately before assessing how it is best to treat it. Techniques such as using a damp proof membrane are often employed in waterproofing surveys. Any DIY attempts at solving a damp issue can often come unstuck without the specialist knowledge required or the techniques employed in repair.

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Understanding Damp Walls

Identifying Condensation on walls

Condensation is a common problem on internal walls in many properties especially during the colder months of the year. Thermal bridging can contribute to this issue by allowing heat to escape through the walls, making them colder and more prone to condensation. Moist warm air from people exhaling or from cooking meals comes into contact with colder surfaces, such as walls and windows. The moisture settles on internal walls creating droplets, which can lead to outbreaks of mould or peeling wallpaper. Moisture can also gain access through wall cracks and if there isn’t enough ventilation to allow it to escape it will tend to condense on any cold internal walls.

What’s the Best Treatment for Condensation?

  1. Heating. Especially during the colder months try to keep the house heated and don’t be tempted to just heat one room. Even moderately heated it should be enough so that when humid air contacts the walls and windows it doesn’t condense.

  2. Ventilation. No one wants their windows open during winter however the ventilation they offer is vital. To protect, try opening a window for a short time or open the trickle vent, which will help air to circulate with minimal loss of warmth. Allow space behind furniture and walls, so damp air can’t build up in between. Install a dehumidifier if you have a particular problem with condensation and use the extractor fan when cooking or using the bathrooms. Humidity control is essential to prevent condensation, and a more recent innovation uses wall panels in kitchen splashbacks and bathrooms. Instead of ceramic tiling large single piece wall panels are installed. With no gaps in the wall panels you can be sure moisture won’t be able to penetrate in areas where splashing is frequent. Wall panels are a cost effective method to treat damp walls internally and effectively in the bathroom and kitchen. Additionally, luxury vinyl flooring is a durable and attractive option for areas prone to dampness.

  3. Drying Clothes. Avoid drying clothes indoors in the bathroom as it quickly creates an even damper environment on the bathroom walls. If you use a tumble dryer, vent the warm air out of the window or install a condensing model, which will trap the moisture properly.

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Identifying Rising Damp on walls

As its name suggests, rising damp occurs when rainwater in the ground rises up through capillary action in the brick or stone walls. This problem only takes place on the ground floor, needing the interface between the ground and brickwork. Rising damp symptoms include stains of tide mark brown or white colours on bricks up to about 1 m. Rising damp is most frequently found in older buildings where the damp proof course material has broken down over time allowing moisture past.

What’s the Best Treatment for Rising Damp?

In older style properties, where the damp proof course is damaged or the materials may have been incorrectly installed then rising damp is likely to result. A damp proof course was first used during the 1900s using bitumen and hessian or slate tiles and it has become a routine part of house wall construction. The new damp proof course acts as an impermeable barrier stopping water from rising upwards through the wall.

It’s not practical to replace the damp proof course physically because it is an integral part of the brickwork in an old style property. So instead, small holes are drilled low down on the walls and a chemical paste is injected. This combines with the masonry to create a waterproof barrier, stopping any further moisture from rising. This method is known as a chemical damp proof course and is a modern solution to treat rising damp effectively.

Identifying Penetrating Damp on Walls

As its name suggests, penetrating damp includes any occurrence where water ingress allows moisture to enter the external walls of a property. This is most often through the brickwork where a defect has gradually allowed water access. This may be caused by blocked gutters, old and damaged pointing, or a roof fault.

Normally, when external walls get wet after heavy rain, they gradually dry out. However, with damaged pointing, the water can gain access deep inside the masonry where normal drying out isn’t possible and which can lead to spreading issues on internal walls. Penetrating damp occurs on the exterior of a property and can cause serious damage and staining to internal walls and flooring too.

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What's the Best Treatment for Penetrating Damp?

Although there are numerous causes of penetrating damp the majority of incidents are caused by one of the following:

  1. Damaged guttering and down pipes. This can be a structural defect, such as broken brackets or blockage by leaves. Brickwork regularly gets soaked leading to damp walls.

  2. If the render or plaster on a building is old and has started to crack or break away in patches, then water can easily penetrate to find access forming damp walls. External waterproofing can be a solution to prevent water ingress. Render and plaster patches on the wall can be removed, replaced and painted to treat damp walls.

  3. Missing roof tiles or structural damage to a wall can allow water to seep down, where it may not be able to dry out.

  4. If the property is built with bricks that have become more porous over time then water can find an easy route inside to create a damp internal walls. There are a number of sealants that can be applied to the brickwork exterior to make it impermeable once again.

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How to Treat Damp Walls Internally

Effective Solutions

Wet Wall Panels

Ceramic tiling in the kitchen and bathroom have been the traditional choice of covering for many years. The finish looks good and they are easy to clean. However, especially in bathrooms with the introduction of power showers, the grouting between each tile can erode easily over time, allowing water to gain access to the wall and flooring behind the tiles.

Large flexible panels, called wet wall panels, have gradually replaced the time consuming application of ceramic tiles. Wet wall panels are manufactured from 10 mm PVC, which is flexible enough to adapt to bends but also strong enough to offer long term water protection. The panels can be printed as matt or gloss, along with many decorative designs such as marble or stone.

Preventing Dampness from Getting Worse?

Any visible damp problem or persistent musty or mouldy smells usually indicate the start of a damp issue. Taking prompt action is vital as the problem isn’t going to go away by itself and a small issue rectified immediately is going to be a lot cheaper to fix than one that is left to rot.

These are a few tips to keep on top of problems as they arise:

  1. As a first step, carry out your own quick checks for signs of problems in high risk areas such as the kitchen, bathroom and each external wall of the property. Regular damp proofing maintenance can help prevent damp problems in kitchens, bathrooms, basements, and other areas prone to excess moisture.

  2. Then it is essential to ensure the right treatment is carried out effectively, so ask a professional company, such as Advanced Damp , to carry out a survey and assess what work needs to be done and the cost. Advanced Damp offer 20 years of experience providing solutions to damp issues and a 25 year guarantee on all work completed.

  3. Use ventilation and fans to keep the air circulating through the house. The cost of investing in a dehumidifier is often quickly paid back by the removal of costly damp issues.

  4. If your kitchen or bathroom areas are showing signs of damp consider installing wet wall panels to minimise the chances of water finding its way into the walls behind. Shower panels and vinyl flooring are a durable, cost-effective and attractive alternative to conventional ceramic tiling in areas the tend to be prone to dampness.

“Highly professional damp treatment…”

5/5

“Advanced Damp were highly professional in the damp treatment service they provided us. We found the team very clear to explain the treatment, steps for follow-up, and advice on another possible area of damp in the house all very helpful. They were on time, and committed to tidying up as part of the service.

We really appreciated the immediate response to the request we placed on the website, and the fact that they could fit us in so quickly. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend these services.”

~ Bruce

“Practical, helpful approach…”

5/5

“Super-prompt, efficient, courteous and tidy service from Advanced Damp. I had lots of concerns about getting the damp treatment to fit in with some improvement work we had planned and some unplanned insurance work, and their practical, helpful approach and detailed advice has taken a huge weight off my mind.

They really tailored what they did to what we needed, and will be doing some more work for us to fit in with the schedule we have to work to. I’d have no hesitation in recommending them.”

~ Jane

“Sorted quickly and efficiently…”

5/5

“My rising damp problem was sorted quickly and efficiently by Advanced Damp.

The team were excellent at their job and explained to me what they were doing and why, every step of the way. I felt confident that they were experienced in the problem. I will definitely use them again.”

~ Christine

Book a Waterproofing Survey Today!

Safeguard your property’s health with our award-winning team of leading damp surveyors and damp proofing specialists. We are Londons #1 provider of comprehensive damp surveys. Whether it’s penetrating damp, rising damp, or condensation issues, our damp surveys for commercial and residential properties identify and provide detailed insight into all damp-related concerns. Protect your property and peace of mind; book your London damp survey with our specialists today.

At Advanced Damp, we also offer comprehensive thermal imaging surveys to provide a deeper, non-invasive analysis of damp issues. Our advanced thermal imaging technology allows us to detect hidden moisture, heat loss, and insulation defects that are not visible to the naked eye. This service ensures a thorough understanding of your property’s condition, leading to more accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plans. 

Learn more now: Should I Get a Damp Survey

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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.

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