A process that can be carried out in both domestic and commercial environments, a damp survey is an important process for ensuring that a building is at a suitable standard. It is similar to the surveys conducted prior to buying a property, but with a sole emphasis on identifying the signs of damp.

In this blog, we delve into damp surveys and answer a few important questions on this topic.

What is a damp survey?

If you’re wondering what does a damp survey involve, in simple terms, a damp survey is a form of property investigation and report that focuses on any damp issues the specific building may have. The extent of any damage and appropriate next steps to reduce or reverse the problem.

A specialist damp surveyor will carry out this procedure. During the process, they will look at where damp is present. How much damp there is and what damage it could cause in the future if left untreated. As well as the best solution for treating the problem.

What does a damp survey involve?
A specialist surveyor conducting a damp survey on a mouldy wall.

How is a damp survey done?

After you’ve booked a damp survey, the specialist will set a date to come and assess your property. On the day of the survey, they will ask questions about the problem itself, how long it’s been going on and any changes you’ve noticed since it started. If you own the property, you will be able to answer these questions. But if you rent the property or are in the process of buying it, these questions will be put to the landlord or the current owner.

When they’ve gathered as much information as possible about the problem, they will work through the property. Assessing any potential damp problems throughout but primarily focusing on the areas you’ve highlighted to them. The surveyor will look for signs of damp, the likely causes and any potential problems that could cause further damp in the future.

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A variety of devices may be used to inspect the property. For example, a damp meter is a useful tool as it can check walls for signs of damp that may not be detectable otherwise. It can be used to assess the property both horizontally and vertically and create a moisture profile to help with finding a suitable solution for removing the damp.

The findings will then be documented at length in a report which you will either receive via email or in the post. A damp survey report will be extensive but written in simple terms to explain the severity of the damage and the necessary next steps. It will also include any additional research the surveyor carried out after the survey to piece together the extent of the damage, what it means for the property and an estimate for how much it would cost to entirely solve the damp problem.

How long does a damp survey take?

The duration of a damp survey will vary based on the size of the property, its structure, the type of damp problem and the severity of the damage. However, on average, a damp survey will take somewhere between three to four hours to complete.

Are damp surveys worth it?

As moisture and dampness in buildings can be caused by a vast number of things, it’s important to get a trained expert to examine the problem and find an appropriate, effective solution. The alternative would be to attempt a universal fix that could have little to no impact on the problem or even make it worse.

With any type of property, it’s important that you have certain assurances that it is at a specific standard and unlikely to suffer significant damage in the future. A damp survey will provide you with these assurances while helping you to prevent mould, extend the lifespan of your home’s walls and ceilings and reduce unnecessary future costs to fix the problem should it worsen.

Better safe than sorry

Having a damp survey conducted as a precaution can also be a sensible decision. Quite often people don’t see any physical signs of damp but suffer the side effects. If you are moving into a new property or are just curious, having an expert damp surveyor come and complete a report may reveal to you that you do indeed have a damp issue. Or alternatively may confirm that your properties moisture levels sit at a safe level.

The physical signs of damp often come as a result of high moisture levels in the air. Meaning that if you wait until you can visibly see signs of damp the problem, it is likely the problem already existed but has progressively gotten worse. Once at this stage the cost of fixing the problem will be far more expensive. The damp survey will identify the areas of damp and provide you recommendations on how to fix the issue. Pressure drying, suction drying and room dehumidification may be recommended to you as a means of solving the damp issue. If the damp survey had been done as a precautionary measure, without any visual signs of damp you would have been made aware of the issue. Then been able to solve it without costing yourself a lot, or potentially any money.

Leaving windows open for air circulation, using extractor fans or not drying clothes indoors may have been sufficient measures to fix the initial moisture issue. Having a precautionary damp survey conducted will not only give you peace of mind. But it may also help you save money in addition to protecting your health and your property, helping you guard against the need for future mould removal. We also have plenty of experience helping to deal with damp and mould, like we did in this mould remediation case study.

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