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Thread: Rising Damp Smoke & Mirrors

  1. #1

    Rising Damp Smoke & Mirrors

    I had an extension put in a couple of years ago. Soon after, the original wall that the extension was butted up to started to develop damp. Noticed a leaking gutter around the new extension which was rectified by the builder. Knowing how long bricks take to dry out I left it a year, but if anything the damp was getting worse.

    I called in a company from Checkatrade who had a good look around and said that the damp proof course on the original part of the house had failed due to the disturbance from the extension, and we now had rising damp. That'll be £1200 please for the area no larger than a small picture. The company had all five star reviews, but I was a bit suspicious about how quickly they arrived at the problem of rising damp.

    Then a few weeks later there was a serendipitous event. I'd stored some empty containers at the side of the extension and after a heavy rain event one of the container was completely overflowing. It had been heavy rain but not 12 inches!

    So I then gazed up into the sky and find that the original cast iron gutter had a chink of light showing. Effectively the original house gutters had been drenching the paving where at the point where the extension meets the house. The leak was not enough to notice while it was raining, but enough to be overflowing a huge bucket I then placed to understand the scale of the leak.

    I sorted out the roof gutter and now the damp problem has gone.

    My lesson learned is investigate every possibility before ever getting any rising damp work done. An don't trust these companies no matter how many five star reviews they have.

  2. #2
    Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Cheshire
    Posts
    3,862
    Completely agree, don't trust Checkatrade or any of those types of organisation, the traders pay the organisation to be on there, real conflict of interests.

  3. #3
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Tyneside
    Posts
    487
    Any type of damp, trace the source of the water and stop it and improve air flow. Damp gone. No need for "specialists".

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by K300 View Post
    Completely agree, don't trust Checkatrade or any of those types of organisation, the traders pay the organisation to be on there, real conflict of interests.
    I’ve had very good experience with Checkatrade over numerous traders. I’d use them again.

    What I don’t trust, whether they are on Checkatrade or not, is company’s whose raison detre is rising damp.

  5. #5
    I find these guys to be very knowledgeable. About to use them to survey a new house purchase!

    https://www.heritage-house.org/damp-...sing-damp.html

  6. #6
    Master
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Wirral
    Posts
    4,545
    I attended a CPD seminar on damp problems in buildings a few years ago (exciting huh?) and the company providing the seminar had conducted an experiment to debunk the rising damp myth. The built approx ten masonry piers of varying construction in containers full of water and monitored the extent that moisture was able to travel up the pier.

    The result was effectively non of them transmitted water beyond the first course apart from one which contained such a dry mix of mortar that you’d never actually be able to build a wall with it. The source of moisture can be a nightmare to find in buildings but it almost certainly won’t be rising damp.

  7. #7
    Checkatrade is in the business of making money by charging contractors for advertising space. That's all they do. They garauntee nothing and their reputation is covered in the small print. As a contractor who deals in from £10k to £1M+ projects I know plenty of Checkatrade members who I would steer well clear of.

  8. #8
    Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Lincolnshire
    Posts
    4,448
    A friend of mine has had a house sale fall through a couple of times as the surveyors have recommended a damp survey after discovering signs of damp.

    The agent got a damp proofing company in to provide a quote and surprise surprise they found damp and recommended £4.5k worth of damp proof course work.

    The house had an injection damp proof course done 5 years previously, which had miraculously failed.

    Long story short, she paid £300 for an independent surveyor who found that the ‘rising damp’ was caused by a leaking flat roof, an uncapped unused chimney, lack of underfloor ventilation and a bit where a repaired floor was bridging to the plaster.

    A builder sorted all that for a few hundred more and the damp is gone.

    The amount of damp companies who are only interested in taking off the plaster, drilling and injecting god knows what for several thousand pounds, regardless of the actual cause is ridiculous.

  9. #9
    Master
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    N/A
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    1,098
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyhands View Post
    I find these guys to be very knowledgeable. About to use them to survey a new house purchase!

    https://www.heritage-house.org/damp-...sing-damp.html
    Many Thanks, some really useful information

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyhands View Post
    I find these guys to be very knowledgeable. About to use them to survey a new house purchase!

    https://www.heritage-house.org/damp-...sing-damp.html
    Thanks that’s a really interesting read. If only I knew all that when I bought my first place some 25 years ago - a lovely one bedroom basement flat that had been subject to DPC injection inside and out but came with a 10 year guarantee. a year or so after moving in the “damp” returned. The DPC company was no longer around and the guarantee worthless. Funnily enough a different damp prevention company was at the same address and using the same phone number. They came, diagnosed rising damp, hacked off a meter of plaster and did the drilling and injection. I also had to pay for replastering and redecorating. cost me a fortune and really stressed me out. It’s put me off period properties ever since.

    Casper

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