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Exposure survey essential to find the root cause of a damp problem

28th May 2019

Categories  Damp

Understanding the root cause of a damp problem is essential to specifying the right treatment programme.  This was demonstrated during a recent property survey carried out to a 1930’s property in Cambridgeshire where the cause of a damp floor and damp walls was not immediately obvious.

Exposure Survey

Following an initial visual inspection, our damp and timber surveyor specialist recommend an exposure survey was undertaken to determine if the damp problem was being caused by either a damp-proof course failure or a solid floor failure.

Upon inspection, there was found to be no evidence of a damp-proof membrane within the floor build up. It was also noted that there was a slim (40mm) sand/cement infill over porous red stock compacted bricks. The conclusion was that this was allowing the passage of water to travel up and through the floor and into the walls resulting in the damp that was evident.  The existing plaster was also noted to be taken down to the solid floor which also meant was susceptible  to damp travelling from the floor and up into the plaster.

Recommendation

In this instance, a damp-proof course was therefore not the recommended treatment to stop the damp problem. Instead, the treatment programme involved laying a new subfloor to the required standard of construction methods which would prevent the opportunity for the water to penetrate up through the floor. In addition the existing plaster would be cut short of the new solid floor.

Conclusion

ProTen Services Operations Director Tony Rafferty comments ‘this is a good example of how important thorough investigation is to find the real cause of a damp problem.  Simply installing a damp-proof course is not always the best treatment method. Our job is to look beyond the initial problem and get the diagnosis and the treatment program right to ensure long term protection to the property.’

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