We are possibly the only surveying practice that carry out a detailed appraisal of a damp property as part of our homebuyers survey reports. You will find that most other practices defer any real opinion on damp to ‘specialist’ damp proofing companies, which is a sure way to guarantee that you end up with a meaningless report specifying expensive chemical injection or re-plastering that is not required. With that in mind potential homebuyers may find the following guide useful.

Ten simple but valuable checks for potential homebuyers

  1. Check external ground levels are not too high when compared to internal finished floor levels. If a physical damp proof course is installed then external finished floor levels should be a minimum of 150mm below internal finished floor Level. In older buildings, if no physical damp proof course is installed then this is not necessarily a problem, simply ensure that external finished floor levels are a minimum of 200mm below internal finished floor level.
  2. Make sure external masonry is not painted. Brickwork cannot dry out when it is coated with impermeable masonry paint. If it is painted then you should at least have the paint removed from the bottom three courses of brickwork. Similarly, you should generally avoid clear waterproofing products despite claims that they are ‘breathable.’ Cement render can cause similar problems and you should ensure that cementitious render is in sound condition and not bridging the damp proof course at lower level.

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