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Dampness in Buildings

Client / Main Contractor: Liverpool Victoria

Building: Residential

Type: Dampness

Value: N/A

Date: 24/03/2017

We were recently approached by a private client who had received a Home Report stating a property he was trying to sell had damp issues. This was made worse by a preservation contractor who inspected the property and reported back that the property had rising damp in two areas.

One of the areas identified had no visible signs of dampness, yet when a moisture meter was put on the wall high readings were recorded. The other area was identified as being caused by a defective external downpipe causing water to penetrate the masonry. Our client asked us for a second opinion and it was a good decision. We were able test the wall with the alledged rising damp using Gravimetric Testing and Salts Analysis and proved there was no dampness at all. This wasn't surprising to us, we could see the wall was papered, there was no sign or decorative spoiling, no peeling of paper, no blistering, no salt deposits and no mould growth....all normally indicators of a moisture problem

Dampness in Buildings

Can you see any damp problems with this wall?

The lesson here is don't trust a moisture meter, especially when surveying on masonry or concrete. Moisture meters are electrical resistance meters calibrated to give a quantitative reading only on wood. When used on any other material the meter readings need to be interpreted and properly understood by an experienced operator.

Penetrating Dampness

Dampness in Wall

The defective rainwater downpipe turned out not to be the culprit, instead we found this gaping hole in the mortar surrounding the door frame, barely covered by a thin veneer of mortar. The result was penetrating dampness to the internal wall, easily treated and made good

As a result we saved our client a large sum of money in unnecessary damp proof treatment and incorrect repairs.

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