Pre-Purchase Damp and Timber Survey Report
This survey is usually requested by banks and building societies. A typical description within a valuation/homebuyers report would be ‘Seek specialist advice from a Property Care Association damp and timber contractor member to investigate the presence of dampness to ground floor walls and timbers in contact with the walls’ or ‘Investigate the presence of internal dampness and inspect the timbers for the presence of beetle infestation and timber decay’.
This report can be very informative if you are buying an older property and you suspect damp and/timber problems. You may decide to have a damp and timber survey carried out first, before a homebuyers/structural report to determine whether there are any damp and/or timber problems and to highlight the extent of any such damp and timber issues. This is a very good way to determine whether or not a property is right for you and a much more cost effective way than paying for a full structural survey and/or a homebuyers report.
All our damp and timber surveys are carried out by fully qualified Certified Surveyors in Remedial Treatments (CSRT) to determine the extent of damp and timber defects within the building.
Subject to your instructions, a CSRT surveyor will carry out a non-destructive damp and timber survey to investigate the presence of rising damp, condensation, penetrating dampness and lateral dampness within the property. The damp and timber surveyor will also investigate the presence of Woodworm, Dry Rot and Wet Rot within the property to all readily accessible structural timbers. If a property is fully furnished and carpeted we recommend you seek permission from the vendor in writing for floor coverings etc. to be lifted, prior to our damp and timber survey appointment. Our surveyors are not obliged to move furniture, floor coverings and/or stored items during a damp and timber survey. Loose carpets may be lifted to inspect limited areas but this is at our surveyor’s discretion.
If you have special requirements such as sub-floor inspections, whole house inspections, salt analysis or timber sampling please inform us upon booking. If no special requirements are needed, a damp and timber survey will be limited to investigate the presence of rising damp to the ground floor internal and external walls where accessible for inspection and will also include the investigation as to the presence of timber decay and wood boring beetle attack to the surfaces of the structural timbers of the property.
Once the damp and timber survey has been carried out, you should expect to receive the damp and timber report via email up to five working days from the day of the damp and timber survey. This is the longest you would have to wait for your report and in most instances we have been able to provide our clients with their reports after 48hours.
If you are in a situation such as a repossession purchase, we understand that time is a key factor therefore we ask that you inform us of this and we will endeavour to have your report with you as soon as possible. If you have been instructed to have a specialist damp and timber survey carried out when buying a property it usually means you have already committed yourself financially, whether its survey fees and/or solicitors fees, there is a lot at stake financially regarding the findings of the damp and timber survey.
A misdiagnosis can result in mortgage retentions and in some cases refusal of lending. So it is very important to use a PCA Member Damp and Timber Specialist and a Qualified CSRT surveyor to carry out the damp and timber survey.
Our damp and timber surveyor’s main objective is to pass your property with a clean bill of health, however in some cases there are problems. To what extent though? That is the big question!
Simple checks can avoid expensive damp proofing and timber treatments being carried out, such as locating a physical damp proof course, identifying whether the damp proof course is being bridged and identifying the source of moisture and so on and so forth.
Chemical damp proof course installations or fungicide/insecticide treatment are expensive and sometimes not even necessary! There are times when internal or external bridging gives the façade of rising damp, which in most cases means that no treatment is required apart from de-bridging, some replastering perhaps and allowing the wall to dry out naturally.
Whether it is a misdiagnosis of rising damp or a case of active rising damp, rest assured the diagnosis will be the correct one from a qualified surveyor.
Another common error within the damp proofing and timber decay industry is the misdiagnosis of wood boring insect attack e.g. woodworm infestation. This could cause you a financial problem where retentions are put in place by lenders. Again it is important to have the correct diagnosis by a CSRT surveyor to avoid the unnecessary expense and hassle of treating a possible historic infestation. There are many species of wood boring insects that come under the universal umbrella term of ‘woodworm’ that require completely different treatments, if any treatment at all.
Therefore, there are two questions that need to be asked and crucial to have the correct answer…
> Is the infestation Active or Historic?
> Does the beetle require treatment?
80% of the time the infestation will be historic or requires no treatment at all. Here at Damp Pro we provide honest, correct identifications of damp, woodworm and dry rot and recommend correct remedial treatments to resolve and rectify any damp, woodworm and/or dry rot problems. Please rest assured that treatments will only be recommended if found to be necessary. Our surveyors do not work on commission and have no interest in financial gain.
If any Damp Proofing, Woodworm and/or Dry Rot treatments are found to be necessary and you wish for Damp Pro to carry out the treatments, we use only qualified in house technicians to carry out the treatments (not unqualified sub-contractors) and work is backed up by a Damp Pro twenty year guarantee. As a PCA member we can also offer our clients (at their discretion) a 10 Year insurance backed guarantee through the Guarantee Protection Insurance scheme (GPI) if any preservative treatments are used.
How A Damp Survey Is Carried Out...
Survey the exterior of the property and identify any defects that can lead to damp ingress. Starting from the chimney pot/lead flashing working down to the external ground levels and sub-floor ventilation.
Test the ground floor walls were accessible for the presence of damp ingress (non-destructive testing). Inspect the exterior of the property for high ground levels which can lead to Damp Proof Course Bridging and other defects that can cause dampness ingress.
Test the first floor walls if instructed for damp ingress paying particular attention to areas at high risk of penetrating damp such as chimney breasts and walls adjacent to external water goods etc.
Once the survey has been carried out and a diagnosis has been made a full written damp report along with a sketch plan of the ground floor if necessary will be issued to you via email upto five working days of the survey being carried out once payment has been received.
The surveyor carrying out the damp survey will provide you with a direct telephone number to contact him direct if there are any further questions.
How A Timber Survey Is Carried Out...
Survey the exterior of the property and identify any present timber decay or defects that can lead to future timber decay.
Investigate the presence of timber decay and or beetle infestation to the ground floor, staircase and upper floors including the roof void subject to instructions.
Timbers accessible on the day of the survey will be inspected for evidence of timber decay and/or beetle infestation.
A full written timber report detailing our surveyor's conclusion will be issued to you within five working days from the day of the survey once payment has been received.
The surveyor carrying out the timber survey will provide you with a direct telephone number to contact him direct if there are any further questions.