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Damp can be a complex issue in your home. Depending on the type and extent of a damp problem, it could cost thousands of pounds to sort out. Even worse, some unscrupulous tradesmen prey on people’s concerns about damp, making homeowners pay over the odds for damp proofing work they don’t even need.
The only way you can be sure to avoid unnecessary expense is via a damp survey. When carried out by an accredited professional, a survey will give you the proper lay of the land. Read on to learn all about the damp survey cost you can expect to pay, as well as some useful info about damp itself.
What is a Damp Survey, and When Might You Need One?
According to UK Government figures from 2015-17, four per cent of households in England had damp-related problems in at least one room. Damp issues are common in the UK due to our climate; the relatively wet and temperate conditions all year round make damp particularly prevalent.
A damp survey is a particular type of property survey that looks specifically for issues related to damp. Approved damp surveyors are all either CRDS (Certified Remedial Damp Surveyor) or CSRT (Certified Surveyor of Remedial Treatments) certified. You should always look out for those qualifications when finding a professional surveyor.
If you suspect there may be problems with damp in your home, you need to instruct a damp survey. It’s also a good idea to get a survey done if you’re looking to sell your property since you can answer any queries prospective buyers may have about damp.
What Can a Damp Survey Diagnose and Report On?
A damp survey is a comprehensive investigation of your property. A professional surveyor will assess every room and area for signs of damp and related damage. Simon Cooper, an accredited damp surveyor, shared this video taking people behind the scenes of a typical survey.
There are three main types of damp-related problems that an investigation may find:
Condensation (and damage caused by it) is the most common issue diagnosed by a damp survey. Condensation occurs naturally when warm, moist air comes into contact with a cold surface. Exterior walls and windows are often the most affected surfaces in the home.
Homes with high humidity due to inadequate ventilation are most likely to suffer from condensation issues. If you don’t remove the moisture that’s caused the condensation, mould can proliferate.
Significant, ongoing exposure to moisture can cause penetrating damp in your home. You’re most likely to see penetrating damp where walls or joinery elements get exposed to water. Leaking roofs, burst pipes and fractures around sinks are common causes of this type of damp.
Where penetrating damp does occur, it leads to ugly dark patches on walls or ceilings. Left unchecked, those patches of damp will spread and darken, causing paint or wall coverings to peel.
As well as being a sitcom from the 1970s, rising damp is a serious issue for any property. It’s rarer than other damp-related problems, but it’s also much more challenging to fix. Rising damp occurs when moisture in or below the ground reaches your floors and then creeps up the walls.
If you have rising damp, you’ll notice tide marks on your walls, as well as powdery white mineral deposits. In extreme cases, your skirting boards can also get sodden, eventually rotting or crumbling.
Your surveyor will report any of these three issues if they’re detected during a damp survey. They will also be able to give you some advice on your best next course of action. As explained by Which? you can solve some damp issues yourself.
In other cases, your only option is to contact a pro to help with damp proofing your property. Either way, getting a professional to survey your home is the best way to identify problems with damp. So how much should a damp survey cost you?
Damp Survey Cost – What to Expect
There’s no hard and fast rule for how much a damp survey will cost. Several factors combine to mean some surveys will cost more than others. The main thing that will affect what you pay is how big your property is. The more ground a surveyor has to cover, the longer their survey will take, and the more they’ll charge.
Anything about your property that makes accessing areas to survey more difficult may also bump up the survey’s price. As with any service, geography plays a part too. Damp surveys tend to cost more in London and the South East, and less elsewhere in the UK, though costs in remote regions like the Scottish Highlands may be higher due to increased travelling time.
For a three-bedroom terraced or semi-detached house, you’ll pay somewhere between £150 and £350 for a full damp survey from an accredited professional. Costs move on a sliding scale as your property gets bigger or smaller. Priceyourjob.co.uk give you a good idea of how that works, in a table they’ve drawn up of damp survey costs and duration.
You don’t want to find out too late that your property is suffering from damp. Serious damp-related issues can cost thousands of pounds to rectify. That’s before you consider the cost of repainting or replacing wallpaper, repairing skirting boards and rectifying other elements damaged by the damp. A comprehensive damp survey helps you to nip these issues in the bud.
You should now understand what a damp survey is, and how much you can expect to pay. Armed with that knowledge, you can head over to Rated People to find the right surveyor for the job. If you want to find out more in the meantime, drop us a comment right here, or get in touch on social media to join in the discussion.