Damp surveyor explaining house survey to prospect buyer

How Do Surveyors Check For Damp?

How Do Surveyors Check For Damp?


Key Takeaways

Role of Damp Surveyors: Damp surveyors conduct a detailed visual inspection of the property during their investigation. They identify two main types of damp issues: penetrating damp (often related to roof problems) and rising damp (causing mold on walls). Early detection of damp is crucial for timely resolution and protection of the property.

How Surveyors Check for Damp: Damp surveyors look for obvious signs like peeling wallpaper, flaking paint, discolored walls, streaks, watermarks, musty odors, and condensation. Their responsibility extends to diagnosing the extent of damage and recommending necessary repairs to prevent financial complications.

Damp Survey Process: A damp survey involves both external and internal inspections. External inspection includes checking render, bricks, damp proof course, windows, doors, downpipes, guttering, and roof. Internal inspection involves damp meter readings, thermal imaging, and visual checks, resulting in a detailed report.


When you're in the process of purchasing a house, it's crucial to ensure that it's in top-notch condition before settling in.

Damp stands out on top among the common issues highlighted in survey reports.

While some damp issues can be fixed inexpensively, there are situations where you might face hefty repair expenses if you go ahead with the deal.

This guide is designed to walk you through what surveyors look for when examining damp in a property.


Will a Damp Survey Flag Damp Issues?

When you get the services of a damp surveyor, their role extends beyond a mere glance – they get into the details and conduct a visual inspection of the property, which is a crucial component of the investigation.

It's in this thorough investigation that any signs of damp are likely to be unveiled, making the property survey an indispensable step in your evaluation process.

Now, the nature of the damp issue hinges on the structural survey you opt for; the surveyor gets into different areas of the property, gauging the presence and severity of structural damage and damp problems.

There are essentially two troublemakers when it comes to damp – penetrating damp and rising damp.

The former is often traced back to issues with the roof, stemming from chimney, guttering, or tile malfunctions. Unmistakably, a survey quickly spots penetrating damp, but the cost to mend it can be a substantial investment.

On the other hand, rising damp paints a picture of mould scaling the walls, potentially encroaching upon fixtures and decorations if left unattended.

The ramifications of excess moisture here can be diverse and far-reaching. When rising damp is detected during the property survey, it's prudent to swiftly seek the expertise of damp specialists.

The sooner you find the damp problems, be they of the penetrating or rising variety, the sooner they must be addressed and resolved. It's not merely about repairs; it's about protecting your property from the dire consequences of unchecked damp.


A damp expert explaining the house survey to the house owner


How Do Surveyors Check for Damp?

A damp surveyor's primary responsibility is to examine the property for obvious signs of damp, such as peeling wallpaper or flaking paint, which typically serve as the first visual signs of moisture-related issues.

Damp can be seen as discolored walls, visible streaks on painted surfaces, or noticeable watermarks. Furthermore, peeling wallpaper and flaking paint are common indicators of excess moisture, signaling potential damage that could occur if not addressed promptly.

Similarly, the early detection of musty odors and the accumulation of condensation in poorly ventilated spaces act as early warning signs of damp that require immediate attention.

The surveyor's responsibility extends beyond mere identification to include a comprehensive diagnosis of the extent of the damage and the formulation of recommendations for necessary repairs, thereby preventing issues from becoming financial complications.


What's Involved in a Damp Survey?

If you come across damp in your property, considering a damp survey could be worth it. This damp survey involves a thorough assessment by a wet specialist, who not only evaluates the damage but also offers a cost estimate for necessary repairs and maintenance.

Both external and internal inspections are integral components of this survey, ensuring a comprehensive examination. The outcome is a precise and detailed report from the damp specialist that can guide your next steps effectively.

External Inspection

The damp specialist will start by inspecting the exterior of your property. They'll review the property survey in advance to identify any exterior-related notes. It helps them pinpoint areas to focus on during the external inspection, which includes:

  1. Checking the render and pebble dash.

  2. Examining for damaged or cracked bricks.

  3. Verifying the presence of a damp proof course.

  4. Inspecting windows and doors for damaged sealant.

  5. Assessing downpipes and guttering for issues.

  6. Examining property pointing.

  7. Identifying problems with the roof, such as cracked tiles.

Internal Inspection

After the external assessment, specialists conduct an internal inspection, having already reviewed the initial property survey. They focus on areas of primary concern, aided by notes from the external inspection. The interior assessment includes a damp meter reading, thermal imaging, and visual checks. The Damp Specialist documents findings with notes and pictures to create a comprehensive report.


Damp surveyor checking for damp


What happens if the Survey Report flags a dam?

Read the survey report carefully, focusing on the damp section. If the damp problem is minor and inexpensive to fix, you can proceed with the transaction or negotiate a lower offer.

For significant mould growth and damp issues, exploring alternative options is advisable. Severe problems like penetrating damp and rising damp tend to be costly to repair, so getting a damp survey is recommended in such cases, especially if you are buying a house with dampness.


Does Damp Issues Devalue the House's Price?

Damp can lower your property's value. But how much does it devalue? It depends. So, it's advisable to fix damp issues before selling. Damp can reduce the market value, so be prepared to decrease the asking price if repairs are costly or you need a quick sale. Failing to lower the price may result in less interest or negotiation for a lower offer from potential buyers.


What do surveyors use to check for damp?

Surveyors use various tools and techniques to check for damp in buildings. One standard method involves using a moisture meter to measure the moisture content of walls and other surfaces. They may also visually inspect for signs of damp, such as water stains, mould, or a musty odour. Infrared thermography is another tool that can help identify areas with higher moisture levels. Additionally, surveyors may use a damp survey to assess the overall condition of a property and identify potential sources of moisture.

What happens if a survey finds damp?

If a survey identifies damp in a property, the implications can vary depending on the severity and extent of the issue. In some cases, if damp found, it may be a minor concern that can be addressed through routine maintenance. However, if the damp is significant, it could lead to more serious structural problems and impact the property's value. It may also necessitate costly repairs to prevent further damage.

Can you hide damp from a surveyor?

Attempting to hide damp from a surveyor is not advisable and can have legal consequences. Ethical and professional standards require surveyors to provide accurate assessments, and deliberately concealing damp issues can result in legal action. It's essential to address and disclose any existing problems transparently to avoid complications in the future.

How is a damp test done?

Damp tests are typically conducted by surveyors using a combination of visual inspections and specialised tools. As mentioned earlier, moisture meters and infrared thermography are standard instruments for assessing damp. Surveyors may also check for leaks in plumbing and examine the external elements of the building, such as the roof and gutters, to identify potential sources of water ingress. A thorough damp test involves a comprehensive evaluation of the property to ensure a complete understanding of its moisture-related issues.

Table of Contents

Picture of Sam Fitzgerald – CSRT Damp Surveyor

Sam Fitzgerald – CSRT Damp Surveyor

Author – CSRT Damp Surveyor
Sam is a highly qualified and seasoned damp surveyor with over ten years of specialised experience. With a strong academic foundation in building surveying and numerous professional certifications, Sam has established himself as an authority in the field of damp diagnosis and remediation.

At Damp Surveyors Ltd, Sam applies his extensive knowledge to help homeowners across the UK address and solve their damp issues effectively. His approach combines cutting-edge techniques with a commitment to honest, client-focused service, ensuring that every survey and recommendation is tailored to the specific needs of the property.

As a thought leader, Sam’s insights into damp prevention and treatment have been featured in industry publications, underscoring his role as a trusted expert dedicated to maintaining the integrity and comfort of your home.

Testing device for measuring dampness in a house


At Damp Surveyors Ltd, we stand out as your premier choice for damp survey services in the UK. Our commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction sets us apart. Here’s why you should choose us:

  • Exclusive 3 Free Quotes: We offer a one-of-a-kind optional service where you not only get our top-notch damp survey but also receive 3 free quotes from vetted local companies, giving you peace of mind by saving you thousands on getting the most competitive quotes, and also time researching and contacting other reputable companies.
  • Knowledge and Experience: We provide unmatched knowledge to every survey we conduct thanks to our team of seasoned professionals and years of industry experience. This guarantees accurate assessments and practical solutions.
  • Nationwide Coverage: Whether you’re in a bustling city or a rural area, our services extend across the UK, making us accessible wherever your property is located. Choose us for nationwide reliability and excellence.

Choose Damp Surveyors Ltd as your reliable partner for all-inclusive survey needs. Our top concerns are the health and safety of your property, and we are committed to providing outcomes you can trust.

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