- A damp survey is needed for a flat or house if you want to protect your property from damage.
- The costs of the damp survey depend on the size of your home.
- All damp surveys should be completed by a professional damp surveyor.
Whether you're looking to buy your first home or just want to investigate damp patches on your home, a complete damp survey is a good idea. Many people don't undertake one because they're worried about the costs. So in this article, we will look at how much a damp survey costs and how it can make a difference to your home.
Why Conduct a Damp Survey?
There are numerous times when you might want to conduct a damp survey. For instance, when purchasing a home, mortgage lenders tend to require a damp survey to be completed. And this can help you identify hidden problems that might be within the home.
Or you might have noted a damp problem in your home, damp patches, dark mould spores, damp plaster, cold spots, etc. By having a damp survey done on your home, you can find the issues and solutions to fix them before they become too much of a problem.
Several different types of damp surveys can happen. You can have a generalised damp survey, a timber survey, or a damp and timber survey.
Generally, when you conduct a damp survey, you can find the problem early. As a result, the costs to fix the problem are reduced.
Who Does a Damp Survey?
A professional damp survey is carried out by a trained expert, who has access to equipment that can measure the humidity and potential dampness within the homes. During the survey, they will identify if there is damp within the home. They will also identify the problem causing the dampness within the home.
Some problems they might come across, include broken roof tiles, lack of ventilation, damage to the damp-proof course, or damage to the brickwork on the property.
Once the problem has been identified, the specialist damp surveyor will provide a list of the best recommendations for solving damp problems in the home. Elements that might include damp proofing are repairs to the broken roof tiles, and other items. You might also get an estimated cost of a damp solution.
What Does a Damp Survey Involve?
A damp survey is a very specialised process where a professional damp surveyor will come to the property and spend a couple of hours, depending on the size of the property. They will use equipment to measure damp issues within the home, looking for spots within the home that might have problems.
A damp survey involves investigating several locations within the home, which includes around the ground floor of the building, along skirting boards, around window frames, roof timbers, and along interior walls. They are looking at wood rot, mould, and more.
They will also take evidence of the damp problems which might include photographs or recordings. Once done, they might have a quick word about some of the issues they've found and provide quick advice on how to mitigate the problems.
After the damp survey, they will provide you with a written report detailing all the problems and the solutions. The written report is sent to your home and normally comes via email.
What are the Signs that I need a Damp Survey?
There are numerous signs that you might need a damp survey done as quickly as possible. A damp issue might be spotted with cold surfaces on the interior walls or you might find that there might be a foul smell in the home.
Or you might have more obvious signs such as wet skirting boards, rotten skirting boards, crumbling plaster, mould around door and window frames, damp present on walls, timber decay, and more.
If you are concerned about damp issues in the home, you mustn't ignore them. A damp survey is worth having and you should look for a damp survey to be done, contacting the surveyors on the same day.
What Causes Damp in the Home?
There are numerous causes of damp inside the home. It might be that cold water pipes that aren't properly insulated are causing warm air to cool down and leave condensation which can create mould problems. Or there might be a broken roof tile, damage to the outside wall, or damage to a damp proof course installed in the house.
Sometimes, damp can be caused by a lack of ventilation within a property. While installing vents, keeping the window on latch and adding fans can help, and other solutions can provide a short-term respite if the problems are already evident, it is too late to rely on these to fix the damp issues across the home.
What are the Risks of Damp in the Home?
Untreated damp in the home can cause significant issues both in the short term and long term. In the short term, health concerns can include worsening asthma symptoms, cold-like symptoms, and eczema. Those with a mould allergy can be particularly affected.
The damage to the home can be significant. Mould can cause unsightly damage to the wood and walls around the home. The damage can cost thousands to repair if left for too long.
Some people when they notice the first signs of damp inside the home, like damp walls, or peeling wallpaper, try to repair the damage that can be seen. However, while repainting a wall or reapplying wallpaper might allow for a short-term fix to the signs, it doesn't solve the problem in the rooms affected.
If anything, trying to complete repairs on top of the issues will only cause long-term problems, which might include further damage to the damp-proof course.
It is impossible to know what the cause of the penetrating damp or other issues without a damp survey.
Can Anyone Complete a Damp Survey?
A damp survey can be expensive, especially in today's cost of living crisis. Some think they don't need to hire damp proofing specialists to complete the survey and can complete the work themselves.
However, this is not recommended. A damp specialist is a very experienced and educated individual with the knowledge to spot problems most people would miss. You might not have much of a problem now, but by missing some of the smaller signs, like dark mould spotting or cold walls, you might not deal with the problems early enough to reduce the costs of repairing the damage.
In addition, a professional damp surveyor has damp specialist equipment like a damp metre. These devices can help detect damp problems when you don't think you have any in the home.
Damp surveyors also have excellent connections and knowledge about how to fix problems. While you can find out a lot of information online, they're not always accurate or suitable for your specific damp issues.
Is it Easy to Find a Damp Surveyor in London?
Numerous people offer full damp survey services in the South East and London. However, not all of these are experienced or specialised. You want to find a company that is registered with all the right trade bodies and the right qualifications. Approved damp surveyors will also not hesitate to show their trade membership credentials to you.
A qualified professional will not hesitate to talk to you about how they will conduct the damp survey on your home. Nor will they pressure you into taking immediate action on the property.
You can ask the surveyor several questions to ascertain their credentials. These questions might include:
- What equipment will be used in the inspection? - They should mention equipment like a moisture metre (or a damp metre)
- How long will it take for the damp investigation to take?
- How will I get my damp survey report?
By asking these questions, you should be able to find the best local damp surveyors with ease.
How Long Does a Damp Survey Take?
Approved damp surveyors should take about two to three hours to complete an inspection. It will depend on the size of your property and the problems which are found. For instance, if during the inspection, there is no case of any damp found within the home, the surveyor will likely finish early.
However, if you've spotted signs, it is most likely that the damp-proof course and other areas of the house will need to be checked, and this can take some time.
Therefore, you must allow enough time for the damp survey to be completed. You will need to be present for the survey to be completed. If possible, you should take the time off work, or adjust your schedule so you can allow for the full damp survey to be completed.
Could a Damp Survey Affect My Mortgage?
When buying a home, numerous surveys are conducted on your home. One of these will be a damp and timber survey. While these might sound scary, a qualified professional damp surveyor should be able to identify whether the home has any specific problems that might affect the valuation of the home.
During the survey, they will determine whether the offer price that you've made on the property is accurate. If more rooms than not have a damp problem, then the surveyor may result in mortgage lenders refusing to mortgage the home.
In this case, the purchase of the home may fall through. However, the long-term benefits for you could be exceedingly high as you're not purchasing a home that might have hidden issues that can cost a lot to fix when you want to do other refurbishments to your new home.
However, if you already own the home, the mortgage lenders will not remove the mortgage, but they may demand that you pay for damp treatment to be completed.
How Much Does a Damp Survey Cost?
The damp survey cost will depend on numerous factors. For instance, larger homes with more rooms and cellars are likely to be more expensive than a two-bed flat. However, costs to find any penetrating damp in the home can start from £200.
To get a quote for the damp survey cost, it is best to speak to a professional damp survey company and give them details of your home. From this information, they should be able to quote you the damp survey cost.
This cost will not include any damp treatment that will be required as a result of the damp survey. Costs for damp treatment can vary depending on what is the problem and how severe the issues are.
Is the Damp Survey Cost Higher in the South East?
There are some regional differences with the damp survey cost. For instance, in the North of England, the cost of a damp survey can be significantly lower. However, the damp survey costs in London and South East can be higher, particularly when you include London-weighting.
The timber survey cost or damp survey cost is always going to be much lower than having to repair damp walls or penetrating damp that has been allowed to worsen during the season. If you do not sort out the rising damp soon, you will find the damp proofing costs will increase.
How Long Do I Have to Wait for a Damp Survey?
A damp specialist will not often be able to offer same-day service, though this is not always the case. There are times around the year when there is lower demand, especially during the summer months. So for a damp-proof survey, you might have to wait a few days before the damp specialist can visit your property.
Repairs can take a little longer to arrange too. Especially as you will want to have the damp problems fixed by an accredited individual who not only offers the best service but also the best quality damp-proof course and other supplies.
What's the Difference Between a Damp Survey and a Timber Survey?
Damp and timber surveys are very similar services where signs of damage to the home or building are assessed. However, a timber survey is specific to the timbers within the home. During a timber survey, the surveyor is likely to look for wet rot or rotten timber in the property. They are not going to look at the general state of the business.
For example, they are not going to look at plastering on the wall or moulding on wallpaper. However, if they do see this, they might suggest that you get a full damp survey completed as soon as possible.
The timber survey cost can be approximately the same as a damp survey, though you might find some suppliers who will offer a reduced price.
Should I Get a Timber Survey or a Damp Survey?
If you're trying to choose between a damp and timber survey, it is important to get the best survey carried out for your situation. A timber survey might be sufficient if you're finding there are problems with the timbers in your home but nothing else. However, the timbers might just be the only visible signs you see on the property.
Therefore, you should consider getting your damp problem sorted out and start by getting your damp survey completed.
Sometimes paying a little extra and getting a full damp survey carried out can offer a little more peace of mind that you don't have a more serious problem.
Final Word: How Much Damp Survey Cost?
Damp survey costs can be dependent on the size of the home. However, the long-term benefits of conducting a complete rising damp survey and finding all the problems now is that you will have a smaller cost of damp treatment.
Do I need to pay upfront?
Most companies will ask for the damp survey to be paid upfront. Most will take payments online or via bank transfer. Speak to your damp proof specialist about the best payment method.
Can you get a free damp survey?
It is often very hard to get a free damp survey. Not every damp survey will find problems with the home, so the costs might just be that you have the damp survey complete.
How often should I get a damp survey completed?
You should complete a damp survey whenever you notice damp issues in the home. Or you can regularly have a damp survey completed, like once every two to three years. If there has been a large storm, you might want to have your house checked if there was some damage.