Welcome to Independent Specialist Surveys - London Damp Surveyors.

If you have a dampness problem, whether it is suspected rising damp, penetrative damp, condensation or you are unsure of the source of the dampness or if your mortgage lender has requested a damp and timber survey (pre-purchase survey) and you want to have an Independent damp and / or timber survey carried out by a PCA / BWPDA registered, CSRT and  CSSW qualified, independent specialist damp and timber surveyor as opposed to a contractor to provide you with an unbiased damp report or timber and damp report or whether you just require peace of mind you have come to the right place.


What part of the country do you cover ?

We have over 28 years experience dealing with damp problems and timber defects in and around London, Middlesex, Surrey and the South East and have accumulated a wealth of knowledge during this time. With the possible exception of previous Clients we rarely travel beyond these areas as we believe that local knowledge can be beneficial. It also enables us to be very competitive. 

Why use an experienced independent damp and timber surveyor ?

With no financial gain from the outcome of our inspection you can be confident that your best interests are our primary concern.

How much would a homebuyers survey cost ? 

Our fees are dependent on the scope of the survey, size of the property, parking, congestion charge etc but  as a guide our local damp surveys start from as little as £225. 

How many surveys do you undertake in a day ?

This will depend on the size of the property, the scope of the survey and proximity to each other but generally the surveyor will carry out one or two surveys per day and occasionally three to allow sufficient time to identify all possible defects. We have been told that some contractors will visit between four and eight properties a day but we would have difficulty even driving to this many properties, especially when it is often necessary to collect and return keys to estate agents, let alone undertake a thorough, methodical survey.       

What does CSRT and CSSW stand for ?

CSRT stands for Certificated Surveyor in Remedial Treatment and CSSW stands for Certificated Surveyor in Structural Waterproofing.

Do any contractors hold these qualifications ?

Some do and some don't others send an unqualified person to carry out the inspection and have a qualified person sign the report.

 I have been told that Rising Damp is a myth which only came to prominence in the 1960's through the publicity of companies selling damp - proofing products ?

Physical Damp Proof Courses (DPC's) to prevent moisture rising by capillary action have been mandatory in new build houses in this country since 1875. The first patent for a physical DPC in this country was applied for in 1841 so it has been a well documented problem for some considerable time.  

So if my property doesn't have a DPC or if I have damp walls do I need to have a new Damp Proof Course ?

Not necessarily, not all properties built without a Damp Proof Course will be affected by rising damp, some will  and some wont. Even if your walls are damp, rising damp is probably the least likely reason and BS 6576 (code of practice for diagnosis of rising damp in walls of buildings and installation of chemical damp-proof courses) states that when inspecting a structure for signs of rising damp, it is essential  to take into account the possible presence of other sources of dampness and if positive evidence of rising damp is being obscured by other faults it is preferable that those faults should  first be remedied and an appropriate amount of time should be allowed to elapse before making further checks to ascertain the presence of possible rising damp.   

What about electrical moisture meters I have read that they are calibrated for use on wood and always give high readings when used on plaster or masonry ?   

With view exceptions conductance meters do not significantly respond when used on most  clean, uncontaminated, inorganic materials in their air dry state as the photo below demonstrates (note green light). They are an invaluable tool for a quick, non-destructive initial investigation by an experienced surveyor. Readings on surfaces  other than timber are relative and expressed as wood moisture equivalent (%WME).

Do you use calcium carbide meters ? 

Unless instructed to the contrary we rarely use a calcium carbide or speedy meter for an initial investigation and certainly not for homebuyers surveys as they are destructive as testing requires a series of vertical holes to be drilled in each and every wall where proof of rising damp is required or where evaluation of a remedial damp proof course is needed. The meter comprises of a vessel with an integral pressure gauge and a weighing scale. Each sample is individually weighed and placed into the vessel. A reagent is added and the vessel is sealed and shaken to mix the sample and reagent together. Free moisture within the sample reacts with the reagent to produce a pressure rise within the vessel which is proportional to the amount of moisture. The moisture content value is then read directly from the calibrated pressure gauge.

Do you only undertake damp surveys ?

We undertake damp, rot and woodworm surveys.

What about woodworm do I need to have my whole house treated if I find holes in my floorboards and roof ? 

Woodworm is the generic term for all wood boring insects but not all woodworm requires chemical treatment. An active infestation by the Common Furniture Beetle, Anobium punctatum, or the House Longhorn  Beetle, Hylotrupes bajulas, may whilst infestation by the Wood Boring Weevils, Pentarthrum huttoni and Euophryum confine, or the Waney Edge Borer, Ernobius mollis, would not making accurate identification important. Even if an active infestation is found, blanket treatment may be inappropriate and with no commercial incentive we may be able to advise on targeted treatment.      






Although covered by the plinth the horizontal damp band in the picture below shows the position of the horizontal damp proof course which has quite clearly stopped any dampness rising above this point despite the fact that the ground level is not quite the recommended minimum 150mm below to stop rain splashback so why has a chemical damp proof course been installed three courses above?