Dampness: A Comprehensive Overview - S Jones Surveying

DAMPNESS: A Comprehensive Overview

Our Services

RICS Home Survey Level 2

with or without valuation

RICS Home Survey Level 2

with valuation and post work valuation

RICS Standalone Private Valuations

Understanding Damp Related Issues.


Posted 08th March 2024 / News.

Dampness stands as a focal point in building surveys, attracting substantial attention from clients seeking thorough investigations. Its significance resonates deeply within the realm of structural assessment, prompting detailed scrutiny and analysis. Clients consistently prioritise inquiries into damp-related issues, recognising its potential implications on the integrity and habitability of their properties.

Dampness manifests primarily in two distinct forms: penetrating damp and rising damp, each presenting unique challenges in building assessment. While some practitioners may acknowledge condensation as a supplementary consideration, it typically falls outside the conventional definition of dampness due to its internal origin. The distinction lies in the source of moisture infiltration, external ingress characterises traditional dampness concerns, contrasting with the internal moisture accumulation associated with condensation.

Penetrating dampness, as evidenced by guttering or flashing leaks, highlights the vulnerability of buildings to water penetration due to structural defects. Building surveys serve as a critical tool for assessing these vulnerabilities, conducting detailed examinations to uncover any breaches in the building’s weatherproofing. Surveyors investigate the origins of moisture ingress, analysing the extent of damage and assessing potential remediation measures. By addressing these issues proactively, they endeavour to safeguard the structural integrity and longevity of the building.

Rising damp presents a challenge in its definition, often intertwining with the complexities of penetrating dampness. Describing rising damp in simple terms involves portraying it as moisture that gradually ascends a wall through a process akin to wicking or osmosis. This phenomenon underscores the intricate dynamics of moisture movement within building structures, necessitating careful consideration during assessments and surveys.

Rising damp is commonly associated with moisture seeping from groundwater, particularly evident when external render interfaces with ground levels or in locations characterised by high water tables, such as basements. This moisture gradually permeates through the building fabric, ascending through plasterwork via capillary action. The interaction with building elevations facilitates the upward movement of water, leading to its internal manifestation on plasterwork due to hydroscopic salts. Thus, the moisture effectively tracks up the walls, exemplifying the essence of rising damp. It is commonly accepted that rising damp can extend about one meter from its source, with measurements usually taken to the internal elevation.

Rising damp is typically characterised by its propensity to track up through internal plasterwork, often leaving behind tide marks as telltale signs. Nevertheless, it is essential to recognise the inherent penetrating aspect of rising dampness, as it involves moisture penetrating the walls.

In this post, we have outlined the basic definitions, including simple terms, for rising and penetrating damp. When it comes to defect diagnosis and conducting building surveys, S Jones Surveyors has a team of professionals ready to assist.


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Our Services

RICS Home Survey Level 2 (with or without valuation)

Our reports are easy to read with sub-sections included as well as bold text in the relevant places and photos of defects or advisory information. These will help you to understand exactly what we are talking about.

RICS Home Survey Level 2 (with valuation and post work valuation)

You will receive the same high-quality service as the survey with or without a valuation but you will also get a valuation of the property of what you should realistically expect to achieve once the remedial works have been carried out to a professional standard.

RICS Standalone Private Valuations

We offer a few of the most common types of standalone private RICS valuations, such as, those that can be used in investment purchases or the purchase of the remainder of a Help to Buy loan.

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