Different types of damp

Damp and timber decay are common defects that can be costly to repair and can affect the ability to secure lending, impacting value.

There are many types of damp, such as rising damp, penetrating damp, condensation damp, salt damp, etc.

When buying a property, you must ensure that you commission an experienced RICS surveyor to inspect the property for you.

Salt dampness is when hygroscopic contaminants are contained within plaster or masonry, giving the impression of dampness. Salt can contaminate plaster from various sources, such as from the ground or the burning of fossil fuels. It is important to know the difference between salt damp and other types of dampness, as salt damp is often an easy fix. Still, some unscrupulous contractors could use high moisture meter reading to diagnose a defective damp proof course, which could unnecessarily cost you thousands.

Rising damp occurs when moisture from the ground rises from the ground through masonry. Rising damp often occurs in a defective damp proof course or a missing damp proof course. Install a damp proof course can be a very costly repair – up to £750 per metre.

Condensation dampness occurs when the relative humidity inside a property rises due to a combination of high moisture-producing activities, a lack of ventilation and the use of heating. As a result, moisture cannot dissipate from the dwelling, resulting in mould developing on internal surfaces; the condensation on the surface then results in an elevated moisture reading and can cause other issues such as rot to the window frames skirting boards. Mould is rated as a Category 1 health and safety hazard under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).

Interstitial damp occurs in an enclosed wall, roof or floor cavity structure where there is a moisture source such as rainwater penetration, groundwater or leaking pipe combined with a lack of cavity ventilation to allow for the dissipation of the water vapour. As a result, of interstitial dampness, costly secondary defects such as rot, mould, woodworm and wall tie corrosion can occur. During our level three survey, we will provide recommendations on combat or reduce the risks of interstitial condensation where applicable.

Penetrating damp occurs due to rainwater ingress. As part of our surveys and where applicable, we will endeavour to check roof abutments window abutments to check for the risk of penetrating dampness.

There are lots of things to consider when buying a property. However, with our wealth of experience, we can check out your home before you leap so that you don’t suffer the consequences later. If you would like a quote for a survey, get an instant quote using our quote calculator or call us on 0203 691 0451.