Damp Proofing Question

Potential dampness raised in survey of property i am buying- what to do?

Need some help with a catch 22 situtation on a flat I am in the middle of purchasing.

We have had a homebuyers survey carried out recently and there were possible findings of damp which are summarised below:

Colleys Property Survey

"Dampness is possibly affecting one of the external walls in bedroom three. I suspect this is due to rising damp. Concealed timbers may be defective, and the area adjacent should be opened up and fully investigated

You now need to instruct a damp proofing/ timber treatment contractor to carry out an investigation to identify the full extent of the problem and the necessary repairs required, together with an estimate of the cost"

We subsequently have had Kenwood Plc visit the property to assess for damp, however these were their findings:

Kenwood Plc Damp Inspection

"During the course of the visit it was noted that all the walls within the ground floor were obstructed with dry lining. This prevented our surveyor from testing these areas for dampness.

Additionally it was also noted that the floors throughout the ground floor were covered with laminate flooring and fixed floor coverings. This prevented our surveyor from inspecting the floors below.

Consequently we are unable to comment on the condition of the walls or floors".

I am in the situation where I need to obtain a quote for the potential work, but the surveyors can not do anything as they are unable to lift the flooring or access the wall as we do not own the flat. I do not want to go forward with the purchase until I have at least a rough estimate of how much this could cost me, as I don't want a nasty surprise a few months down the line when we have bought the property.

Does anyone have any suggestions about what we can do?

2 Answers

I would go with the recomendations of the survey, and get a builder/damp specialist out to quote on all the works required, as the survey stated.
Its going to need a visit to accertain the amount of work needed, and bear this in mind, when you put in your offer.

Answered 8th Aug 2011


Member since 29 Oct 2008


You are 100% right it is a catch 22 unless the owner of the property you are intending to buy says its ok for the remedial company to open up the area`s and damage the flooring!
Its a case of how badly does he/she want to sell?
Will he/she take money off of the asking price with the thought that there are issues that need to be rectified due to damp?
As for cost thats a hard one as it could be minor! BUT as you stated there are built in timbers that are or could be damp/damaged and that could be costly.

Also there is a possibility the ground floor timbers may be affected then that could be expensive!Also taking up and all floor coverings and the possibility of having to replace these with new!

If it was myself i would seek advice from the owner explaining that damp has been found/ reported but to what extent cannot be specified.
Or if you really want the property and are willing to pay for the destructive nature of opening up and replacement of area`s damaged,maybe see if the owner will contribute also?

It is a hard one but im sure they want to sell as much as you want to buy.

Good luck.

Answered 8th Aug 2011

Cannon Preservation Ltd

Member since 21 May 2011

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