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Damp Proofing

Questioning a home buyers survey

I was wondering if anybody here could offer me a bit of advice. I am in the process of buying a 2 bed, 1890 (ish) built mid terrace house in March Cambridgeshire. I had a homebuyers survey carried out which said the following:

"We cannot confirm whether a damp-proof course is present in the original part of the property because of the high ground levels and the rendered plinth obscuring the construction. The rear extension walls have a PVC based damp-proof course. High damp meter readings were recorded on the front living wall and in the kitchen which we believe is the result of bridged/failed damp-proof course."

(The 2 walls mentioned with damp are the 2 only original walls that face the outside)

It later goes on to say....

"The ground floor is of suspended timber construction with solid flooring to the kitchen area. The first floor is formed in timber. Where visible, floors have a mixture of vinyl sheet, boards, modern timber laminate and carpeted finishes. Floor coverings restricted close examination of the underlying floor surfaces. As the sub-floor ventilation is inadequate and further decay is possible the quality of support to the ground timber floor is suspect. The floor and other hidden areas in near proximity should be opened up and examined in more detail."

I'm a first time buyer and I have zero experience in the above mentioned issues (which the surveyor knew) and the way that the survey is written seems very much in a "covering self" way plus after having done a bit of research online regarding damp proofing, damp meters and older buildings etc and talking to a few people that live in the area and the fact that there is no visible damp in the house nor does it smell damp I'm finding myself questioning the legitimacy of these raised concerns. Also although raising these concerns as red he didn't seem to feel they were a problem enough to say that the house was not worth the purchasing price. I'm thinking that if there is some damp present it may be in relation to a lack of ventilation - being an old building that has over time been modernised with double glazing and laminant flooring etc and that some added ventilation including the above mentioned sub flooring ventilation would solve any potential issues.

Just wondering if you would be able to offer advice and find out if you feel a damp survey may be required?

Many thanks in advance.

1 Answer from a MyBuilder Damp Proofing Specialist

Best Answer

If I was you I'd have a proper damp survey done. Buildings of this age have no cavity walls and are prone to damp areas. you need to have the joists below the ground floor inspected for rot or other problems just in case. These problems can be corrected. If the results are bad, then you have a right to barter a lower purchase price to cover any costs you will have to cover.


Answered 17th Jan 2016

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