Archive for February, 2011

Feb 28

There have been some recent events where there has been confusion and dispute over quotes/reports relating to damp and timber problems returning (or not properly rectified) after specialist contractors’ work to eliminate the problem. In many cases where the problem clearly has not been alleviated the Contractor has relied on the documentation signed at the time of the acceptance of the contract.

Protimeter
 
The following guidance should be considered by the householder (‘layperson’) should they be seeking specialists for damp and timber infestation problems.
 
Always ask for a survey and written report – these should describe the problems in full, give any instrument readings obtained and the methods to be used to effect a solution.
 
Always ask if the system being offered will cure the problem you have – always get this in writing and a full report before accepting any contract.
 
Always ask if there are other damp issues in your property which the system cannot rectify – get the answer in writing.
 
Always ask if there are any ancillary matters that are your responsibility in relation to the problems you are experiencing – if the answer is yes or even no then, again, get this clearly identified and confirmed in writing, whatever the case.
 
Never accept a quote only without a full report, especially if offered at the time of the visit.
 
Always read the report fully and any small print/guarantees and other information provided prior to accepting any work.
 
If you do not know the company or surveyor always ask that he is suitably qualified, – for example – one of the following qualifications CRDS, CTIS or CSRT. For waterproofing (‘tanking’) it is CSSW. These are all UK nationally recognised qualifications.
or,
If you do not know any company then it is prudent to look for one that is a member of the Property Care Association (PCA) – member Surveyors have to be qualified as described above.
 
FINALLY and VERY IMPORTANT:-
 
Always determine if the person visiting is simply  a SALESPERSON, say responding to your enquiry to an advertisement and just there to get a ‘quote’ or simply to sell a product/system (distinctly not advised), or is  PROPERLY TRAINED AND QUALIFIED to undertake specialist damp/timber surveys – if in doubt then ask for a specialist (qualified) from that company or select another company.
 
By considering the above guide, any person having specialist works undertaken will reduce the risks of dispute should one develop where the argument finally relates to the documents and contract.

Feb 23

There has been much ‘debate’ in recent years over the existence of rising damp in buildings. Indeed, there has even been a book written on the subject, “The Rising Damp Myth” in which the author claims exactly that – rising damp is a myth.

Rising damp

By definition a ‘myth’ is 1. Any fictitious story, or unscientific theory, belief, etc, and 2. Person or thing whose existence is fictional or unproven account.
 
As part of the introduction the author of ‘The Rising Damp Myth’ also states:
 
“For the fact is that rising damp is a mythical building defect, which only came to widespread prominence in the 1960s —-” and “The rising damp myth has become so powerful, and so deeply ingrained in the psyche of the construction professions, that to question it is to invite denial and even ridicule.”
 
So what about the truth?

Does it or does it not exist?

And do the claims made in the book ‘The Rising Damp Myth’ stand up to scrutiny or is the author simply just making it up?

To find out the truth read the independent review of “The Rising Damp Myth” and draw your own conclusions.

Download an independent Review of “The Rising Damp Myth”

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