Although many damp proofing contractors would have people believe otherwise, it is a fact that failure of an existing damp proof course is rare.
Only 10% of all damp problems are to do with rising dampness and these include ancient houses never built with a damp proof course. This means
90% of unwanted dampness is nothing to do with failure of the damp proof course and should be the last thing to be considered.
Rising dampness cannot be proven by electrical meters alone.
Such meters are a useful tool only in helping identify areas requiring further investigation. Contractors who state otherwise are misleading their client.
To prove rising dampness would require laboratory analysis of wall samples.
Every year thousands and thousands of pounds are
wasted or either unnecessary or inappropriate repairs to properties in the UK with supposed rising damp.
But please, don't take our word for it.....
THE SOCIETY FOR THE PROTECTION OF ANCIENT BUILDINGS
"According to Douglas Kent, Technical
Secretary of SPAB, the inappropriate installation of damp-proof courses to
combat rising damp accounts for much unnecessary work on old buildings.
True rising damp is rarer than commonly
but is regularly misdiagnosed.
In the SPAB's experience, mortgage lenders
demand unnecessary damp-proofing work during house purchases. Although
chartered surveyors have a duty to follow a trail of suspicion, some simply
pass all responsibility onto remedial treatment contractors with a vested
commercial interest encouraging over-specification. It is worth challenging any
recommendation you believe is questionable and, if necessary, seeking a second
opinion in writing from an independent chartered surveyor or consultant (note,
not contractor). "
ITV HOUSE OF HORRORS
"Damp is a fertile area for rip-off traders
the very word can set alarm bells ringing and panic householders into paying
anything to have the problem dealt with. In reality, many older properties in
Britain have some form of damp within the structure, but often this does not
need serious remedial work to treat. As you can’t see what is really going on
with damp you do rely on the damp-proofing company to be honest."