Would you like to know whether your property is experiencing any moisture damage? Do you want to have professionals take a closer look at damp-related issues in your home?
In the following cost guide, we’ll break down how much you’ll need to pay to have a damp survey performed in a property including based on the size of the building.
A damp survey is a comprehensive look into any possible water damage that may be present in a property. Surveyors will also look for signs of potential future damp problems. Where the risk of water damage exists, the surveyors will be able to provide you with ideas as to how you can solve these problems.
If you have any reason to believe that your home is experiencing issues with dampness or is at risk of having such problems arise, then you should have a damp survey undertaken. This is often required if a Condition Report, Homebuyers Survey, Full Building Survey or Valuation has noticed potential damp issues in a building. Thankfully these problems are not that common, and between 2015 and 2017, statistics from Gov.uk found that just 4% of English households suffered from damp problems.
So, how much does a damp survey cost? For an average, three-bedroom semi-detached house, the cost of a damp survey is usually between £200 and £300. The labour cost alone makes up about 95% of this overall cost so likely somewhere between £190 and £280 while the necessary materials could cost somewhere in the range of £10 to £20.
The total cost of a damp survey will vary depending on a range of different factors. Included in this is the size of your property. The larger the property, the longer the work will take, and more than likely, the higher your bill will be. So for instance, it will probably cost less to have a damp survey undertaken for a small semi-detached house than it will for a large detached property.
In addition, where in the UK you are located will also affect the total cost. This is because labourers charge different rates for different parts of the country. So, for example, on average, it costs more to have a damp survey performed in London than it does in the north of England.
Beyond that, how accessible the different and relevant areas of your property are can also influence the cost, again because of the time needed to perform the work. In terms of relevant areas, that is to say, the different spots throughout your property, which will need to be checked for dampness levels or the potential of suffering from water issues.
The costs discussed in this section could apply as a rising damp survey cost or that for condensation or penetration damp. Generally, the type of damp which may or may not be present does not determine the cost of having a survey undertaken.
|Property Size||Cost of Survey|
|2-Bedroom Apartment||£180 to £220|
|3-Bedroom Terraced House||£200 to £300|
|4-Bedroom Detached House||£250 to £350|
A surveyor may discover a range of different issues such as condensation, penetrating damp and rising damp. Each type of water damage comes with its own signs and symptoms which we will now look at in the following subsections. We’ll also explore where in a home these issues may appear, how difficult they are to get rid of and how much it might cost to remedy such problems.
The most common type of damp is that of condensation. It can result from there being too much moisture in the air and a lack of adequate ventilation. To be more scientific, condensation is what happens when humidity levels increase or if warm air makes contact with cooler surfaces. The tiny water particles that make contact with the cold surface will rapidly turn to liquid water, thus becoming a water damage risk.
There are many reasons why condensation can arise whether it is from the workings of household appliances/facilities such as the kettle, hob or shower or even from windows, where moisture may accumulate and turn into condensation due to the light of the sun. Condensation is most common between October and March although it could, of course, occur at any time of the year.
So how do you know that your home has an issue with condensation? Generally, the easiest way to recognise that there is plenty of condensation in a room is if you notice droplets of moisture on mirrors, windows or the walls. In many cases, such condensation is harmless, but it’s essential to monitor the situation and prevent more severe issues emerging.
If you notice black mould or begin to detect a damp smell in a room, then the problem is escalating. Aside from the surfaces mentioned above, other areas of a home that are susceptible to condensation damage are external doors, the inside of household cupboards, behind any furniture that is placed right against an external wall or areas where floors and ceilings are right next to exterior walls.
If condensation mould has appeared in your home, it can be treated with the use of a soapy cloth. Simply dip a cloth in soapy water to achieve this or try an antibacterial spray as this can remove fungus. It’s vital that the areas in which mould has been removed are dried straight after.
To stop these problems repeating, have a look into ways of improving your home’s ventilation, whether with the purchase of an extractor fan or dehumidifier. Place these in areas of your home that have proven particularly prone to damp problems. To install a damp proof course necessary to fix condensation issues in your home, you may face a price tag of anywhere from £300 to £2000. It will really depend on the scale of the problem and the size of your property.
While the damage caused by rising damp can often closely resemble that which has resulted from condensation, the cause of rising damp is unique. In this case, the damp is caused by moisture which rises upwards from the ground level, making its way through the walls via your floor. It’s imperative that you can tell the difference between rising damp and condensation since the former can cause more harm than the latter.
Among the areas of your property that will be most vulnerable to rising damp are its walls or if there are parts of your home that have not undergone a damp proof course. As for the signs and symptoms of rising damp, this, like with condensation, includes dark mould.
There are signs to watch out for which can allow you to tell that rising damp is the problem and not condensation. For example, if there is loose flooring, the skirting boards have been damaged, or there is white powder on your walls, this suggests that rising damp is the culprit. In addition, if there is any peeling wallpaper or paint, then it’s probably a rising damp issue. Also, you should note that you will not discover rising damp at a height that is more than 100cm from the ground.
It may be the case that to fix this problem, you’ll need to hire a damp surveyor. This is because the exact nature of the issue may be hard to figure out by yourself. Either way, rising damp must be treated before damp-proofing is needed to stop the problem repeating in the future. Treating rising damp can be very costly, often somewhere in the range of £2000 to £6000 in fact.
Lastly, there is penetrating damp. This form of damp, as you may have guessed, results from external moisture that makes its way into a property. It does so by leaking through your walls. Generally, issues with the guttering, leaky pipes or worn-down bricks are the cause of penetrating damp. If not treated correctly and swiftly, penetrating damp can cause permanent harm to a property! That is why spotting this problem as soon as possible is essential.
When identifying penetrating damp, you should look out for the presence of dark patches on a wall that refuse to leave and the repeating appearance of black mould. In terms of the dark patches, these may get darker or even expand in size if it’s raining outside or when it’s still wet outside following recent precipitation.
As for black mould, this is most likely to occur in a cold room. A discernible damp smell also suggests that penetrating damp is present. This type of damp won’t just leave its mark inside your property but outside too. You may notice cracks or leakage in the guttering or even your roof shingles. External house maintenance is one of the best ways to avoid penetrating damp in the first place. Cold rooms and areas next to or against exterior walls are most at risk of penetrating damp.
So how do you fix penetrating damp? While generally, not as expensive as treating rising damp, the average cost of fixing this problem is still around £400 to £500 per room. First, it’s essential that it’s known how exactly the water is making its way into your home and what the source of this issue is. Without knowing these details, any work performed will likely just act as a temporary measure.
If in doubt, hire a professional to perform an inspection and work out what is leading to penetrating damp in your property. Special treatment products such as a masonry protective cream may be required to fix this issue or/, and some outdoor elements of your home like the guttering may need significant repair work or even a full replacement.
It generally costs around £600 to £800 to have guttering replaced while repair work may only cost about £200 to £300. To have several tiles replaced will cost about £100. So, as you can see, the overall cost of fixing penetrating damp can vary a lot depending on the specific details of the problem.
In this section, we’ll lay out the steps that make up a damp survey. We’ll also explain what a damp survey report is and what it covers.
Before a damp survey can take place, you’ll need to hire an experienced professional. You should hire a damp surveyor even if you only suspect that there is an issue with dampness in your property. Not only that but you should be a damp surveyor straight away, whether you know or simply worry that there is a damp problem in your home.
If water damage is left untreated, problems can accumulate and fixing these issues later could prove even more costly. Leave the problem for too long, and the damage caused could even prove irreversible. So do a bit of research and look for an appropriate damp surveyor to come out and survey your home as soon as possible.
Once the damp surveyor has arrived at your property, they’ll inspect the various rooms of your home, analyse how damp the different areas are, look for spots with significant moisture accumulation or damage and provide a diagnosis of any damp problems that they find. It’s crucial that you hire a certified and insured professional. A damp surveyor should have either a CSRT or CRDS certification.
A damp survey often involves using tools such as moisture meters to check for adverse levels of moisture accumulation. However, this may be performed as part of another assessment such as a HomeBuyer Report, if you are planning a mortgage application. Damp surveyors will also go beyond this, however, and provide diagnostics for any issues that they discover. Damp surveyors will also take notes during their investigation and sometimes even capture photographs which could be used for the damp report.
Once the damp survey is complete, you’ll be given a damp survey report. Generally, this report will feature specifics as to what work is needed around the house, if any, a quote for such work and details of any guarantees. Broadly speaking, the report will break down where issues are present in your home if there are any and what is needed to fix these problems. This will act as a guide moving forward so that you know where to start and what to show to contractors who perform the necessary work to fix the damp issues in your home.
You probably won’t face any problems when having a damp survey performed. However, it’s good to be conscious of any potential difficulties that may arise. For instance, it’s possible that you’ll unknowingly hire an unqualified or inexperienced professional. If this were to occur, then you run the risk of the damp survey being for nothing. A poor damp survey may fail to diagnose or even spot damp problems throughout a property correctly. Thankfully, these sorts of incidents are rare.
To reduce the risk of this happening, however, make sure to do enough research before hiring a damp surveyor, ensure that they are certified and take a look at the reviews of previous customers if they are available (such as if the surveyor has a website or social media page).
Here is a list of commonly asked questions regarding a damp survey.
There are plenty of signs to look out for. Among the symptoms of damp issues are a damp smell, the presence of mould or mildew on surfaces, dark patches or those that lack colour appearing on plaster or walls, peeling wallpaper or paint or excess levels of condensation appearing on windows.
Excess levels of moisture cause damp, whether as a result of the workings of household appliances (e.g. the kettle) combined with poor ventilation, penetrating damp that has resulted from a problem such as broken gutters or rising damp making its way through your property’s walls.
It may cost as little as £300 or as much as several thousand pounds to fix a damp house. It will ultimately depend on the nature and scale of the problem, among other factors. The price will be mainly down to the cost of damp proofing. Damp-proof specialists should undertake this work.
Roughly two to four hours.
It may take somewhere in the range of 1-4 days.