Published: 15 November 2022
Concerned about damp issues that had been spotted during the purchase process, Mr V of Poole got in touch with the Prokil Bournemouth Head Office for assistance.
Our expert surveyor Ross carried out a thorough internal and external survey on all possible areas of the property.
Damp survey findings:
Ross carried out external observations on the property from ground level. He found a significant amount of debris in various gutters and evidence of spillages around the property. At the rear of the property, we found that various subfloor air vents were positioned in a way that made them prone to being blocked.
He also noticed that low-level floor bricks in areas with solid floors were causing cold spots on the internal walls which potentially made them more vulnerable to the effects of condensation.
An internal inspection was carried out using different types of Protimeter on each of the accessible walls of the property. High readings were detected in several areas, which meant there were signs of damp or abnormalities in the plaster.
Ross believed this to be a result of the cavity walls being bridged above the damp proof course, or by failure of the damp proof course itself. These issues could cause the mortar joints of the property to soak up groundwater, potentially depositing hygroscopic salts that spoil the decorative finish of the walls.
High moisture readings to the chimney breasts were due to historic and possibly current water penetration into the chimney flues. As a result, the salts and minerals dissolved were spoiling the decorative finish of the plaster.
Timber inspection findings:
Timber that is in contact with damp masonry is at risk of rot and decay. Ross carried out a “drop heel” test due to limited access to subfloor timbers and found that the floor felt firm underfoot. Following this, he continued the survey up into the loft, inspected the accessible timbers, and found evidence of wood-boring beetle activities. The infestation was identified as the common furniture beetle, Anobium Punctatum, more commonly known as woodworm.
Work carried out:
We recommended that the client first instruct a roofing specialist (such as our sister company, ProRoofing) to inspect the chimney stack for any defects or issues.
This would prepare the walls for one of two possible treatments:
- A chemical damp proof course injected into the walls, followed by the application of a waterproof membrane and plasterboard, or
- Treating the bare wall with an anti-sulphate chemical solution, followed by a damp proof course injection and the application of a specially formulated render mix.
Where necessary, we recommended that the cavity walls be opened every 1 metre, and that all rubble and foreign material should be removed up to 100mm below the damp proof course. The bricks and mortar would then be replaced and, where applicable, the surface would be rendered. This would leave the area ready for decoration by a third party.
We also recommended the installation of telescopic air vents, as well as steps to ensure the efficacy of subfloor ventilation.
With regard to the beetle infestation, we recommended treating the timbers and joists with a professional-grade insecticide, in order to tackle the larvae which might not yet have emerged from within the timber.
Speak to our damp proofing experts today
If you’re concerned about damp in your property, get in touch with our experienced team today.
Not based in Bournemouth? Discover the other Prokil branches across the country.