We have just had a survey completed on our house . They used a damp meter to test for damp along the internal adjoining walls. We were told that there was evidence of damp but that it didn't seem to be a problem as the walls did not feel wet to the touch, the paint wasn't pealing and the skirting boards and carpet were unaffected. However, we are still concerned. We have no idea whether there is a DPC,. Along the front of the house it looks like something has been injected as there is a line of raised material long the wall.Should we be worried? Would we need to inject a DPC on the adjoining wall as well as the outside ones? Would it be possible to complete this work ourselves.
If you have no certificate for an inserted DPC then there may not be one or its older than 10 years. Its up to you if you want another but they are always a good selling point in older houses especially when issued with an insurance backed guarentee. From this point of view its not worth doing it your self although you can do so by reading our projects on DIY damp course injection on the website. There is a link directly above your post.
1. The damp test is open to scrutiny depending on how the test was carried out. If the areas tested were done so with a calcium carbide meter or hygrometer than the findings should be reasonably accurate but if (most likely) they were done using an electrical resistance meter than treat the results with caution as those meters are calibrated for timber and only give indicative readings. The presence of salts or foil backed plasterboard are examples of when these meters may give misleading results.
2. There are thousands of houses in the UK without dpcs that do not have rising damp problems. Rising damp (true rising damp- groundwater) is a lot less common than people think. The problem is usually condensation, water penetration, defective underground drainage (which can appear to be rising damp) or the likes of a defective downpipe. Older houses were not built with dpcs and were constructed so that the structure could absorb water and release it through evaporation- sometimes the incorrect specification of materials leads to damp problems- such as replacing a lime based mortar with a cementicious mortar which will not allow the building to breathe as it should.
Get a good building surveyor to assess the problem- it will probably save you money in the long term.
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