FAQs

  • What services do H+R provide?

    H+R provide services under the following categories:

    • Timber Condition Surveys
    • Damp Penetration Investigations
    • Building Pathology
    • Building performance assessments
    • External envelope survey
    • Technical Consultancy
    • Environmental Science
    • Expert Witness Support
    • Dry Rot Remediation advice

    Please click here for more details.

  • Is there a person I might speak with to find out what service I might require?

    Yes, please call 01483203221 and ask to speak with James Hutton.

  • Does dry rot require chemical treatment?

    No, we do not recommend any chemical treatment for dry rot as it is invariably over specified and destructive. We can advise on environmental control and the best action to take for you and your property.

  • Is H+R a firm of architects, surveyors or others?

    H+R are a firm of independent building professionals providing investigative consultancy

  • Where are H+R’s offices located?

    H+R have four offices located throughout the UK; Surrey, Oxfordshire, Manchester and Nottinghamshire. Please click here for more details.

  • Where does H+R work in the country?

    H+R work throughout the UK and abroad. Please click here (link to map page tbc) for more details.

  • What scale of buildings do H+R work on and who are your clients?

    H+R work on a wide range of buildings of all sizes and ages ranging from old hospitals, stately homes, churches to individual homes. Our clients are heritage organisations, institutions, developers, contractors, fellow professionals and private individuals.

  • Is scaffolding needed to inspect roof surfaces and chimneys?

    Scaffolding is not necessarily needed to view roofs and chimneys especially for larger roofs with access hatches. We often carry out surveys using drones, and pole cameras depending on the requirements of the survey. Surveyors are also experienced at rope access.

  • What do H+R charge?

    H+R provide personalised proposals which depend on the issues concerned, the scale of the building and the depth of the investigations. A minimum charge of £500.00 applies and a day rate is £800.00.

  • Who do you recommend to carry out repairs on Listed Buildings?

    H+R recommend following this link: https://www.buildingconservation.com/directory/prodserv.php

    This will take you to the Products & Services page on the Building Conservation Website.

  • What is rising damp?

    When walls and other structures made of materials that can absorb water are standing on damp or wet ground, water can be drawn upwards through tiny pores and air passages in the material, by surface tension. This is called ‘capillary rise’ and when walls built from bricks or certain kinds of stone are affected it is often called ‘rising damp’

    With buildings it is often the case that there are other sources of water which are affecting the structure far more, such as failed roof drainage on the exterior, poor drainage around the foundations or condensation problems on the interior. In order to find the right solution to a damp problem in a building, it is important to investigate all the possible causes of damp and to understand how the materials from which the building is made, are able to respond to changes in ground moisture levels and environmental conditions.  This is an essential element of building pathology and should lead to a long term, cost-effective and ‘fail safe’ solution to common problems associated with damp and decay.

    Please click here for further information on damp in buildings.

  • Do injected damp-proof courses work?

    Hutton+Rostron do not recommend that chemical injected damp-proof courses (DPC) are installed.  Most buildings constructed in the UK since the mid-19th Century, will have included a physical horizontal DPC, usually from slate or some other damp-proof material, built into the walls just above ground level. This is intended to prevent water from the ground damaging timber or other moisture sensitive materials around the base of the structure.

    When a wall with a DPC in it appears damp it is tempting to assume that the DPC has ‘failed’ in some way and needs to be replaced. It is very rare for a physical damp-proof course to break down or ‘fail’, but it can be by-passed or bridged by increases in external ground levels for example, or by structural alterations.

    Water can also drain into the wall above a DPC from another source, such as failed roof drainage or a plumbing leak. It is important to gain a good overall understanding of how a building works and thoroughly investigate all possible causes of a damp problem to avoid adopting the wrong solution; one that can be costly, ineffective and potentially damaging.

    More info:

    In recent decades it has been common for new DPCs to be installed by injecting chemicals into the bases of walls through a series of horizontal holes. The chemicals are designed to penetrate through the pores and tiny gaps in bricks and mortar and form a continuous barrier through the wall which moisture cannot get past. In practice, however, it is very difficult to make this barrier continuous due to variations in the materials from which the wall is made and the presence of moisture or contaminants.  For this reason, companies that inject DPCs also insist on coating the inside of the wall in a waterproof concrete render. This stops the damp in the wall affecting the surface finishes, so the wall ‘looks’ dry but the render will ‘lock’ the water in the wall, which can be very damaging to historic brickwork. The render will also fail over time allowing the damp to re-appear, often at a higher level and in more places than before