H+R is an independent team of building professionals, specialist consultants and damp surveyors with over 30 years of industry experience in building investigation and remedial specification for recently built or older historic buildings.
We provide expert advice and assistance for any rising damp and timber decay issues affecting your private or commercial property. We recommend specialised and environmentally friendly solutions for the successful treatment of rising and penetrating damp, condensation and resultant mould growth and fungal and insect decay in buildings. Our proposed environmental control measures and monitoring techniques will be effective in dealing with any immediate problems and also ensure longer-term protection.
Specialist damp surveys
A specialist damp surveyor carries out to deliver both detailed information and clear, actionable recommendations that can be implemented straight away to remedy any defects as part of the refurbishment of all types of affected buildings.
The assessment of how the building envelope and its internal environment are affected by moisture will take into account building materials, and construction methods, including any alterations, as well as the ground and surface drainage.
Damp surveyors will investigate all signs of water penetration and visible damp presence and their possible causes:
- Moisture and salt profiling of masonry, including sample analysis to establish hygroscopic and gravimetric moisture content, according to BRE Guidance Note 245
- Investigation of residual moisture after flood or fire retained in building materials
- Independent assessment of damp-proof installations and systems, according to BS 8102:2009
- Investigation of condensation risks, in accordance with British Standard 5250 and assessment of exposure to wind-driven rain according to British Standard 5628
- Investigation of insulation and ventilation systems, including recording moisture levels of building elements and environment, in accordance with Building Regulations Parts C, F and L sensitive to a listed structure
Minimally invasive techniques
Our minimally invasive damp surveys can be conducted with the help of fibre optics and other electronic monitoring and measuring techniques. The survey report will detail our expert findings on the extent and causes of rising damp and penetrating damp detected in the building.
We then set out our professional recommendations for environmentally sound remediation measures that can be implemented immediately to manage the problem now and in the future. Building solutions typically involve dealing with moisture ingress and improving ventilation to prevent problems of ‘rising damp’ from recurring and can be dealt with by a competent non-specialist building contractor. For remedial work carried out to our specifications, we can provide collateral warranties, which are backed by professional indemnity insurance.
In some circumstances, we recommend the installation of the H+R Curator® system for remote monitoring purposes to see how the building performs in all weather conditions throughout the year. A powerful tool for the effective management and maintenance of the building subsequent to successful remedial repair works, this is a professional building solution that can save time, materials and money in the long run.
Damp Survey FAQs
How does damp affect timber?
Damp not only has the potential to be extremely destructive to timber, but it can also be expensive to remedy. Damp is generally caused by a build-up of excess moisture within a building which can arise from internal or external sources.
- Rising damp occurs when water from the ground ‘wicks’ upwards through bricks and mortar, affecting the structural integrity of the timber through moisture ingress.
- Penetrating damp through cracked bricks or renders, defect guttering or roofing, will lead to moisture finding its way into the interior of the building, causing timber decay.
- Condensation occurs as a result of the excess moisture inside a building that has nowhere to escape to. Warm moist air condensing onto colder surfaces will eventually lead to black mould and timber decay.
- Wet rot and dry rot both thrive in damp conditions. These wood-destroying fungal infestations attack the timber leading to decay.
The ideal moisture content of timber should be 16-18%. Once the source of damp has been identified and remedied, the area should be ventilated, while the timber should be segregated from other damp materials by way of air space or a damp-proof membrane to allow for free air movement.
How do H+R deal with penetrating damp?
Rather than merely treating the symptoms of damp penetration and condensation, H+R focus on identifying the root causes and proposing a ‘holistic’ approach that eschews chemical product-led solutions.
We offer remedial specification and consultancy services for affected buildings. Our damp surveys comprise a detailed process of investigation of water penetration and visible signs of damp presence.
Our team will identify current and latent building defects that permit water penetration and moisture reservoirs that can cause damp and decay during/after refurbishments and lead to damage to finishes and services. We will investigate causes of condensation arising from heating, ventilation and lifestyle issues and assess existing damp-proof courses in terms of condition and performance.
Moisture profiling on masonry and brickwork is carried out by way of electrical and gravimetrical techniques, along with an assessment of drying down periods and remedial advice. Our comprehensive damp penetration investigations result in accurate and effective tables and schedules and remedial recommendations to control damp in the future.
How do H+R deal with rising damp?
H+R offer environmentally friendly solutions for dealing with problems of rising damp and timber decay in buildings of all ages, providing immediate treatments for acute problems and ensuring effective long-term protection.
Following a non-destructive property survey using our Rothounds® (search dogs trained to detect active dry rot) along with a host of electronic measurement and monitoring techniques, we will compile a report detailing valuable information on the extent and causes of rising damp along with recommendations for simple environmental control measures.
We would also recommend implementing our H+R Curator® system for effective ongoing monitoring as a powerful tool for building maintenance and management.