building valuations


Rising Damp and Independent Reports


We can offer Building Surveys also known as Structural Surveys and Home Buyers Reports. We also do Specific Defects also known as Engineers Reports or Damp Reports. We can also carry out Independent Valuations. Note these are not for bank lending but are to advise you how much we feel the property is really worth.

If you have a property problem we may even already have written an article on it and we would refer you to the many articles we have on our home page

Contact us on free phone us on 0800 298 5424 and a surveyor will call you back.


Why do people have damp reports and why are they concerned about dampness problems?

Damp Reports

It is becoming more and more common for us to be asked to carry out a rising damp defects report, which is interesting as there is much speculation now that rising damp doesn't exist!


Dampness reports, three main reasons

A report is usually requested for one of three reasons. Interestingly, the main reason isn't that rising damp has been seen (and, as we will explain later, and have already mentioned, many argue that rising damp doesn't actually exist) it is:


1. The mortgage company recommends a specialist damp proofing company

The mortgage company's surveyor (which should correctly be known as the mortgage company's valuer or salesperson!) recommended that a specialist company be employed to get rid of the dampness that has been found during the mortgage valuation.


2. The specialist damp proofing companies prices and what they diagnose differs

Where damp proofing specialists have been called in to carry out quotations. Most wise homeowners get two or three quotations and when comparing them they found that their free survey (that are really quotes, which are always free) recommend different solutions to the same problem. Whilst we agree there can be different solutions to building problems we have found that the property owner's concern is usually that the areas in which the two companies have found dampness are different.


3. Smells damp

There is a smell of dampness in the property, peeling wallpaper or discolouration to the wallpaper.


Why do mortgage company surveyors and valuers recommend a specialist damp report?

Why do mortgage company surveyors / valuers recommend you need a specialist to look at the problem, when they themselves should be more specialist than the specialist!?

The reason why the mortgage company's valuer, often known as the surveyor, and usually is a surveyor, recommend someone else comes and has a look at the dampness is lack of time and often, though not always, lack of technical expertise. The mortgage company surveyors, being targeted to carry out so many valuations a day, have little time and patience for any problems they come across and wish to deal with them as quickly as possible. A very quick way to deal with the problem is to refer it onto someone else, in this case, what they refer to as specialist damp proofing companies.

Damp proofing is a big industry

The whole industry of specialist damp proofing companies has grown up to serve the mortgage company's need for an instant solution

The mortgage companies require the certainty that any properties that they lend on do not have problems. This means they need a solution that is quick and guaranteed and specialist damp proofing companies offer this solution.


The history of the BWPDA

History of specialist damp proofing companies

The history of the BWPDA, which is the main recognised body representing the damp proofing specialists, from the website shows that they have quite a long history, starting as the BWPA, British Wood Preserving Association, in 1929/1930, merging in 1989 with the BCDA, although we have been unable to find out what these initials stand for (please e-mail us if you do know), to form the British Wood Preserving and Damp Proofing Association (BWPDA), which for many years was the recommended trade body for damp proofing companies.

More recently The Property Care Association (PCA) and Wood Protection Association, both formed by the BWPDA in 2003, have featured more prominently, with the Property Care Association separating in 2006.

We would refer you to the following websites: BWPDA , Property Care Association and the Wood Protection Association: .


Why does this all need explaining?

What is the difference between a property professional giving indpendent advice and property professionals giving sales advice?

We have explained the above in detail as there needs to be a far better understanding of the difference between property professionals that give independent advice and property professionals that give sales advice (usually the sales advice is free and usually the technical advice is chartered for!). Whilst many of them are trained, the training is carried out based on a one scenario solution fits all, rather than a general overview of the problem.


Vested interest of the mortgage company surveyor

There are various vested interests at work when you are advised to get a damp proofing specialist. The interest of the bank/mortgage company is that they lend on a property that is structurally sound. Ironically, all properties are damp to a certain extent. There is a vested interest of the mortgage valuer/surveyor who wishes to carry out the valuation as quickly as possible and not get sued for negligence.


Who has a vested interest in a dampness survey

Vested interest of the damp proof surveyor

Then there is the vested interest of the damp proofing company who wish to give a quick solution that the mortgage companies are requesting with a guarantee and of course many damp proof companies have an incentive on sales, as does any good sales company.



Where the non-problem begins

All this would work very well if there were a problem! We believe the problem relates to the misunderstanding of what a mortgage valuer does. Unfortunately there is no-one whose interest it is to explain it. Let us explain further:

The mortgage company is connected to the estate agent, who is connected to the surveyor, all of which need the mortgage to go through to make a profit, or, just their own bank or mortgage company, be they independent financial advisers, have the incentive to sell mortgages.


Estate agents, why they never recommend having a survey, of if they do it is the absolute minimum

Why don't Estate Agents recommend a survey?

The estate agents will never advise having a survey, as this could affect their commission, which they get for selling property. Estate agents are in the lovely position where they can sell something and not be liable for it. Having been a Partner in national association of estate agents and surveyors we know the very last thing an estate agent wants to see is a good survey, as, we mentioned, it can stop the sale of the property.


The surveyors that are not really surveyors at all but are valuers (which is a far different skill)

Not all chartered surveyors are the same, they come in different forms

One of the biggest misunderstandings is that not all surveyors are the same and they come in many different forms. Very much like general practice doctors, there are those who have general skills and those who have specialist skills. In the case of surveying a general skill is to carry out a mortgage valuation, but they would then run a mile if asked to carry out a home buyers report, which is the most basic form of survey (please note it is not the middle survey, as is sold by many estate agents) and they simply would not want to know if they were asked to carry out a structural survey, or, as it is now known, a building survey. It would be similar to asking your general practitioner doctor to carry out surgery on you, or, a more cringing example, ask him to remove some of your teeth!


Should you trust a bank / mortgage company?

Should you trust a bank / mortgage company?

From our own experience, when we were part of one of the largest surveying and valuation companies, which, incidentally, were owned by the mortgage company and also owned many estate agents (so we are not sure how they could give independent impartial advice), we were part of a team of building surveyors that were set up to take on work that the valuers didn't want to do / couldn't do. Valuers in the country range to a few hundred whereas; the building surveyors could be counted on one hand. However, sadly, the vast majority of the time they are avoiding using our service by simply not recommending (mis-selling?) the need for a survey, rather than just having a valuation.


If a bank or mortgage company have agreed to give you a mortgage on a property then how can there be a problem?

But, the bank will lend on it, so it must be in good condition?


Many people would argue that if a bank/mortgage company will give a mortgage on the property then there is no problem. As we all should be aware, the banks will give mortgages on most things, providing they can get their money back. The excellent website explains further how banks and building societies are moved from being advisers to product sellers.



So, what has all this got to do with rising damp?

You need independent advice when buying a property otherwise you may be advised to have a specialist damp proofing company to do work

Coming back to the problem of rising damp, you really do need independent advice, or it is likely that you will be advised to have a specialist damp proofing company carry out work that may or may not be necessary. It certainly isn't as necessary as the number of times as it is recommended! You will become part of the process and, in turn, this will cost you several thousands of pounds to solve a problem that doesn't really exist in many cases.

You may wish to read some of our other articles on dampness issues:



Resolving Dampness in your Basement

Dampness in Buildings - Basics Article

Dampness in Buildings - Technical Article

Dampness Defects Report

Dampness Problems

Condensation Problems

Damp Walls

Shared Freehold and Problems with Damp

Damp proof courses defined

Damp Proof Courses - What are these for?

Damp Proof Specialists - Talk to us First

How do Older Properties keep dry without a damp proof course?

French Drains

Please see our section on:

Specific Defects Reports


Independent advice

If you truly do want an independent expert opinion from a surveyor with regard to structural surveys, building surveys, structural reports, engineers reports, specific defects report, dampness issues, dilapidations, home buyers reports or any other property matters please contact 0800 298 5424 for a surveyor to give you a call back.

If you have a commercial property, be it leasehold or freehold, then you may wish to look at our Dilapidations Website at and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site .

We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).

The contents of the web site are for general information only and is not intended to be relied upon for specific or general decisions. Appropriate independent professional advice should be paid for before making such a decision.

All rights are reserved the contents of the web site is not to be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or part without the express written permission of


If you require any information about Dampness in

Properties please telephone us for help and advice

0800 298 5424



Home Buyers Reports Property Surveys - why we're the best. Engineers Reports
© Copyright
Site Map

1stassociated-logo-for-footer IVSA-badge IVSA-putting-client-first call-us-for-footer

New Survey Software for more information click here Survey Software 1st | Modern Methods of Surveying

We have thousands of free property articles to help you - or call us freephone on 0800 298 5424

We have been working in the property industry for many years and have been
providing free property articles for over ten years. All for free and to help you with buying your next property.

House and Home Surveys and Useful Information

All you need to know about Building Surveys

Building Control, what do they do?

Designers and Architects will they save me money or will they cost me money

Enviroment, Your Building and Garden Gnomes

Estate Agents help sell houses and work for the vendors

Have a Structural Survey to protect you against structural problems

Home improvements, builder problems and ideas for you on how to solve them

How a Surveyor values a property, Chartered Surveyors and Regulated Valuers

How Chartered Engineers and Building Engineers can help you

Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas

NHBC National House Building Council

Structural Surveys and How We Can Help You

Traditional and Non-Traditional Houses and Mortgage Problems

Valuations and how much is the building worth?

Whats the difference between a Chartered Building Surveyor, Chartered Surveyor and an Independent Surveyor

Useful property problem articles by Chartered Surveyors explaining building issues to avoid

External - Helpful information on building problems on the outside of the property

Chimney issues and problems

Cracking and Movement Problems and Surveying Solutions

Flat Roof Problems, how we can solve them

Foundations and Structures and Settlement and Subsidence and Underpinning

Pitched Roofs Problems and Solutions

Roof Problems

Wall Problems

Windows and Doors and Fascias and Soffits and Wet Rot and Dry Rot and other problems

Internal - House problems we have investigated inside

All you ever need to know about floors

Asbestos in your home, what you need to know

Ceiling Cracks and Structural Problems

Condensation, Damp and Black Mould Problems

Cracking and Movement Problems and Surveying Solutions

Windows and Doors and Fascias and Soffits and Wet Rot and Dry Rot and other problems

Woodworm is it a problem or not? Is it active or not?

Services - Building help and advice on costly services

Drainage, what's underground can affect what's above ground

Heating; I just can't get my house warm enough or alternatively I just can't get my house cool enough

You can't mess around with the electric, you need an expert


Commercial Property Services

Building Terms Explained and Directories

Commercial Property Surveys

Commercial Structural Surveys

Leisure Facilites

Offices Large and Small

Shops and Retail

Warehouse and Industrial Buildings

Dilapidations Help and Advice What is a Dilapidations Notice?

A Beginner's Guide to Dilaps

Damp Mould and Condensation

Dampness Rising Damp Mould Black Mould Condensation

Dilapidations and Negotiations

Dilapidations Claim by a Landlord

Energy Saving what can I do?

Finance what is a Financial Adviser (We are not Financial Advisors)

Fire Risk and Help

Health and Safety Risks

Insurance how do I get the correct property insurance?

Landlords Surveying Advice

Property Investment how can I invest in property?

Property TV Reviews by an Independent Surveyor

Schedules of Condition Leasing a Commercial Property

Scotts Schedule and Section 18 Valuation

Tenants Surveying Advice

Weather how does weather affect my property?



Snow and Ice

Strong Winds

Reviews from clients on Commercial Building Surveys

Churches and Charities, helpful reviews from our clients

Industrial Buildings and Warehouses and what our clients say about us

Offices Large and Small, reviews and feedback from our clients

Pubs, Restaurants, Hotels and other Leisure facilities we have surveyed over the years

Shops and Retail, helpful reviews from our clients


First Time Buyers

Buying a Leasehold or Shared Freehold Home

Buying and Selling Houses for the experienced house and home purchaser

First Time Buyers how do I go about buying my first house and home?

Improve your property knowledge with our presentations on house, homes and commercial property

Building Surveys

Building Surveying Useful Information


Dilapidations Presentations in Detail

Final Year Building Surveying Exams for University Students or those that would like to know more

How old is your Building? Which era was it built in?

Party Walls

Surveyors and Design Tools

Disputes and Party Walls

Boundary Disputes

Building and Property Disputes

Party Wall Book Reviews

Party Walls Your Rights and Responsibilities

1stAssociated Surveyors Review for Structural Surveys and Building Surveys

Building Surveys, reviews and feedback from satisfied customers

Buy to let property clients, what they say about our structural surveys

Buying at auction, review of the survey

Buying bungalows and retirement properties and how our surveyors can help

Both at work / busy couples, how we can help and some 1stAssociated client reviews

Families with a young person flying the nest, reviews and feedback

First Time Buyers, what they say about us

Listed buildings, structural surveys

Older buildings, a review of buying an older house

Families with children looking for a new home, feedback and reviews

Buying a Non-Traditional Property

Residential Surveys

House and Home Surveys

Commercial Building Surveys

Commercial Surveys

1st Associated Surveyors Are Also Available in the Following Areas:

East Anglia and East

South and South East

West Country and South West


North and North East



London Markets

London Parks



Areas of Britain

1stAssociated Independent Expert Property Surveyors

Specialists in Home Buyers Reports, Building Surveys and Structural Surveys and Schedules of Condition

All Surveyors are Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors qualified and RICS regulated

and are Members of the Independent Surveyors and Valuers Association

Putting the Client First

We do not accept service of documents by email or fax