– Damp Proofing Information – Part One

Damp proofing – how far do you need to go to save your sale?

Damp is one of the most serious issues that can arise in a property survey and as such can have a major impact on saleability. Whether the damp that your buyer’s survey refers to is actually present or there is simply reference to a potential problem, the mere mention of ‘the D word’ could be enough to scare them off – or provide the perfect excuse for a substantially reduced offer price.

It’s not just buyers who may be concerned by damp in a property for sale – it can raise a red flag with their mortgage lender which may reduce the amount it is prepared to loan, which could even lead to the sale collapsing.

But what actually do we mean by ‘damp’, is it really the potential property selling dealbreaker that vendors are often led to believe and what approach should you take to damp proofing and treatment? spoke to a damp proofing and treatment expert to get their professional take on the topic.

What are the most common types of damp and what are the tell-tale signs to look out for in my property?

Rochester Building and Damp: Forget about types of damp; it’s what’s causing the damp that’s important. The word ‘damp’ itself is only an umbrella term; it is not one thing. A wall can be damp for many reasons; all these reason involve water. But damp hasn’t made the wall damp. To simplify this further, either damp is an ingress (permeation of masonry) or there are mould and mildew issues (which indicates but isn’t unique to elevated atmospheric moisture content, i.e. restricted ventilation).

Signs to look for: mould and mildew (especially stachybotrys aka ‘toxic black mould’); damp patches upon a wall’s surface; peeling wallpaper/paint; rotten timber: skirting, sills, door-frames etc.; a noticeable damp or must smell; discolouration of walls, ceiling or timber; unexplained and expanding damp patch on the carpet; condensation on windows, walls or possessions; loose plaster (internal) and loose render (external).

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