Unveiling the Legacy: Rochester Building and Damp’s Journey Through Time

In the historic Medway town of Chatham, 1978 marked the humble beginnings of what would later become a prominent name in the damp proofing industry – Rochester Building and Damp. Born as a small, independent, family-owned business, the company navigated its early years as a construction and property maintenance firm with a unique focus on damp control.

The 1980s Expansion:

As the winds of success filled its sails, Rochester Building and Damp experienced a rapid expansion in business size during the 1980s. What began as a local endeavor soon transformed into a company covering the vast stretch from Penzance to Peterborough, handling larger contracts and solidifying its presence across regions.

Navigating the 1990s Economic Downturn:

However, the economic downturn of the 1990s prompted a strategic retreat to its roots in Medway. Rochester Building and Damp shifted its primary focus to small residential timber and damp jobs within the local community. Over the course of the next twenty years, Rochester Building and Damp remained the premier independent local damp proofing business, with a number of accolades being awarded during this period. In 2013 the reins of the business were handed over to Martin Sykes, a former PDA® Surveyor, and his colleague partner Emma Page.

A New Era:

Despite the challenges, Rochester Building and Damp remained resilient. The company’s commitment to quality and dedication to its community laid the foundation for its sustained success. Over the years, it evolved into a cornerstone of Medway, specialising in residential damp proofing while occasionally taking on damp control contracts in commercial and industrial premises.

Enter Dampwise Medway:

In a strategic move to strengthen its presence, Rochester Building and Damp welcomed investment from its PDA® approved partner, Dampwise Medway. This infusion of support re-established the company’s reach to Kent, Surrey, and Berkshire, ensuring that its expertise in damp control was accessible to a broader clientele.

A Coastal Adventure:

More recently, Rochester Building and Damp secured a major commercial flood damage contract with Thanet Council. This landmark project prompted Martin and Emma to relocate to Margate. The initial contract has seen two subsequent nine month extensions, incorporating basement tanking, subcontracted groundworks, and overseeing an innovative drainage project that’s based on environmentalist principles.
It should be noted, The LifeCycle Drainage System has been championed by the Cliftonville Art Community since 2018 as a sustainable, natural method of land drainage which returns filtered surface water either directly back into the sea or into rivers, waterways or agricultural land.

A Continuation of Excellence:

Despite the geographical shift, Rochester Building and Damp maintains its commitment to Medway.
PDA® qualified damp specialist Dan McLean continues to operate locally on behalf of Martin and Emma.
The company’s core values of being a small, local, and independent service remain intact, with a handful of loyal local contractors upholding this ethos.

Looking Ahead:

As the Thanet contract is set to extend until the end of 2024, Martin and Emma will continue to call Cliftonville home. Meanwhile, Dan McLean will oversee operations in Medway, ensuring that Rochester Building and Damp continues to be a beacon of excellence in damp proofing, backed by a wealth of experience.


With a remarkable journey spanning over four decades, Rochester Building and Damp stands today as the only multi-award-winning independent local timber and damp business in operation in Medway. The company’s legacy is a testament to its unwavering commitment to quality, community, and the pursuit of excellence in damp control.


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