Last updated 27th October 2019
All you need to know about surveying for damp in properties, including costs variance based on location and property size.
Damp is unwanted water or moisture in a building which can cause structural damage over time if left untreated. In the UK, due to the climate, damp is a major problem which is responsible for cold and unhealthy conditions in many homes. If you suspect you may have a damp problem in your home, it is important you get a surveyor to investigate as soon as possible as damp can have health implications a well as causing expensive damage. There are effectively three types of damp problems: rising damp, penetrating damp and condensation. Rising damp is caused by water from the ground moving up through the walls of a property and can usually be identified by a "tide mark" on the wall along with damaged skirting boards and floorboards, plus sometimes crumbling plaster and peeling wallpaper on the lower part of the affected wall. Penetrating damp is rain penetration and is caused by water leaking through cracks in the masonry or broken/missing roof tiles. Penetrating damp can be identified by isolated damp patches on walls, floors and ceilings. Condensation is simply moist water vapour condensing on walls and is a particular problem in the UK between October and March.
Damp in the home can trigger asthma and other respiratory problems as the subsequent inhalation of the mould spores can cause infections and immunological illnesses. Damp provides a great breeding environment for bacteria to multiply which can be a source for the transmission of disease and can cause serious health risks. In addition, damp can lead to the structural deterioration of plaster and brickwork, rotting of timber frames and the rusting of metal fasteners. When damp is left untreated for some time the damage can be very expensive to repair, so if you're buying a property always get a surveyor to do a HomeBuyer Report to check for any potential damp problems that may need further investigation.
Each type of damp has a different recommended treatment so it is important to diagnose exactly which kind of damp is affecting your home. To do this effectively, a damp survey will be required. Inappropriate damp treatment is a waste of money as it will be ineffective, plus it could even potentially cause further damage to the building, so always get expert advice from a professional surveyor. To determine the full extent of the damp problem a fully qualified, expert surveyor can offer a full diagnosis and make treatment suggestions which could save you a lot of money. Approved damp surveyors will have a CRDS or a CSRT certification so make sure you only use qualified and insured surveyors.
Most damp surveys carried out in the UK are as a result of surveys carried out for mortgage applications. But Mortgage lender surveyors only do the minimum in terms of a damp survey to produce a Homebuyers Report. They simply take random moisture meter readings around the property and make reference any adverse readings in the report which essentially puts a condition on the mortgage application where a damp specialist must be hired to assess the damp problem properly and provide a quote for any work and treatments required before the mortgage will be granted.
For a damp survey the cost will be largely based on the size of the property itself, which can take additional time for sufficient measurements for the survey. Typically, a 3-bed semi-detached house will cost around £250 for a damp survey from a fully registered and accredited independent surveyor. For smaller properties, like a 2 bedroom flat, which would likely are quicker to complete would be around £200. While a larger propert, such as a 4 bedroom detached house, could rise to approximately £300.
Location may also be a factor for pricing; damp surveys are a little higher in London and the South East, rising up to £350 in some cases, but in other areas, damp surveys can cost from as little as £150. If you are in a hurry, then same-day or next-day reporting costs an extra £50 or so.
Any further difficulties could potentially incur more cost due to the additional time required by the tradesperson, but this would liely only be in extreme circumstances.
The materials used are likely minor for the tradesperson - however their investment in necessary qualifications and equipment for damp surveys may be a factor in pricing.
Below are some estimated costs of having your home surveyed for damp.
|Job Description||Avg. Cost||Duration|
|Damp Survey 2-bed Flat||£200||1 Hour or less|
|Damp Survey 3-bed Terraced House||£250||1-2 Hours|
|Damp Survey 4-Bed Detached House||£300||1-2 Hours|
Individual costs of a damp survey for a 3 bedroom terraced house - Total Cost: £250