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Damp surveys in London and the South East

16th November 2016

It is that time of the year again when we are inundated with requests for damp surveys in London.  It's all to do with temperature and moisture content of the air.  All of a sudden, the heating goes on.  As the air warms up, so does its ability to hold moisture - and the total moisture loading goes from around 7 grams per cubic metre for a normal dry house, to around 11 or 12 grams.  As this warm, moist air hits cold walls, it condenses - not just ON the walls, but as it diffuses through them - and that makes your nice London stock bricks get damp.  Damp brickwork allows heat to pass through it much more quickly - so you spend more money heating the place.  As moisture levels rise in the brickwork through continued condensation, that same moisture will blow plaster off the walls, and start to produce salts - all the symptoms that the Property Care Association damp companies like Kenwood, Rentokil, Peter Cox, Dampco and others - call 'rising damp'.  This salting of the walls also makes 'damp, or resistance' meters go off the scale.  By the time salts have formed the wall has probably dried out partly anyway - and it certainly isnt rising.

So what is the solution?

Our London damp surveys generally focus on monitoring the internal conditions.  We look at temperature and humidity. Once we have a feel for that, we look at ventilation - how well is the place actually vented?  Is the kitchen able to vent to an outside wall?  What about bathrooms?  What about bedrooms too?  Nobody in London wants to open a window at night, and potentially allow someone to climb in - nor do they want traffic fumes, and cold air.  So the window stays shut, and moisture builds up.  All of these rooms need to be ventilated properly.  We help by assessing all of these variables and helping to introduce solutions which don't involve damp proofing by the PCA.

 

About the author

Peter Ward has spent many years working a geochemist and geologist, as well as restoring historic homes all over the world.

More about Peter

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