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Relying on damp proofing contractors to provide unbiased diagnoses can often result in unnecessary treatments which can, in turn, result in significant financial expenditure and disruption to the programme of works. I take a very pragmatic view of what if any treatments are necessary. Accurate diagnoses of any potential defects are essential to ensure the correct treatment. This saves money, time, and a lot of unnecessary disruptive work. By ensuring budgets are managed effectively and treatments are targeted, my clients can save money, time, and unnecessary disruption. I will advise what preparatory work can be carried out by the general contractor to reduce costs and will provide an accurate indication as to the anticipated cost of using a specialist contractor. A detailed specification can be provided which can be used to obtain competitive quotes for any necessary remedial work.
I provide a full range of Specialist Surveys covering Damp related issues in Commercial and Local Authority properties
Many lenders will request a full damp and timber inspection prior to approving funding for a commercial property. As a C.S.R.T qualified Surveyor and accredited by the Property Care Association (PCA) as an Independent Surveyor my reports are accepted by all major lenders.
You will receive a detailed report identifying all damp related defects, the cause and the solution along with a full inspection of all accessible structural timbers reporting on not only those affected by wood-decaying fungi or wood-boring insect but also identifying any timbers at risk.
The report is supported by accompanying sketches and photographic evidence for ease of identification.Where possible you will receive an accurate indication of the likely cost of identified remedial works to allow you to prepare an accurate budget prior to purchase. This survey can be extended to cover include items such as cavity wall tie investigations
and concrete floor investigations if required.
Accurate diagnoses of both wood-decaying fungi and wood-boring beetle are essential if the correct treatment is going to be recommended and ultimately be successful
Contrary to popular belief not all instances of fungal decay are the result of the dreaded Dry Rot. Various wet rots are regularly misdiagnosed as dry rot, resulting in unnecessary costly and disruptive remedial work.
Likewise, not all wood-boring insect infestations do warrant chemical or other forms of treatment.
Accurate diagnoses allow accurate treatment or remedial measures. Often the infestation is inactive and requires no treatment at all.
Many companies commonly recommend precautionary treatments to timbers without justification. It is not only unethical but may also contravene the Control of Pesticides Regulations (COPR). Many companies regularly use inappropriate chemicals as a form of treatment without understanding how they work and why they may not work.
Having a professional survey carried out by a qualified Surveyor will ensure that the use of harmful chemicals is kept to a minimum whilst achieving maximum results. I have no vested interest in creating work or finding work for the client. I will provide an honest assessment of the condition of the timbers and recommend the appropriate remedial work as necessary.
Cavity wall ties were first introduced in the late 19th century. Prior to that most walls were formed in solid masonry and the walls were provided with stability via 'Header Bricks' (bricks laid across two or more skins of brickwork). The use of metal wall ties became more widespread from the 1920's onwards. The early wall ties were made from cast or wrought iron, mild steel and even copper in some areas.
More recently, stainless steel has become the norm when manufacturing wall ties due to its strength and resistance to corrosion. The early mild steel ties were often given a bitumen coating as a means of protection and from the 1930s onwards zinc coatings and galvanizing became common.
The lifespan of wall ties can not be predicted accurately as this is affected by many factors such as the location of the property, the orientation of the property, and the type of construction. It is not uncommon for wall tie corrosion to be predominant on one elevation and not others. The orientation can be a major factor.
With this in mind, it is recommended that a wall tie inspection is carried out by an experienced surveyor with an in-depth knowledge of wall tie corrosion so that an accurate assessment can be made of the condition of the wall ties on each elevation. It is common for companies to recommend that the whole house is treated for wall tie corrosion which may not be necessary. To put it in simple terms you would not replace all of the tires on your car just because one tire was worn.
I will provide an accurate survey report which will comment on the condition of the wall ties on each elevation. Wall ties will be exposed to allow a visual inspection of the ends of the wall tie to determine their condition.
If remedial work is recommended you will be provided with an accurate indication of the likely cost of the necessary work. The report will be supported by photographic evidence.
I am happy to work on individual properties or multi-house projects and provide a pre-tender specification in order that quotes can be obtained for the work identified.
There are two types of waterproofing system commonly used in existing structures: -
Adhered waterproof membranes or “Type A” waterproofing systems (as defined in BS8102) are commonly multi-coat renders, cement based coatings, bituminous paints or epoxy coatings. This form of waterproofing provides an unbroken barrier to water. These systems are applied to clean walls and floors and are usually protected and held in place by floor screeds, renders, plasters or other “loading coats”
Type 'C' (drained protection) has become very popular as an effective waterproofing system again in accordance with BS8102. The structure itself provides primary resistance against water penetration and incorporates a drained cavity within the basement structure. There is a permanent reliance on this cavity to collect groundwater seepage through the structure and direct it to drains or a sump for removal via drainage or pumping.
Both types of system have their positives and negatives. It is down to the designer to determine which system or possibly a combination of both will provide the maximum protection against water ingress.
That is why the designer should be suitably qualified to enable them to ensure that the final system complies with the BS8102:2009- Codes of Practice for the protection of below ground structures against water from the ground. I gained the CSSW (Certified Surveyor in Structural Waterproofing) qualification and indeed passed the examination as Candidate of the Year in 2009.
Failing to design the correct system can prove extremely costly in the long term. Traditionally, waterproofing failures have cost clients many thousands of pounds to rectify as well as major upheaval and inconvenience.
I am happy to discuss your requirements and provide a site survey (or off plan) followed by a detailed specification as to the most suitable system to be applied to achieve long-term success of the project. I will act as a supervisor during the duration of the installation to ensure that it is installed in total compliance with the specification provided.
Neil was involved in the recent refurbishment project carried out on Palace Green Library close to Durham Cathedral. A detailed inspection of the exposed roof timbers was carried out to determine their condition and identify potential defects involving fungal…