How extensive is Rising Damp

Has dampness been noted on your Building Society survey?
Is it rising dampness due to a failed damp-proof course and is the answer chemical damp-proofing? Or is it a bridged damp-proof course? Penetrating damp? Condensation? All of which can be solved much easier and cheaper than having an injected damp-proof course installed.
Home buyers special-Combined damp and timber report £250.00

We will survey for any possible dampness (i.e. rising damp, penetrating damp, condensation) and any timber decay ( woodworm, wet rot or dry rot) and provide a written report which will cover all aspects of dampness and timber decay to your house which will include detailed specifications and costings for repair works. In 95% of the properties that we survey there is no need to carry out any chemical damp-proofing or timber treatments which as well as being unnecessary are usually expensive, messy and very disruptive
Rising damp is the classic form of damp that most people are concerned with when they think of a damp house and it is especially concerning for home owners and purchasers as mortgage surveys always flag up the possibility of dampness and timber decay related to dampness, but is "rising dampness" really as common as we are led to believe?
"Traditionally built houses are perfectly able of dealing with rising damp because they usually incorporate considerable ventilation opportunities such as considerable ventilation opportunities such as suspended ventilated ground floors, allowing walls to breathe where they emerge from the ground. The damp-proof course is a second line of defence."
Dampness in Buildings by Alan Oliver
"Rising dampness is usually not as extensive or as troublesome as other forms of dampness. In reality it is relatively uncommon, and can easily be mis-diagnosed by surveyors"

PCA/Property Care Association-Code of Practice- The Installation of Remedial Damp-Proof Courses in Masonry Walls
"If a positive diagnosis of rising damp is being obscured by other faults the surveyor should recommend that the client remedies them first and then allows a period of time to elapse before further checks are made."
This approach is in accordance with good practice and offers a holistic method of dealing with ‘rising damp’ but most Property Care Association (PCA) members will routinely recommend the installation of a chemical damp-proof course together with a waterproof plastering system without first eliminating other potential causes of dampness and almost definitely without allowing a period of time to assess if the works were successful or not.
Diagnosing Damp by Ralph Burkinshaw & Mike Parret
"Householders and even some surveyors are too quick to assume that problems with dampness are caused by rising damp. In fact, true rising damp is not very common and because the remedies for rising damp are so expensive it is doubly important to ensure the diagnosis is correct before starting work."
Building Research Establishment (BRE) Good Repair Guide 6 - Treating Rising Damp in Houses - January 1997
"Because of the high cost of remedial work, it is essential that the diagnosis is as positive as possible to distinguish between rising damp and other sources of damp."
BRE Digest 245 - January 1981 "Rising Damp in Walls: Diagnosis and Treatment
"Investigations have revealed many instances in which systems intended to combat rising damp have been installed in buildings where rising damp is not occurring. A frequent reason for this has been a wrong interpretation of high readings obtained when using an electrical moisture meter. Another reason was the failure to recognize other causes of the damp conditions."
Despite this advice most damp-proofing surveyors, including Property Care Association members, will often diagnose rising damp on the strength of moisture meter readings and then recommend costly damp-proofing work which may be unnecessary
Building Research Advisory Service, Technical Information Leaflet TIL 47 August 1982
"The diagnosis of rising damp needs careful and systematic thought because it can easily be confused with penetrating dampness and condensation. The Building Research Establishment (BRE) have suggested that only 10% of the dampness problems it investigates are attributable to rising damp. Unfortunately, there are a number of companies specializing in d.p.c. replacement who obviously have a commercial interest in finding problems with rising damp. The diagnosis needs to be treated with caution. Although there are several reputable companies working in this field, it may be wise to seek independent advice. Further "encouragement" to find problems of rising damp is provided by banks and building societies who often request a damp report as a condition of a mortgage advance."
Understanding Housing Defects (Estates Gazette) 1998
"There are many contractors advertising specialist services to remedy dampness by installing damp proof courses. Yet most apparent rising dampness cannot be attributed to the absence or failure of a damp proof course."
The Remedial Treatment of Buildings by Barry Richardson 1995
"Dampness of one sort or another is the most common problem in housing. It results in visible wetting of walls, ceilings and floors, blistering paint, bulging plaster, mould on the surfaces and fabrics and sulphate attack on brickwork. It can also lead to less obvious problems - thermal insulation is reduced in effectiveness or brickwork because metal components imbedded in it have corroded. As with all repair work, the first step to solving any damp related problem is to diagnose the cause correctly."
B.R.E. Good Repair Guide 5 - Diagnosing the Causes of Dampness, January 1997
"Before any measures are undertaken, the problem should be analyzed in order to identify the cause properly. In the first instance professional advice should be obtained rather than that of a specialist contractor."
The Repair of Historic Buildings (English Heritage) by Christopher Brereton
"Often specialist remedial treatment companies report "they have diagnosed rising damp" and specify remedial treatment which is possibly inappropriate, to be carried out by themselves."
Malcolm Hollis. Building Pathologist & Chartered Surveyor
"Rising dampness is the rising of water within the vertical structure of a building. Claims that rising dampness exists are frequently exaggerated; it is present in only 10% of the buildings where dampness was assumed to have been a problem"
Phone 0800 028 1903 for our homebuyers special –Damp survey- £150.00
Damp and Timber survey 200.00. Timber survey £150.00