In this episode of The A-Z of Damp from Atlantis Damp & Timber Proofing Specialists, B is for…..Builders Beware.

Atlantis Damp Proofing recently sent our expert surveyor to survey a local property near Knutsford, Cheshire. The property was a beautifully renovated cottage, which had obviously had a lot of investment put into it. Unfortunately, there were signs of decorative spoiling on the walls, suggesting that a damp issue was present.

The owners were planning to retire out in Wales and had lovingly upgraded their current home to get the best market price. They had never experienced any damp issues before and had no reason to think that any damp issues would suddenly appear.

Our experienced surveyor identified that their contractor had taken the plaster work back to the brick. Then a dot and dab system was used for the plasterboard, before skim was applied to leave a seemingly perfect finish. Unfortunately, builders beware, over time, the dot and dab system has allowed moisture to migrate from the damp walls. Furthermore, this moisture travelled right through to the surface of their new walls.

In addition, their external ground levels had been built up. A new patio had installed across the entire back of their house bridging the damp proof course.
These two factors meant that the walls needed to be stripped back to the brick work and a new damp proof course installed. The correct height for a DPC is 150mm above the external ground level. Next, a sand and cement waterproof backing coat was applied. Furthermore, to cater for the shortfall of the DPC due to the raised external patio meant that a tanking system was also required. Once these works were complete, a top coat of skim was applied to achieve a truly perfect finish or a long time to come.

What should you do next?

If you’re in the process of buying a newly renovated property and need a survey, don’t delay in contacting Atlantis Damp Proofing & Timber Specialists Ltd. Our expert opinion will ensure accurate diagnosis and solutions to your property problem. Contact us for a detailed Pre Purchase Survey so that you avoid any nasty, not to mention costly, surprises after you move in to your ‘perfect’ new home!