How to Avoid Getting Scammed With Damp Repairs?
26 March 2021
Damp is a very serious issue, and sadly there are people in the world who are going to try and attempt to take advantage of your unfortunate situation to score some cheap and easy cash, whilst leaving you in the lurch when it comes to damp repair.
So, to save you the horrible feelings, effects, and ramifications of being scammed, we at Timberwise thought we would pass down some helpful tips that could help you identify and avoid potential damp proofing scammers in the future, and help keep your money safe.
What Does a Damp Scam Look Like?
Sadly, there is no definitive answer we can give that will identify every single type of scam that might stem from damp proofing services being offered. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a pattern though.
Commonly, people might experience the following as a general example of a damp scam.
A trader will knock on an individual’s door, uninvited, and offer a free damp survey to establish if the property owner has any damp problems. If accepted, the trader will ‘inspect’ the property, and when they are done they will present some findings that they can solve with a simple and easy-to-install damp proof course, that they can provide there and then for a reasonable amount.
They will then install the damp proof course in the building, take payment and drive away. It’s that simple, and often enough can happen all within the space of a couple of hours.
This is an unfortunate situation, and it preys upon peoples good faith and trust, and in the long run leaves the victim out of pocket with a useless solution within their walls.
Now, these scams can take other forms. You may find company impersonation is an issue, or even using the pretext of a property survey to case your home for future crimes – but what you will find is that with a little patience and persistence that these situations can be avoided.
How do you start recognising damp scams and avoiding them though?
Be Wary of Rogue Traders
Sadly, when it comes to most scams involving damp proofing and damp proof courses a lot of scams start out with a rogue trader knocking on your door entirely uninvited to offer up a free damp survey to you.
On the surface, this might not seem like such a bad thing – if anything its generous and potentially future proofing your home, and you can understand why so many people might be tempted by such an offer.
The sad fact is though that once you have agreed to this survey, you will often find that the rogue trader points out potential damp and possible avenues of damp appearing in a home – and these will often come alongside a recommendation to install a very expensive damp proof course in your home that ultimately will not be worth your time or money in any way.
We cannot stress enough that if you do find yourself in this situation, that you request the traders card, and ask to call them back at a later time if you do feel the need for a survey. Not only will this give you the time you need to vet them online, but it will also stop them from entering your home, which could be a potential opportunity to case out your property for potential later crimes.
If you do suspect your property might be subject to damp or in need of other forms of property repair, then it’s always encouraged for you to take action yourself rather than awaiting a knock on the door. Visit accredited, public sites that have honest reviews and official accreditations, and that way you lessen the chance of falling victim to rogue surveys, solutions and pricing.
Check With the Experts
If you have noticed that your property is affected by damp, then it’s time to take action, and that means deciding on a company. Obviously, we at Timberwise would be happy to take your call and help you with your problems, but the following advice still applies.
It’s always worth vetting a company when it comes to hiring them. When it comes to damp and property repair, this can be via their website, via Trustpilot reviews, or even by contacting professional standing bodies to hear their opinion on the company in question.
Take the Property Care Association (or the PCA) for example. The PCA is the UK’s leading association for property care, and just by being a member, Timberwise is able to validate its sincere thanks to professional backing. If you were to call up the PCA and ask about the authenticity of Timberwise, they would be able to give you a clear answer.
This might not be the case for all companies offering damp surveying and repair. If you do happen to come across a company offering damp repair services online or in your everyday life, be sure to check with managing professional standing bodies to see if they are fully accredited and qualified to recognise and complete the work needed.
Go Direct to the Specialists
When it comes to choosing an individual or company to complete your damp proofing or survey, it’s easier than ever to find a solution online.
However, if you are sent an offer via an email or text message, you should always be wary of both the sender and the link that they send to you. This is because plenty of scammers will take the opportunity to impersonate successful and well-known companies to prey on established trust, and potentially steal money via falsified email accounts.
Remember, if you are in ever in doubt, always visit a company through their official website or by calling the listed phone number to ensure that you are speaking with the right person.
Don’t get fooled by replicated email addresses or the insistence that you need to pay a bill. The same rules apply here as they do with falsified calls and emails from Amazon or Royal Mail. Always take a moment to inspect the sender, and if in any doubt, just visit the official website and contact the would be senders directly.
The Consequences of Falling for a Damp Scam
If you have fallen prey to an individual or organisation who has provided a faulty, defective or otherwise inadequate service, then try to remain calm. At this stage the damage is done, and in most cases will be entirely fixable.
Realistically, the major damage will be to your wallet and pride – but that’s primarily where the hurt will be contained. Yes, you may have had an ineffective damp proof course set in your home, but we can definitely help with that.
Our surveyors will be entirely able of establishing whether you do have a legitimate damp problem in your home, and how your building might best recover. Our surveyors are trained and recommend only taking actions that will net positive results. Our experienced technicians will take very little time in installing and applying these measures for you.
A previous installation of an ineffective damp proof course will not be an issue, and we can advise the best way to keep your property safe from the dangers of damp and mould.
If you need your property surveyed by trained, local professionals then call 0800 288 8660 or visit our contact page here!