Damp Problems in A Commercial Property in Kent
Background To Case Study
Earlier this month, our South East team were instructed by PMC Dover (Chartered Surveyors) to assist them in carrying out a timber and damp survey for a commercial property in Kent. Our instructions from our client were to inspect the walls for rising damp, the timbers for wood rot or infestation by wood-boring insect and to inspect the masonry for stabilisation.
Observations & Recommendations
Before conducting our survey, our surveyor advised our client that any structural timbers (i.e. suspended timber floors, wall plates etc) that bear directly or alongside any walls affected by rising damp could be suffering from fungal decay or insect attack.
Damp Proof Course
An external inspection of the property showed no evidence of an original damp proof course due to the external render. Failure of implementing a damp proofing course often results in a property becoming extremely vulnerable to rising damp penetration in years to come. Inspection of the internal wall surfaces of the property was completed using an electronic moisture meter, where high readings were observed
Based on our visual inspections and the instrumental readings obtained at the time of our survey, we recommended that our DriWise damp proofing system should be installed. The damp proofing system is injected directly into the first horizontal mortar joint above the internal ground floor level and creates a barrier to prevent dampness.
The front of the property was open to the elements, which was allowing severe moisture ingress. However, with the rebuilding of the front bay and the rainwater goods reinstated, the property should be watertight again. An exposed bressumer beam had a slight infection of wet rot fungus which required an application of deep kill paste to the ends to prevent the decay.
Rising damp was noted to all external and boundary elevations. Where the plaster had not yet been removed, we recommended a chemical injection and for the plaster to be removed and replaced with a damp proof render coat.
The masonry to the rear elevation of the main house and rear extension appeared to have suffered movement. The extension required stabilising and the masonry re-tied to the main house rear elevation. Our surveyor noted a severe crack between the 2 structures over both the ground and first floor. Further cracking was also observed within the rear bedroom, it appeared that at some time this had been crudely filled. This area required opening up and stabilising with a helical bar and resin repair system.
The ground floor had a severe infestation by wood-boring beetles; A full chemical treatment was applied to the accessible timbers. From our inspection, our surveyors also noted that some floor boards had perished due to the infestation.
Damp Treatment From The Experts
If you suspect you have a damp problem in need of treatment, please contact your local Timberwise team on 0800 288 8660 for advice or to arrange a survey. Alternatively, complete the on-line survey request form to arrange a surveyor to visit your property.