The Damp & Timber Experts

01689 600 158

Frequently Asked Questions

Are your surveys free?

 

We do charge for our surveyors to visit your property to carry out an inspection and produce a full written report. The fee is dependant on your instructions and how long we estimate we will be at the property. Our standard surveys provide a detailed report with quotation and are carried out by a fully qualified surveyor.

 

For homeowners requiring remedial work on their home, our free one page snapshot reports (including quotation) are available on request. When you call or email to arrange your survey, our office staff will discuss your requirements.

 

Please note that snapshot reports are not suitable for property sale or purchase, insurance claims, neighbour disputes etc.

 

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I'm buying a home which needs a damp or timber survey. Who is responsible for this?

 

In most cases, the buyer is responsible for arranging and paying for a damp or timber survey on a property they want to buy. If you are in the process of selling or purchasing your property, we do make a charge for the inspection and report you will receive. Valuation and Structural surveyors who suspect building defects in a property recommended engaging specialist investigation by a PCA Accredited Damp and Timber company and our reports can be used to expedite your sale/purchase. If you are advised in your buyers report to obtain a damp or timber survey, it is highly recommended that you engage a specialist, like Dampworks, to help avoid costly, unforeseen problems after purchasing your home.

 

When you call or email to arrange your survey, our office staff will discuss your requirements and let you know the fee.

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Are your surveyors qualified?

 

All of our surveyors are qualified by the PCA (Property Care Association), holding recognised qualifications in remedial treatments for buildings.

CSRT - Certified Surveyor of Remedial Treatments

CSSW - Certified Surveyor of Structural Waterproofing

 

Unlike some of our competitors, we never send unqualifed salesmen. Our surveyors are not commission based and are not required to “find” work on every survey. We take pride in providing honest and informative reports.

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Dampworks are a member of the PCA (Property Care Association). Why is this important?

 

Many companies claim to be able to treat damp, rot and timber infestation in your home but inadequately treated defects can lead to extensive and expensive damage down the line, how do you know who to trust?

The Property Care Association (PCA®) is the trade association representing specialists across the UK who can be trusted to resolve problems affecting buildings. PCA members have met strict membership criteria to demonstrate their technical competence and service delivery standards and can investigate and resolve property defects.

When choosing a member of the PCA you can be certain that they have undergone rigorous checks to achieve and retain membership. Expert assessors with a wealth of experience and technical knowledge regularly audit every member and check the quality of their work and service on site.

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What will the surveyor check for during the survey?

 

Dampness and Timber defects can be caused by many different issues. Rot and decay can be caused by penetrating, lateral, condensation or Rising damp as well as plumbing leaks and correct diagnosis is crucial as incorrect treatment may simply mask the problem, potentially making it worse. Our surveyor will take a series of readings to determine possible source of moisture but also carry out an inspection to the corresponding walls/areas to discover the cause of the ingress of water/dampness.

 

Our inspection is usually carried out from ground level; the surveyor will not be using ladders unless specifically arranged. If he suspects a roofing defect, he will ascertain this from ground level (or at times from the loft space) and recommend that you engage a specialist roofing survey. Our surveyor may ask to go upstairsor in the loft or to lean out of a window to gain a better view of defects such as gutters etc but please note that his survey will be limited to areas he can see and test without lifting floor coverings such as carpets or laminate or removing wall coverings or finishes such as plaster etc.

 

For Timber defects, our surveyor will inspect accessible timbers for signs of wood boring insects such as woodworm.  He will also check for signs of Dry Rot and Wet Rots but please note that his survey will be limited to areas he can see and test without lifting floor coverings such as carpets or laminate or breaking open walls. Where a specialist sub floor inspection has been requested, a section of the floor will be lifted and the wall plates and joists underneath inspected before being relaid.  

 

During the inspecton he can discuss with you his findings but the written report will be produced at the office following his visit and emailed to you once completed. The report may contain recommendations for you to undertake, recommendation for other contrators such as plumbers etc,  and/or a quotation from ourselves for required works. Full reports may also include photographs and sketches.

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I would like to accept my quotation - what happens now?

 

Please contact our office to book in the recommended works at your property. If a deposit is required, this must be paid in full before any works can commence. You will also be sent documentation regarding pre-works requirements and asked to sign a contract for the agreed works.

Prior to the commencement of the works, we will be in touch to confirm details and answer any questions you may have. We highly recommend that you have the work area fully cleared prior to our arrival as, although we make an effort to contain works mess, any remedial works can be very dusty. It is a requirement that all personal items are stored safely in a different, sealed room away from the work zone - if personal items are left in the work zone, this could result in delay to the works or damage to the items.

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Could I just use a builder instead?

 

You always have the option to have works carried out on your property by whomever you choose. However, damp proofing and timber preservation requires specialilst treatment in which our operatives are fully trained. Please note: some elements such as our specialist plastering form part of our damp proofing system and are integral to the success of the treatment. If you choose to have part of the works carried out by another contractor, this may affect the effectiveness of the treatment and could invalidate any long term guarantees.

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What is your cancellation policy?

 

For cancellations of surveys, provided we have 24 hours notice from agreed date of survey, your money will be refunded in full.

For Treatment works, where a deposit has been paid, 75 % will be refunded provided we have 7 days notice from agreed start date.  We regret we will not be able to refund you money where cancellation of work is made within 7 days from agreed start date.

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I have had works carried out including new plasterwork - how long does this take to dry?

 

We are often asked how long to wait before painting or decorating your newly plastered walls.

Every property is different and drying times will depend on the render thickness as well as other conditions such as weather and ventilation. The process should not be rushed; introducing heat to speed drying should be avoided as this will cause cracking in the render.

Generally within 6-8 weeks it will be dry enough to apply temporary decorations. As salts can appear naturally on the surface of drying plastered walls, new decorative finishes could be damaged so it is recommened that a period of 12-18 months drying time is required before applying final finishes such as wallpaper. Please speak to our office staff about appropriate finishes for your new plaster.  Vinyl paints and wallpaper should never be used.

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Will you re-fix all the original skirting boards/architrave?

 

Skirting boards and other wooden fixings can often become rotted or warped by damp or could be damaged by wood boring insects. Wooden fixtures which are in serviceable condition will be set aside for you to re-fit but any sections of skirting/architrave etc too damaged to re-use will need to be discarded. You will be kept fully informed of the condition of these items and no skirting will be replaced without prior arrangement and quotation. Any fixtures to be applied to tanked wall will require adheasive and screws and nails should be avoided - advice can be provided on request.

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I am having other works carried out at my property - can your damp proofing be done at the same time?

 

This may be possible, but bear in mind that other trades (such as electricians who may need to chase out walls) could affect our works and timings may need to be carefully considered. Please contact the office to discuss this at the time of booking your works and keep us informed if the situation with your building works changes .

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Do you offer guarantees on your work?

 

Usually, yes. The guarantee period depends on the type of work carried out. More information will be included in your quotation.

We also provide an insurance policy from the GPI which will honour the guarantee issued to you in the unlikely event that we cease to trade. The insurance policy that protects your guarantee is with an indpependant UK insurance company. The insurance policy issued by the GPI is a one off payment covering the lifetime of the guarantee with no additional charges to you.  This makes your guarantee valuable in the event of you selling the property.

In most cases, the insurance policy comes as standard with our guarantee however, in some cases, there is a separate charge to purchase the insurance policy separately.

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Any more questions?

 

Please get in touch with our friendly office staff and they will be able to assist you