How to Choose a Damp Proofing Company?
If you think you might have damp problems, you should get a damp proofing company to survey your property instead of doing it yourself. One of the worst things you can do is ignore the problem, as damp related issues only get worse over time. The problem will not just go away, which is why you should seek professional help straight away.
The problem is, how do you know if a certain company can be trusted with the task of solving the problem? Property preservation is not the same as building or fixing a property, and it takes a well-trained eye to identify the exact damp related issue you might have.
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Too many times have we seen homeowners that have called in contractors to fix their damp problem and the company have made the problem worse. There is nothing worse than paying hundreds of pounds to someone you think is going to solve your problem, only to find out later that they have wrongly identified the problem and done unnecessary work to your home.
Fortunately, we have been in the business of property preservation for over 85 years and are currently the UK’s leading damp proofing company. Don’t just take our word for it. We have excellent customer reviews, multiple industry awards and market-leading guarantees that can be backed up by protection insurance for your peace of mind.
Damp Proofing Company Considerations
To put it simply, if damp problems are left to develop, they can cause serious damage to your property structure and fabric. Many organisations like to boast that they are a professional damp proofing company, but the truth is that they do not have the experience to call themselves this.
If you do not pick the right company to fix your damp problem, you could end up with residual or continuing moisture and ineffective repairs, which leads to the problem returning. Here are a few of the things to look for when you are choosing a damp proofing company:
- Experience – How long has the company in question been in business? Have they worked on a variety of properties with various damp issues?
- Service – What types of services do they offer? Do they advertise a broad range of damp proofing works as well as damp related timber treatment solutions? It is important to identify if your damp problem has caused additional damage that should be repaired simultaneously.
- Guarantee – How long is the guarantee offered, and if so, is it backed up by an insurance scheme? Be wary of companies offering unreasonably long guarantees when the company itself have not been trading for very long.
- Accreditations – Does the company have any trade body acknowledgements that showcase their expertise and commitment to industry standards? Look for stamps from the Property Care Association, The Basement Waterproofing Association and the Government endorsed Trustmark scheme.
- Qualifications – What are the required qualifications for technicians and damp surveyors? Minimum qualifications should be Certificated Surveyor in Remedial Treatments (CSRT), Certificated Surveyor in Structural Waterproofing (CSSW) and Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS).
- Reviews – Does the company have good, honest and current reviews from happy customers? The overall rating of these reviews will give you a good idea on how good they are.
It is very important that the damp proofing company has been in the trade for a long time, as becoming a specialist in this field requires time. You simply cannot become a well-versed damp specialist by completing a single training course, as it takes time to gain the necessary experience by encountering and successfully solving various damp problems.
It is also useful to choose a company that specialise in damp proofing and offer a one-stop-shop solution by surveying the property, providing the correct treatment solution and identifying other damp related issues, such as dry or wet rot, that can occur in damp properties.
Accreditations & Awards
Look out for key accreditations that highlight the company’s commitment to continuous development and improved industry standards. These accreditations demonstrate the organisation’s ability to continuously delivery quality property care and best industry practice.
Most prominent and important trade associations that are relevant to damp proofing companies are the Property Care Association (PCA) and the Basement Waterproofing Association. These associations have excellence awards, and if a company has won an award in a relevant category, then this is a good sign that they can be trusted.
An area that should be considered before hiring a contractor is their qualifications. You should steer clear from any damp proofing company whose surveyors do not have the following qualifications:
- CSRT Qualification – Certificated Surveyor in Remedial Treatment
- CRDS Qualification – Certificate in Remedial Damp Surveying
- CSSW Qualification – Certificated Surveyor in Structural waterproofing
These qualifications certify the individual’s ability to carry out the work effectively and safely while following up to date damp proofing practices.
It is very important to check that the guarantee being offered by the company covers all remedial services. Sometimes organisations have generic guarantee statements on their websites that do not cover damp protection work like penetrating damp.
The guarantee duration will highlight the company’s confidence in their ability to provide an effective and long-lasting solution. You need to watch out for companies offering long term guarantees who have only recently started trading.
Any company can boast about the duration of their guarantees, however, if the company cannot offer guarantee insurance protection, if you would like this, then these guarantees will mean nothing if the contractor stops trading.
Damp Proofing Company Reviews
Online platforms have become the easy go-to sites for valuable consumer reviews about businesses. Customers can leave details of the experience they have had with a company on sites such as Facebook, Yell, Google, Yelp, Reviews.co.uk, TrustPilot and many others.
These sites allow potential customers to evaluate how well a company will perform based on the real experiences of others. You can look at the number of reviews, as a high rating with a low volume indicates that the company has not received enough reviews for a fair review score to be generated. You can also check the dates of the reviews, as a lot of reviews gathered in a short period of time could be a sign of poor practice.
Damp Proofing Survey
Getting a professional damp survey from an experienced damp surveyor is the only way to properly deal with your damp problem. You need a damp specialist to identify the root cause of the damp problem and provide the most appropriate cost-effective specification for repairs.
A qualified and experienced Surveyor will accurately diagnose your property damp problem. Their knowledge can mean the difference between a right and wrong diagnosis, which ultimately could save you a lot of money.
At the very least, an approved damp surveyor should have a CRDS (Certificate in Remedial Damp Surveying) or a CSRT (Certificated Surveyor in Remedial Treatment), so make sure they have one of these certifications.
What Happens During the Damp Survey?
1. Identify External Issues
The first step of any property damp survey is inspecting the exterior of the building to look for any obvious defects that may cause damp penetration. Many damp problems are caused by defects such as faulty roof covering, poor window pointing or even porous masonry. You should get your property checked regularly by a competent builder to avoid defects that cause water penetration and damage to your property.
2. Surveying the Damp Problem
Our expert damp surveyor will investigate the initial problem and check the surrounding areas for signs of the damp spreading, as penetrating damp can extend through several rooms. It is easy to misdiagnose the type of damp causing the problem, which is why our damp surveys are carried out by highly trained and experienced surveyors.
3. Creating A Damp Survey Report
Once the damp survey is complete, the surveyor will then provide an in-depth survey report. This can be emailed or sent by post, and if you require a verbal update our surveyor will be happy to provide this after the survey is complete. The report will include details on what the issue is, how it originated and what is the best way to solve it. If there is remedial treatment work required then a repair quotation will be provided.
What Does the Damp Report Include?
An experienced damp treatment company should be able to provide all customers with a damp report that is easy to understand and details the cause of the damp. This should include any signs of damp ingress from defects in the external fabric of the property.
These may include defective gutters and downpipes. It can also cover damage to masonry pointing, any visible cracking in the render coating on the external walls of the house and defective roof covering and flashings where noted.
Finally, there will be considerations of the ground level around the building which could lead to damp bridging of the existing damp proof course causing damp to penetrate and damage the fabric in the property.
Damp areas noted within the property will be investigated and a cost-effective specification for remedial works where required will be given.
Why Should You Consider Richardson & Starling?
Aside from being one of the oldest property preservation companies in the UK, with over 85 years’ experience, we are also one of the most trusted among consumers, with over 800 positive reviews across various online platforms. With over 14 branches across Scotland and the North of England, we provide free damp surveys to homeowners who are within a 25-mile radius of one of our branches (T&C’s apply ).
We have a wide range of property preservation services and cover almost any property defect. We also have some of the longest guarantees in the industry. Our guarantees range from 5 years for penetrating damp to 30 years for rising damp remedial work, for your peace of mind that the job as been done correctly. Also, our guarantees can be covered by independent Guarantee Protection Insurance. To put this in perspective, many companies will not even guarantee their penetrating damp service at all, and the average guarantee for rising damp is around 10 years. We offer guarantees you can trust and should you sell your property then the guarantee is passed to the new owner.
Over the years we have attained several excellence awards from trade association groups, and we have accreditations from the Property Care Association, Basement Waterproofing Association, Constructionline, Trustmark and Safe Contractor. Our damp surveyors are qualified in Property Damp Works and we have our own internal health and safety department that overviews our contracts to keep our Clients and Staff safe.