Damp problesm

1 Mar 2006
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United Kingdom
Hi, Ive been reading the post about rising damp not existing with great interest. I've just had a survey done on my own house, the surveyor has recommended that the person who is interested in buying my house, have someone come out and inspect it.

When I moved in, the wall paper in the kitchen (where the surveyor said there might be damp) had gone slightly green. I removed it and the plaster behind it was moldy and greenish. I had the walls replastered and I've since wall papered.

The surveyor used some sort of electrical device about 2 foot up to measure, I believe, the moisture in the walls.

If rising damp doesn't exist, then what was the meter picking up? And what is the damp expert gonna say?

Thanks for any help
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The hand held meter is used measure "Surface" moisture and will not tell you if you have rising damp inside the wall. The meter inquestion (I assume) has 2 metallic prongs on it and when both of these prongs touch the wall at the same time a small current passes from one prong to the other via moisture on the walls surface.
I was given one of these gizmo's a few months ago and I threw it in the bin.
I've heard that to that to find out whether or not the brickwork itself is damp, you need to drill 2 small deep holes into the wall and then use a similar meter to detect the damp within the brickwork itself. This device has 2 wires with probes on the end which are inserted inside the holes to detect any moisture.

To be honest it does sound like you have got a damp problem because of the mould but these devices that detect only surface moisture are pointless and are often used by D.P.C. con-men (after they've secretly spayed the wall with water without you looking).
Surface damp exists in all houses where people breathe the air, boil kettles, run hot baths etc...
You did say it was in the kitchen didn't you? If so there will be a lot of condensation in that room anyway.
So how come the person doing the survey used one. Surely he is wrong to use one and then suggest in his report that the buyer get advice
grahamw01 said:
So how come the person doing the survey used one. Surely he is wrong to use one and then suggest in his report that the buyer get advice

The meter he used will only pick up surface damp ;)
i.e. - normal condensation

Dont worry, I also fell for this one about 12 months ago.
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So what do I do, her mortgage lender are saying she needs to get an expert to look at the damp.

Wont every survey who does a survey on my house use the same and recommend the same

I spent months doing my own research on the net.

After a quick google I have come up with this. Make your own mind up

The major problem is that any ‘damp-proofing salesman’ that you employ to look at your home will use a ‘rising damp meter’. These meters are supposed to measure the moisture in materials, however what they actually do is measure the electrical conductance. The idea being that the better the conductance (the ease at which electricity flows) the higher the water content. However these meters can only be calibrated for one material, and that is usually timber. So they will give reasonable results for wood and possibly some plasters, but for bricks, wallpaper and concrete they will give readings that are way too high. Thus they can be used (by unscrupulous salespeople) to indicate that you have rising damp “because the meters says so” when in fact you have a perfectly normal wall.


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