Damp Proof COurse Guarantee in Basement

12 Jan 2004
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United Kingdom
Hey there, I have a quickish question.
I moved into a property in June, where the surveyor found no signs of damp, in the basement, however, I have had clear signs of rising damp, as agreed by both my surveyor and man from damp proof company.

The DPC and tanking was applied in 97, and has obviously failed. There is a supposed 30 year Guarantee on the DPC, however the man from the Damp Proof company is saying that their guarantee would not include work done to a basement.
Reading the Guarantee, there is nothing in there about this, and the only part in the notes that could be relevant is:
"I would point out the front and rear external walls and it is at the higher level that the damp proof course will need to be inserted and from this point the guarantee will apply. Below the level of the DPC two coats of aquastop tanking mix will be applied to the walls prior to replastering."
To me the first line makes no sense!

Does this indicate that the guarantee does not cover this? So would this be the error of the surveyor?

Cheers for any advice.
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DPC is covered, tanking isn't.
What can you do.
Some guarantees are non transferable between owners anyway so would pay to check this out too.
Could try taking it up with the surveyor but I expect there is some clause in his report saying he didn't have means to test damp so couldn't give sure answer.
Most surveys (done for banks and building societies) are not worth the paper they're written on. It pays to get the property checked over by damp specialists, electrician, plumber (corgi regd) and good builder before buying.
If the damp has only just appeared from when you moved in it sounds like the previous owners were trying to cover it up and if it wasn't pointed out at time of buying you could take it up with your solicitor but I'm pretty sure you wont get anywhere.
in the basement, however, I have had clear signs of rising damp,
What are these signs?

And why do you say it is "rising" damp as the basement is presumably below ground level?

How is the basement ventilated, and what do you have down there?
spending several thousand pounds, installing a full-on, fully tanked, super duper damp prevention membrane etc, is no guarantee.

you have absolutely no hope if all they have done is squirted fluid into the bricks and rendered.

'rising damp' is not the correct terminology in this instance. if it is a true subterranean basement then all the walls are surrounded with damp soil. unless it was built to a high spec. with external protective sheeting and drainage then you are always likely to have some damp.
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Hi there, thanks for thte response, the basement is semi submereged, the gound is at normal window level.
The signs are that just above the gound floor, the paint has bubbled and 'salt crystals' have appeared and caused this.
I got a homebuyers survey, and he claims to have tested all the basement rooms, which are living areas, with a meter. Which, when I requested he retest, indicated damp in every area where there are signs. the damp all came up july-August, so somewhat quicky, especially if there was 'no sign of damp' before
How is the basement ventilated, and what do you have down there?
Airbricks? Extractor fan? Trickle vents?

Bathroom? Shower? Kitchen? Laundry drying area? Tumble drier? Sink? Gas cooker?
As you may expect a damp proof course will only work if it is above ground.

In your case attempting to prevent ground water coming through basement walls by painting them was hopeful to say the least.
(unless you are on a hill and the ground water can easily flow round your property - say in a french drain. Or the home is built on sand.)

The 30 year guarentee on the effectiveness of the dpc is in line with expectations. The exclusion of the basement is also understandable.
Hi there, ventilation is minimal, there is an extractor fan on permamently that runs from the downstairs hallway, two bedrooms (one empty), and a shower with own extractor (no probs in there), and a storage area/ office.
how does dampness in the rooms with extractors compare to the rooms without?
John. A simple illustration is your perhaps typical bathroom.
With a typical bathroom you have an extractor fan fitted,that is expected to pull/push the water vapour and air from the room, while the bathroom door is closed.
Result not very good.

However, an extractor fan that is also a heat exchanger and which therefore replaces the air in the bathroom with drier air from outside will usually change the saturated air inside the room in twenty minutes or so. Relative to size of heat exchanger and bathroom.
I meant in Giblet's house.

my bathroom fan sucks in replacement air through a gap under the door.

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