I've put a bid on a 1930's bungalow & the survey hasn't come back too
One of the things is rising damp. It appears there's no damp proof
course. I've had 2 properties that both had damp & had damp proof
injection, with the plaster repl;aced to 1m, but neither worked.
Wwhat are the alternatives & how feasible is it to have a proper damp
Very grateful for any replies & advice
How bad is the damp? what are the symptoms...
There's a few options if it's bad. Inserting a proper DPM is one and
probably the most expensive, you'd need to find a good bricky but I
don't see why it's not possible.
Also, you could:
- Lime Plaster
- Plaster Membrane
- Dry Line affected walls w/batterns
- Do your own DPC (dryzone) and then use renovation plaster
Don't pay for a 4 figure chemical DPC. I wouldn't, I would use the
damp problem as a way to get the asking price down though...
In article ,
They probably didn't work because they were a misdiagnosis.
Surveyors aren't very good with diagnosing damp problems.
More likely to have been penetrating damp or condensation.
You need to get someone who specialises in damp to correctly
diagnose the problem, if indeed there is any problem. Expect
to pay for this, as you want someone who isn't tied to a damp
treatment company. (A free survey by a damp company will be
even less reliable than your existing survey). If you state
your location, someone here might be able to suggest someone.
I also doubt a 1930's property doesn't have a damp proof
But is it actually damp?
And have you checked the outside ground level hasn't risen and is
causing problems by water splashing on the wall?
Unless mortgage retention subject to remedial works is a problem, just
use the absence of dpc to haggle the price down, then rejoice.
I agree, the survey can work in your favour
We had a damp problem diagnosed as rising damp (when it's mainly
penetrating damp and condensation) - there was no retention from the
mortgage company and we used the survey to knock another 5K off the
We've now hacked off the affected plaster and are lowering the raised
ground level outside to cure the original problem - once this is done
we'll use Lime plaster and a breathable paint. It's actually quite fun
and stuff you can do yourself and we've saved thousands.
Damp problems are invariably not rising damp. You say yourself you've had
two lots of dpc treatments which suggest that it wasn't rising damp in the
Even Victorian houses had a dpc. I've had two and both had slate dpcs.
Have you looked for soil bridging the dpc, leaky guttering etc.
My rising damp problems were cased by water pooling under the house and
soaking up the porus internal brick and lime mortar spine walls and the
porous brick and lime mortar chimneys. FWIW if its more than about 9"
above ground level or with modern bricks or stone and portland cement
mortar, it ain't rising damp.
I has been a mandatory building regulation to insert a damp-proof
course since 1886 and so IF your prospective purchase was built in the
1930s and really has not got a dpc it will be as a result of a failure
of both the building surveyor and the builder which is a pretty long
I would put =A3100 to a 1d that there is a dpc.
Check and see if it is bridged
Get a PCA (ex BWPDA) member DPC "specialist" whose surveyor has the
CSRT qualification and whose firm offers the GPI backup insurance.
That increases your chances of getting a correct diagnosis
considerably (I guess from 1% to perhaps 60%!) but use your
I would do the following
CAll in the most prestigious expensive firms you can think off NOT
using my criteria but judging by the size of the advert on yellow
pages - ususlly the bigger the advert the better chance you will have
of an expensive estimate
Get three estimates
Knock the price down
Then get in your selected guy and identify the real problem
Watch out for bridged cavities if it is cavity but that should be with
your surveyor (mortgage)
Tell me more about the property and I can perhpas help
A photo even better
from The Natural Philosopher contains these words:
It could be true for some places. ISTR hearing that building regulation
developed in a rather haphazard local fashion so London might have had a
mandatory dpc back then while out in the wilds of Suffolk it didn't come
in until England and Wales got the national regulations much much later.
Just googled it
I was wrong
I was 1875 for the Act
"The early building regulations of the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries ... Although the 1875 Act made it mandatory for damp proof
courses (DPCs) to be.... "
In my early training I was regularly informed it was the 1880s and the
figure 1886 was regularly provided.
I suspect Roger is right and that in the outer parts of the country
the Act was simply not followed. I have just worked on a CDM
regulated site in a certain part of N Wales and what they get away
with there has to be seen to be believed!
As I said in other posts the fact that a house say built in 1902 does
not have a dpc (as the one I was working on recently didnt and was
built at the same time) does not mean that the law did not require it!
More evidence from searching
It is clear that the act was 1875 and I suspect my information on 1886
was a subsequent Building (as opposed to Public Health) regulation but
will check it out when I have a moment)
See the following:
See Manchester article which shows regulation was for all England (and
the 1875 Act made it mandatory. for damp proof courses (DPCs)
to be provid- ..... Stephenson, J. (1995),
is the site that will sell you the definitive book!
Damp is caused by moisture rising up through porous masonry
from the self build land and is usually found in older buildings
constructed without a damp proof course or where an existing damp
proof course has failed or has been bridged. Generally all buildings
constructed before 1875 would have been built without a damp proof
course, after which date a Public Health Act was introduced to
incorporate a damp proof course in all buildings, and this would
include homes built on self build land. Early types of damp proof
courses relied on the use of natural slate which was incorporated
between the lower courses of brickwork and extended across the walls
width and normally about 150mm above external ground level. In later
years poured bitumen, bitumen coated felts and polythene based
materials have become more popular.=E2=80=9D
On 25 Dec,
From my experience of new houses built under NHBC supervision I suspect
that much later houses were not built to the standard of the relevant
building regulations. It's more what the builders can get away with.
Which is the site that will sell you the definitive book!
Right. HOWEVER somewhere in my building regs bible, there is a bit of
info IIRC that says that the method of *enforcing* building regulations
simply did not exist prior to the 50's
It was more or less a voluntary set of guidelines..in practice, if not
I remember watching infill housing going up as a child in the late 50's,
and although the standard was pretty good, looking back on it - double
cavity, DPC, same as our '53 built house had - I do not recall building
inspectors on site.
I would regard any house buildt befire that last war as potentially
suspect inmany araes.
I have just looked at my 'bible'' of 20002 regulations, and it clearly
states that it was teh 1984 Act which gave authority to compel
destruction of non compliant buildings. Prior to that there was no
In fact the first chapter in the book details the history
1875, Public Health Act gives local authorities the power to enact local
byelaws to control building work. Doesn't compel them too tho.
1890: Act is amended to allow them to enforce flushable loos, but with
These byelaws were not operative until confirmed by ministry of health,
and were only BASED on recommendations. And were considerably varied.
leading to lack of uniformity - and its likely they were not applied at
all in rural parishes.
1936: Repealed the latter, and provided new, but local authorities were
not obliged to make byelaws. Only if the minister of health directly
asked them to did they HAVE to MAKE the laws, and those byelaws COULD be
extended to cover planning permission
So here we are at 1936, with no actual *necessity* for planning or
building control at all. Its at the whim of the minister of health or
the actual local council.
1961: This is the first real change towards the modern regulations. At a
stroke the regulations become uniform and centralised, and the powers of
local authorities to make them as byleaws is revoked. However they
retain the authority to enforce them. Both the authority and the builder
can appeal to the Minister for relaxation in any areas they see fit.
1974. First Elfin Safety directive extends powers of building
regulations to cover many more structures.
1980: fees to council for planning and BCO introduced.
1984: Building act. Complete root and branch overhaul of regulations.
More teeth to enforce
What this suggests to me is that prior to 1961 there were no central
building regulations at all that were universally applied.
ONLY in 1984 did the sort of powers that could compel demolition of non
compliant work come into effect.
As far as I can see only post 1984 work can be more or less assumed to
be to regulations, de facto, although post 1961 works should be unless
the law was deliberately flouted. (and IME it often was for extensions
and modifications: My niece took on a building last ear with a 70's
extension that was subsiding..it hand NO FOOTINGS AT ALL (and a large
willow tree, but that's another matter. Underpinned the whole thing). In
addition the brickwork over the lintels was supported by 2x4' (rotten)
wooden lintels..Did have a DPC tho, although the older main building it
was attached to did not. Estimate 1880's for that bit))
Prior to that its a tossup, depending on the local council the work was