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Free damp proof surveys

Some unscrupulous traders approach homeowners with an offer of a 'free' damp proof survey on their property, claiming that a problem with damp has been discovered in the area.

They often prey on the elderly. A 'surveyor' usually makes an appointment to carry out the 'free' survey, discovers damp - even though it may not really be there - quotes a price of up to £2300 and requests an immediate deposit. The homeowner always ends up out of pocket.

Tips for avoiding the 'Dodgy Damp-proofers':

  • A free survey may result in an expensive quote, so do not rush into placing an order immediately;
  • Never pay a deposit during a survey visit;
  • Get a 2nd opinion, either from a chartered building surveyor or from a reputable damp-proofer;
  • Members of the British Wood Preserving and Damp-proofing Association (BWPDA) are required to abide by a code of conduct;
  • If work does need doing, get at least one more quote for the full cost of the work needed;
  • Be extremely wary where a surveyor carries out tests on the outside of a cavity walled property as it should have been built with an effective damp-proof course;
  • Remember, damp in a wall may have many causes and it may take an expert to identify the root of the problem;
  • Also remember that just because someone offers you a free survey it does NOT mean that they are qualified or even capable of doing one.

More information is available from the Wood Protection and the Property Care Association.

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 25 Jan 2018 at 15:40