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kevindjmartin

Please help me I am desperate, problem with my damp proofing work and knowing which trader is telling the truth?

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Good morning everyone,

I have recently purchased an old 1930's 2 bedroom terrace property near Sheffield where a small damp problem was highlighted in the

survey. There was rising damp on 2 of the walls in the living room with salts on them both. I got 3 quotes for damp proofing & decided

to go for the most expensive quote at 2,500 GBP .  He was using a 3 tier system comprising of a 2 coat SBR primer,  a 2 coat

tanking slurry & finishing off with a lime plaster. The damp proofer told me to wait 2 weeks for the lime plaster to dry before

getting the decorator to start. After the 2 weeks were up, salts were still appearing meaning decorating was put on hold downstairs.

I called him to explain the issue with the salts. He then visited twice after completing the job to spray sulphate over all the walls

to remove the salts. In total I had to wait nearly 3 months for the salts to completely dissapear not the 2 weeks I had previously

been told. I got the guy from Checkatrade to avoid cowboys. He had 50 reviews with a rating of 10.

 

After the salt problem dissapeared I then noticed a large damp  patch on the kitichen wall that is joined to the living room. I have

added a photo. He could not explain it but agreed to come back free of charge to fix the problem. 

 

The day after I was free from salts, I then noticed several long, thin cracks appearing all over his plaster work. I have attached photos. 

The next day I called in 2 so called damp proofing experts. The first stated just from looking at it that I had been ripped off. There was

no damp proofing done, he had just simply removed my plaster & added the cheapest gypsum plaster and charged me 2,500 GBP for

the priviledge. He cut out some plaster and confirmed this.The next damp expert cut out part of the plaster put his damp meter on the wall

and it went off the scale. He told me the same thing that no damp proofing had been done. Hearing this from 2 so called experts I 

was absolutely livid and so angry I had been ripped off.  This has never happened to me in 50 years!

 

I then got recommended a family friend who I am told is an established building contractor. My family have assured me he would give me

the correct information and not rip me off. He told me the exact opposite of the other two damp proofers!. He showed me the plaster used

was actually double the price of gypsum. He then showed me parts of the wall where the tanking slurry had been added and pointed out

that several parts had been missed. He said that when the plaster was mixed it was not done correctly in places, by knocking on parts that made

a hollow sound. He said the whole job would need doing again from scratch. I was kind of relieved that he had actually done the damp proofing,

unfortunately just not to the standard I needed. After I was told this, I politely messaged the tradesman who did this shoddy work but he has been

impossible to contact. He has blocked my mobile number so it goes to voicemail and blocked me on Whatspp. The email I sent him was also ignored.

He gave me a 30 year guarantee with a company called Biokill based in Derby. After phoning the company they confirmed that he has never been 

registered with them. Simply put he fraudulently made up a photocopied 30 year guarantee using their company name to pretend I had a valuable document

that would guarantee his work.

 

To confuse me even more the first tradesman to visit, to investigate the sub standard work told me I do not need it damp proofed.

He told me rising damp is a complete fraud and that water cannot rise upwards on bricks. He told me that the water on my kitchen

wall was coming in from where my flat roof joins the main roof, I have a 2 storey extension. It does make sense as there is a damp patch

on the same wall above in the back bedroom. 

 

Sorry for the long explanation but because I am totally new to this I feel I am completely out of my depth. I have been told so many different

things I do not know what to believe. They cannot all be correct?

 

Please, please could you be so kind to give me some advice? I still have damp in my property and do not know if I should waste 3 grand on

getting it damp proofed again, get the roof fixed or get the outside rendered and the pointing fixed at the front? I have more photos if that

will help.

 

Kind regards

kevindjmartin

 

981578592_DMSanotherlongthincrackappearingonplaster.thumb.jpg.4a37fc4c7aca3a48bdf3fe34fc74deb3.jpg

Kitchen Damp 1.jpg

DMS at Work 1.jpg

Brick removed to show damp course or lack of it.jpg

Brick removed to show damp course.jpg

DMS long thin crack appearing on plaster.jpg

Plaster removed to show damp proofing.jpg

DMS Biokill Guarantee Fake.jpg

DMS Plastering Invoice.jpg

Neighbours Overflow Pipe Dripping.jpg

Damp (DMS PLASTERING LTD) Quote.pdf

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There're so many cowboys in this line of business that I would always use a large national company. These cowboys can just close down and open up businesses at a drop of a hat. You can probably kiss your money goodbye. Get a survey done by a national company and see what they say.

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Damp proofing firms are akin to the second hand car dealers of construction; although a few are reputable (and I’d not be inclined to consider ‘national’ a safe bet).  Its not much help now, but asking someone what’s wrong and then asking how much it is to fix removes all independence.  I’d personally recommend an independent surveyor / arch-tech who does not benefit from undertaking the work and has no incentive to specify one solution / system over another.

Rising damp exists, typically to ~800mm affl as a ‘tide’, but it can be higher and you can have multiple issues extending damp (eg. reveals, pointing, etc).    *the tide may not be applicable in your case, as the injected DPC may have failed locally, and an isolated peak of damp may appear; but it will emanate at floor/ground level and dissipate as it rises. 

Assuming the second photograph is of a kitchen worktop at ~750mm affl, patchwork damp above this to ~1200mm is not what I’d expect.  If this is the ‘repaired’ area, it may be indicative of localised failure, but in a heated/vented space this is not what I’d expect.  I’d first want to determine what is causing the damp.   

Its difficult/impossible to tell from the photographs where all these shots are taken from, and how they relate to each other.  How near Sheffield are you ?

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If the affected area is behind/underneath the area in the last photo then I'd advise fixing the cause of that obvious damp. Looks like the header tank in the loft (of the house on the the right) is over flowing and dripping onto the shed roof, this is splashing/running onto the brickwork and is a cause of penetrating damp. It's been over flowing for some time judging by the colour of the wall in the affected area. 

I'm a damp contractor and always check the obvious rather than just trying to flog a dpc. This seems pretty obvious to me! 

Shame that a 50 pence rubber washer has potentially caused this problem. 

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14 hours ago, alastairkennedy said:

Damp proofing firms are akin to the second hand car dealers of construction; although a few are reputable (and I’d not be inclined to consider ‘national’ a safe bet).  Its not much help now, but asking someone what’s wrong and then asking how much it is to fix removes all independence.  I’d personally recommend an independent surveyor / arch-tech who does not benefit from undertaking the work and has no incentive to specify one solution / system over another.

Rising damp exists, typically to ~800mm affl as a ‘tide’, but it can be higher and you can have multiple issues extending damp (eg. reveals, pointing, etc).    *the tide may not be applicable in your case, as the injected DPC may have failed locally, and an isolated peak of damp may appear; but it will emanate at floor/ground level and dissipate as it rises. 

Assuming the second photograph is of a kitchen worktop at ~750mm affl, patchwork damp above this to ~1200mm is not what I’d expect.  If this is the ‘repaired’ area, it may be indicative of localised failure, but in a heated/vented space this is not what I’d expect.  I’d first want to determine what is causing the damp.   

Its difficult/impossible to tell from the photographs where all these shots are taken from, and how they relate to each other.  How near Sheffield are you ?

Hello, thank you very much for your reply. I am 14 miles away from Sheffield in Laughton Common. Could you please give me your advice? How do I find a tradesman that I can totally trust, when I find out the actual cause of the damp from an independent surveyor / architect? I cannot trust Rated People, My Bulider, Checkatrade etc so how do other landlords that do not know any tradesman find ones they can actually trust?

 

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11 hours ago, paulrybak said:

If the affected area is behind/underneath the area in the last photo then I'd advise fixing the cause of that obvious damp. Looks like the header tank in the loft (of the house on the the right) is over flowing and dripping onto the shed roof, this is splashing/running onto the brickwork and is a cause of penetrating damp. It's been over flowing for some time judging by the colour of the wall in the affected area. 

I'm a damp contractor and always check the obvious rather than just trying to flog a dpc. This seems pretty obvious to me! 

Shame that a 50 pence rubber washer has potentially caused this problem. 

Thank you very much for your reply. It is a shame that the damp proofer did not spot this before he agreed to do the work. It was actually spotted by 

my neighbour after the damp proofing was completed. The problem I have is the neigbour who has the over flowing tank lost his wife and has never

recovered leaving his house in total disrepair. I have knocked on his door several times but I am convinced he no longer lives there. As this problem

is partly causing my damp problems what can I do as it is impossible to contact the owner?

 

 

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Ask around the local area and see if any neighbours have a contact number of family/friends.

You may be able to find the owners name from the title document at the land registry website, a copy of this will cost you less than a fiver. Using this name will give you a starting point for your search.

Not sure if the council would be able to help you find the owner as they should have a contact for council tax payment. Prehaps worth a call to explain the situation and see if they can help? 

Good luck 

Paul 

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