Damp specialists


We’ve had a retrofit survey carried out which, as we expected, raised serious damp issues. As the survey suggests, we cannot begin our retrofit journey without first addressing what is causing the damp. Both the retrofit surveyor, and other professionals who have looked at the problem, are unable to determine what the cause it.

It has been recommended that we engage a damp specialist. However, as everyone knows, finding a reputable one that actually knows what they’re doing and isn’t trying to flog a particular and inappropriate method, is very difficult. Unfortunately, People Powered Retrofit can’t seem to find such an expert either.

Can anyone here help us to find one?

Thanks for your help


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Where’s the problem? What tests were done during the survey, what where the results?

Sometimes individual trades people will be familiar with the solutions. The idea is to have a rough idea what the answer is and finding someone who provides the warranty for it.


Problem is mainly in the kitchen at the back of the house. There’s a large and permanent damp patch on the shared wall that neither seems to increase or decrease in size. I can attach photos if that’s helpful.

The People Powered Retrofit survey just said there were significant damp issues, but were unable to identify the cause. Apparently I need a damp expert! That’s where we’ve got stuck :frowning:

I’ve no idea what to do now.


This is a crucial bit of information. Have you discussed this with your neighbour? It could be a plumbing leak on the other side. What is adjacent to each side of the wall?

Edit: an afterthought. Was there a chimney in the location before, or is there a chimney on the other side?

Is it on the ground floor, with the middle of the patch lower to the ground?

Have you checked your plumbing for leaks? Like a leaking stop cock?

On a shared wall it’s typically much warmer and more protected from environmental moisture.

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@Thomas_Haines-Doran, another question I’m afraid.

Do you have a cellar/basement below the damp area?
I’m thinking of easy access to the damp course.

Consider yourself lucky there is just one damp area. My first house, in Carnforth, was so wet that when I drilled into any outside wall, instead of getting dust out I got a thin paste!

Returning to the premise of the original post:

Were you considering any retrofit of the party wall? That is often the last area to be considered. Without knowing the details of your case I don’t see why you can’t commence retrofitting the rest of the house. Knowing that there is a source of damp within the house I would move ventilation up the list of priorities.

I’m sorry I can’t actually address your query but hopefully the posts on this thread will help you understand the jargon from a specialist when you find one, if not actually find the cause.

When I was buying the house we live in, we had a similar problem of trying to find a damp surveyor with no interest in ’ growing the job ', who would present us with the facts we needed.
We knew not to go with a damp preservation specialist who could do the work.
After a bit of research and discovering a guy who was a fraud, we found Ian Battle.
He’s registered with the Property Care Association .
He did an excellent job for us - completing a whole house survey and cost us £280 4 years ago.
He was spot on with all the information he gave us about existing problems, potential problems and preventative measures and was great at explaining in layman’s terms.

Here is his number.
07796 357 427



Thinking about the chimneys @Tim_Gilbert
I would double-check if there was previously a chimney or back boiler there.
Chimneys can leave hydroscopic salts in the brickwork which draw moisture .
We had a small patch like this on a wall at the side of where the chimney used to be.

Hygroscopic Salt Chimney Damp

If you can rule out both other possible causes, and your chimney damp is very persistent, it might be caused by hygroscopic salt. Hygroscopic salt is a byproduct of burning fossil fuels, such as coal or gas. As they have been formed underground, these fuels absorb minerals which absorb moisture.

I think the way around it is to strip the affected plaster off the wall and replaster with a special damp inhibitor plaster.

This might not be any help to you, but it might resonate with someone else on here.

Hope you’re getting to the bottom of it @Thomas_Haines-Doran

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I’ve had a survey by dampandtimbersurveys as well. Easy to read report, but haven’t yet had the remedial work done so can’t comment on whether the advice was sound.

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Sincere apologies for not acknowledging these very useful responses sooner. Thank you.

In the end, we found a damp surveyor called David Aldred, based in Blackpool, and he has done a fine job for us, which has led to a plan of works that we will manage and contract.

I realise that it can take a long time to see the benefits, or lack of them, when remedial work is done but do please keep us updated.

Will do.

The first thing we had done was to remove plastic ‘masonry paint’ from the exterior wall, which was trapping moisture. That had to be done by a specialist, and was pretty expensive.

Next, we need to get the entire rear of the property repointed.

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Yes, “masonry paint” is indeed a curse, as is inappropriate render.

This has now been done via a costly pressure wash and repointing in Lime. The contractor did a great job though and the wall is looking a lot better.

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