Trust Mark Logo
CHAS Logo
Which Trusted Trader Logo
Safe Contractor Logo

How To Avoid Damp Scams

Damp advice

During many of our damp works, we discover properties that have fallen victim to damp scams.

It’s the same story again and again: a panicked homeowner discovers signs of damp and contacts a damp company to fix it, only for the damp to return with a vengeance.

We show up and discover useless damp treatments were either misdiagnosed by an amateur or deliberately mid-sold by predatory salesmen. Either way, our clients end up having to pay twice to fix one problem.

We’re not just talking about small cowboy outfits either. There are nationwide companies with aggressive sales teams who are more interested in selling the most profitable treatments rather than providing a long term solution.

They might send round a “damp expert” – who’s actually a glorified salesman – to walk around with a moisture meter, point at a damp patch on your wall and try to sell you expensive damp proofing treatments.

If you don’t know what to look for, many forms of damp can be misdiagnosed. For example, many forms of damp have similar symptoms to rising damp. But if the source of the damp is from elsewhere (a cracked wall or leaky plumbing, for example) then installing a new DPC isn’t going to do anything to fix it.

Worst of all, you won’t be able to tell it’s not fixed at first. These companies will put new render on your walls that make everything look as good as new. But beneath this new coat of paint, the damp will continue to spread.

Environ Property Service
Last Updated 28 August 2018

Book Your FREE Survey Now...

Calendar Book Appointment

Live Chat Live Chat

Email Email Us

Damp scams can devastate your property value

Falling for a damp scam will come back to haunt you if you ever want to sell your property. You might assume the expensive damp repairs you purchased fixed the issue, only for a surveyor to inspect your property and discover a damp problem.

This can lead to the purchaser negotiating tens of thousands of pounds off the price to cover the cost of rectifying damp problems that you already paid to have fixed. I’ve seen it happen many times in property purchases and it’s devastating for the seller.

How do you know who to trust?

The easiest way to spot a bonafide damp expert is the amount of information they gather before diagnosing your damp. From second one, they’ll be asking questions about the visual signs of damp, when it appeared, the history of the property and so on.

Then they should send round a damp surveyor who will perform a thorough inspection of the property and present you with a detailed report of how damp is entering your property and what needs to be done to treat it.

Red flags are if you feel that the wool is being pulled over your eyes or you’re being pressured into a sale. Ask questions: a real damp expert will be able to explain their findings in detail and show you the evidence. If you’re unsure, seek a second opinion.

We’ve written a number of guides for the most common types of damp and how to spot them. They’re a great place to start if you’re unsure whether you’ve been given the correct damp diagnosis.

Get guaranteed, long-term damp treatments

Of course, there’s no better sign that you’re in safe hands than a guarantee. At Environ, we guarantee all our damp works for between 5 and 25 years depending on the treatment.

To book your free damp survey from one of our damp experts, give us a call now or request your call back.

Book Your FREE Survey Now...

Calendar Book Appointment

Live Chat Live Chat

Email Email Us

Here are some helpful related articles

I Need a Carpenter Near Me

Finding a reliable carpenter in London is a challenge. Don’t waste time trawling through ads on Gumtree, give Environ a call for picture perfect carpentry from a family run London company. Whether...

read more

A Guide to Section 20 for Leaseholders

What does Section 20 mean for leaseholders? Section 20 considers freeholders, Resident’s Management Companies, Right to Manage Companies or any other property managers with freehold responsibilities...

read more

Should I Paint Over My Damp Walls?

One of the most common and costly DIY mistakes is trying to paint over walls or ceilings suffering from damp and mould. Before long, the paint is bubbly, peeling and mouldy again – your money wasted...

read more

What is Lateral Damp?

Lateral damp is when groundwater penetrates sideways into a property through cracks or porous building materials. It can affect any floor which is in contact with soil, but is most common in...

read more

What Causes Lateral Damp?

When soil presses against a wall that is cracked or made from porous materials, groundwater can seep through and saturate the wall, causing lateral damp. You’ve probably seen lateral damp on a small...

read more

What is Penetrating Damp?

Penetrating damp is damp which has entered the property from the exterior or from leaking plumbing. This also known as water ingress. If water is entering a wall, floor or ceiling at a faster rate...

read more

What Causes Penetrating Damp?

Do I have penetrating damp Penetrating damp is caused by water entering a wall, ceiling or floor from outside the building or from leaky plumbing. A wide variety of exterior defects can allow water...

read more

How to spot a damp scam

  • If the damp surveyor just walks around with a moisture meter instead of performing a thorough inspection of both interior and exterior.
  • If you’re not asked detailed questions upon enquiry, and treatments are suggested before a damp surveyor has visited your property.
  • If you feel that you’re being pressured into a sale, or the damp surveyor isn’t able to provide detailed answers to your questions.
  • If the report they present reads like standard jargon they’ve recycled rather than specific for your property.