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Damp and Timber Survey

(Last Updated: 25/01/2024)
4 min read

As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to ensure your property is in good condition. Identifying any damages early on can save you thousands of pounds in repairs. In the UK especially, rising damp is a common problem, with signs ranging from mouldy walls to condensation and affected timber fixtures.

This problem is usually identified during a house survey, whether it's a Home Buyers or Building Survey, or a specific damp and timber one.

What is a damp and timber survey?

This survey involves getting a specialist surveyor to come and investigate any damp-related issues on the inside and outside of your property. Special equipment will be used to make an assessment (i.e. moisture meters), and your surveyor will put together a detailed report explaining the process and their findings.

Your damp and timber report will include information about:
  • Rising damp
  • Penetrating damp
  • Timber in contact with damp walls
  • Timber decay and woodworm infestation
  • Sub-floor ventilation
  • Solid floors
  • Condensation
  • Sources of moisture
Damp And Timber Survey from SAM Conveyancing

It is important to know that it is your responsibility to make the property accessible so that the survey can be properly carried out. Any limitations will be mentioned in the report.

Do I need a damp and timber survey?

You are not legally required to order a damp and timber report, but this may be useful. If you have a damp problem inside your house, getting a surveyor to check is the first step.

They will have special equipment and the necessary knowledge and experience to identify any potential issues. Should any problem be identified on your property, the surveyor will then refer you to a specialist and advise you on how to deal with this matter.

    Are you a seller?

When trying to make your home 'sale ready', you will need to disclose any information you have about the property. An estate agent's legal obligation, for example, is to accurately describe the house to the buyer. You can either remedy any issues before putting the house on the market, or be prepared for this to affect its value.

You are not required to answer any questions outside of your knowledge or which the buyers can find an answer to themselves. The party overseeing the legal work on your side will advise you on this.

    Are you a buyer?

If, however, you are interested in buying a house, you should get a damp and timber survey done on the property before completing the transaction. Damp can cause significant damages, which can be expensive to fix, so you should check for this early on.

Serious problems with a property you're interested in buying can either:
  • cause you to change your mind and start looking for a different one (if the damages are not worth fixing)
  • give you the option of negotiating the price (if you end up being responsible for the repairings)
RICS Surveyors | Fixed Fees | Same week availability | Access arranged

Should I be worried about damp on survey?

This depends on the severity of the case. For timber homes, there is a reason to be concerned. If timber is affected by dampness, then this can cause decay, leading to structural damage. Identifying and solving any damp-related problems as soon as possible is important.

However, in the final report, your surveyor will give an expert opinion on whether or not you need to worry, instructions on how to solve the problem and an estimated quote. Read more - What are the risks of buying a property with timber purlin?

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Laura Cristian - Digital Marketing Assistant - Meet the team - SAM Conveyancing
Written by:
Laura has a talent for data analysis and fact-finding. She is an advertising graduate with a broad range of skills in the web marketing field within conveyancing sector. She works closely with our panel of solicitors and surveyors to understand our clients' needs and challenges and to write the most valuable content for you.
Andrew Boast of Sam Conveyancing
Reviewed by:
Andrew started his career in 2000 working within conveyancing solicitor firms and grew hands-on knowledge of a wide variety of conveyancing challenges and solutions. After helping in excess of 50,000 clients in his career, he uses all this experience within his article writing for SAM, mainstream media and his self published book How to Buy a House Without Killing Anyone.

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