Should I pay for a damp survey?

Written by neilmarsden on . Posted in Projects

If you are reading this, you are probably wondering, maybe you’ve done some research and trying to decide whether or not you should be paying for a service that you can get for free elsewhere. Today was yet another reminder as to why a paid survey is cheaper than a free one. 

I was asked to check woodworm in a loft. The client wanted to convert it and discovered what looks like Common Furniture Beetle. Most contractors would identify it as so. It looks exactly like it, the flight holes the same, it was quite clearly active with fresh frass apparent. Cost to treat a loft with CFB? Generally I’d estimate around £600 – £1000. 

Unlike the surveyors who are out there offering free surveys, we are CSRT qualified surveyors, meaning we are highly trained and skilled. The knowledge gained from completing the timber treatment aspect of the qualification allowed me to easily identify the woodworm as Ernobius Mollis, common name is Bark Borer. Why is this significant? Well although it looks exactly like CFB, Ernobius Mollis only attacks bark. Therefore the rest of the roof is safe. Once the small amounts of bark are gone, the infestation will no longer be active. Treatment required? None. Further cost to client? None. 

I would be very interested to know how many of the surveyors and builders out doing free quotes would even know what Ernobius Mollis is, never mind be able to identify it. Your survey is worth what you pay for it! 


Gosforth Marriott Hotel

Written by neilmarsden on . Posted in Projects, Uncategorized

Earlier this year we worked on a project at Gosforth Marriott Hotel. The spa area is split level, with one side below ground. The changing area, sauna and steam room were removed. We applied a Type C waterproofing system to these areas, and the spa area was reinstated. 

























Specialist Apprenticeship

Written by neilmarsden on . Posted in Projects, Uncategorized

The PCA have offered the opportunity for damp proofing companies to send their technicians on a CITB backed specialist apprenticeship scheme. Our technicians will undergo two years of training, including several spells at their training centre in Hungtingdon. 

This week Michael and Wayne started their course. They will learn the ins and outs of the specialist profession and we believe they will be the highest qualified specialist technicians in the North East upon completion. 






Property Care Association Conference & Awards 2017

Written by neilmarsden on . Posted in Projects

We recently attended the Property Care Association (PCA) Awards in Coventry. A fantastic event that brings together the cream of the industry. It’s great to get a chance to see what everyone else is doing, to share some ideas and broaden our knowledge. 

Marsden Damp Services are also immensely proud of two of our employees, Martin Whitely and Nick Wardle, who were finalists in the Employee of the Year Award. Although they didn’t win on this occasion, to make it into the top 5 in the country is an excellent achievement. Well done guys! 

Working with North Star

Written by neilmarsden on . Posted in Projects

We’ve had the pleasure in working with an excellent Housing Association in the Teesside Area, North Star Housing. They truly care about their tenants and we have been hugely impressed by the way they try to meet their needs and look after the properties that they live in. 

We were recently asked to do a talk on ‘Dampness in the Home’ at their tenant event in Middlesbrough. Yours truly was the guest speaker and the feedback was that it went down very well. We also managed to give a little bit to local charities too! 


Woodworm in roof timbers… and why a paying for a survey was once again cheaper than getting a free one

Written by neilmarsden on . Posted in Uncategorized

A homebuyers survey brought up woodworm in a loft as an issue for a potential buyer of a property. They were advised to get a CSRT qualified survey to inspect.








We came in to inspect, and found in fact the small round holes and dust have been caused by chemical attack from the roofing material, and not woodworm. Therefore no treatment is required. By paying for a specialist with the depth of knowledge to tell the difference between the two problems, the customer has probably saved themselves £500 + on a woodworm treatment to the roof! 

Transform your unused basement!

Written by neilmarsden on . Posted in Projects

Here at Marsden Damp Services, we have some of the most highly trained and skilled technicians who are able to carry out basement waterproofing works. 

We were asked by a customer in Wolsingham to visit their property. When we arrived they had a small basement, which was a wet concrete floor, and bare walls. After providing a spec, the customer asked us to proceed. 

Our technicians, Martin and Nick, spent several weeks putting their incredible skills to work. The result was a total transformation of the basement. The client has since decorating, and it looks amazing. What a fantastic feature for the house, and something both the client and ourselves can be very proud of. 

Ventilation – to a solid 9 inch wall?!?!

Written by neilmarsden on . Posted in Projects

Sometimes you think you’ve seen it all… and then…

Property had damp readings at low level on the external elevations. No visual signs of dampness, but the meter was giving low readings.

Due to the consistency of the readings at a uniform height on all external walls, it got me thinking that this couldn’t be rising damp. Something had to be going on outside.

I went out to have a look. The walls were solid 9 inch construction with no cavity. All around the property, about 6 courses up and 3 courses apart, some very unusual looking airbricks had been installed! A builder on site informed me that they’d been installed to ‘ventilate the solid wall as there was no cavity’

By doing this they have effectively reduced the wall thickness to 4.5 inches, one leaf of brickwork, and any rainwater hitting the external wall would just pass straight through! Hence the damp readings around the property, at the height of the air bricks! My advice – remove all those air bricks that you’ve just paid for to be installed. There is no benefit whatsoever in ventilating a solid wall!!

To be honest, when it comes to air bricks, I see them installed in properties on a daily basis with a view to solving damp problems – only to make them worse! They should be used to ventilate timber floors but should be used for very little else, most certainly not ventilating masonry or plaster.

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