Joint Forces Team Up To Tackle Damp

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Historic England, Historic Environment Scotland and Cadw have joined with The Property Care Association (PCA) to develop a best practice approach to investigating damp and excessive moisture in traditional properties.

The group have begun to produce a working document entitled ‘Investigation of moisture and its effects in traditional buildings‘, and is centred around seven key pillars.

These pillars include:

  • Emphasising the importance of understanding the building and its context
  • The behaviour of moisture and moisture related defects
  • The differences between old and new buildings

Stephen Hodgson, Chief Executive of the PCA, said:

“The document offers a guide to the level of knowledge for anyone involved in the investigation of dampness and its outcomes in traditional buildings.

“This is the first time heritage organisations and building surveying and preservation specialists have joined forces on this matter.

“Ultimately when completed and adopted, the methodology will see a greater accountability and expectation placed on those tasked with investigating dampness in traditional and heritage buildings.

“It will ensure that all surveyors have the skills and knowledge that are presently expected of our members, and that is demonstrable in the qualifications required by the PCA of its membership.”

The working document also includes issues that need to be considered when assessing the building condition, diagnosing defects and making recommendations. Legal requirements and the content of reports are discussed as well.

The document is currently in a working draft, and further amendments can be made until the draft is complete. The partner organisations are holding consultations which could also feature in the document.

The document must be signed off before the methodology within it is formally adopted or endorsed.

Stephen Hodgson added:

“Damp, uncomfortable homes take their toll on the health and well being of the people who live in them and can really impact on a person’s quality of life.

“Such conditions can also lead to costly defects in a building’s structure and fabric.

“By working together, using new technologies and advances,coupled with time-proved expertise and knowledge, we can find the very best solutions to address this important issue in traditionally built UK properties.”

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