A dedicated damp survey can be required for several different reasons. One of the most common, is following a homebuyer’s survey where the surveyor identifies damp that needs further investigation. At this point a decision is made (usually by the lender) that a more thorough damp survey is required.
A second potential reason is when the owner of a property has an unidentified damp problem. In this case, a damp surveyor may be hired to help identify the problem. Following the survey, they will be able to pinpoint the exact problem causing damp and recommend solutions.
Some companies will offer damp surveys for free. However, if you want an independent damp survey, you will usually have to pay a small fee.
Free surveys are usually offered by damp proofing companies. Following their free survey, they will recommend damp treatments and provide you with a quote for the work.
On the other hand, an independent damp surveyor will not quote you for work following their survey. Instead they will provide a report outlining what the issue is, and the work needed to fix the problem.
In many cases, an independent damp surveyor will be able to recommend companies who can carry out the repairs based on their report.
Advantage of a free damp survey
There are advantages to both types of survey.
For a free survey, the main advantage is that it doesn’t cost anything up front. However, it is important to remember, that a company is in business to make a profit. So, there is a reason the survey is free.
The reason any company will offer a free initial service, is because they know, there is a good chance, they can charge you for something else. This is often referred to as a “loss leader” and is essentially a foot in the door.
The company is prepared to offer the survey at a loss, because they know it can lead to them upselling profitable products and services.
This is not necessarily a bad thing, most damp companies will offer an accurate free repot, then they will quotes you for the correct solution. The thing you need to remember is they are incentivised to make a sale following the survey.
Most damp proofing companies will give honest recommendations. However, there is always a risk that some less honest companies will quote for unnecessary, and potentially expensive work.
To avoid this, you can get multiple free surveys from different companies. You will often find, that even if the same work is recommended, the price quoted can vary quite a bit from one company to the next.
One good way to get multiple quotes, is by using a job comparison site. Here you can get multiple quotes from rated professionals.
These sites will usually have detailed profiles on each company. These profiles will provide the following information:
- A full company profile with their contact details
- Reviews from previous customers
- All the company’s relevant qualifications
The good thing about this, is you know you are getting quotes from legitimate and trustworthy companies.
Our favourite service for comparing damp proof companies is Bark. They will give you up to 5 quotes from local companies.
To talk with up to 5 local damp companies about a free survey Click Here
Advantage of an independent (paid) damp survey
Your second option is to hire the services of an independent damp surveyor. The key advantage here, is an independent surveyor has no incentive to recommend anything but the best solutions.
They have already been paid; this is because their service is to offer surveys.
This type of service will usually range in price between £150 – £350. This can vary based on a variety of factors, including:
- The size of the property
- The location of the property
- The type of construction used (cavity wall, solid walls, non-standard construction, etc)
Following a thorough damp survey, you will be provided with a detailed report. This report will cover all and any potential issues. There will also be recommendations of how the problems causing damp can be rectified.
Some independent surveyors will also recommend reputable damp companies to carry out work following their report.
Our favourite thing about paid surveys, is despite the initial cost, they can end up saving you a considerable amount of money. Because the surveyor has no ulterior motive, they will generally recommend the most affordable solution.
Essentially the savings you make from their recommendations, can far outweigh the cost of the initial survey.
Just like a free survey, you should always look around to find the best company for the job. This will include the best damp survey costs, as well as companies that have good feedback from previous customers.
Again, we would recommend comparing quotes from various independent damp surveyors.
As this is a paid service, you should shop around for the best price. Again, Bark is a good option for this. In fact, it is often better for paid services.
The reason for this, is each company is aware they are not the only person quoting for the work. This means that you can get much more competitive quotes. Using this service, we have seen savings as high as 60% on a surveyors usual list price.
Damp surveys can be an extremely useful service. They can help you secure a mortgage, as well as identify damp problems that may be causing damage to your property.
When it comes to free or paid services, both offer their own unique advantages. One option is not necessarily better than the other. Whichever you choose you should always carry out the same level of due diligence.
Make sure to analyse the companies you intend to hire. Look at previous reviews from past customers and make sure you get multiple quotes. By doing this, you will make sure you hire a reputable company and get the best possible price for the work.