What tradesman do I need for damp?

Due to damp being such a varied problem, it can be difficult to know who you should hire to fix it. For example, is a damp proofing company always the best option? Or can you hire other trades to help with specific issues?

In most cases a damp specialist will be your best option when it comes to fixing damp. However, there are certain jobs where a different tradesmen might be just as good, or even better in certain circumstances.

Other trades that could help with damp include:

  • General builders
  • Roofers
  • UPVC specialists
  • Plasterers
  • Handymen

If the cause of the damp issue is obvious, you may be able to hire a specialist trade that deals with this exact issue all the time.

What tradesman fixes rising damp?

What tradesman do I need for damp

For rising damp, you will usually be better hiring a damp proofing company. Fixing this issue is a specialist job and whilst another trade (such as a general builder) could help, they are unlikely to have as much experience in this exact job.

If you are replacing a physical damp proof course (DPC), this is a job that a bricklayer or general builder could do. However, a damp specialist will look deeper into the issues causing rising damp. There is a chance they will catch things that the general builder misses.

Also, damp proofing companies that install physical DPC’s, will already work with builders who are experienced in this specific job. So really a damp specialist is the best option here.

For a chemical DPC you can hire a damp company or opt for a DIY option. In theory you could hire a builder. However, they are likely to use the same type of DIY kit that you could use yourself. A damp company on the other hand, will have more professional equipment for this job.

If you are going to pay someone to install an injectable DPC for you, it makes sense to hire a professional. The service will be better, and they will likely offer a guarantee.

Which trade would fix damp caused by a leaking roof?

If a leaking roof is causing damp, then a damp company is not the best choice for these repairs. Instead, you should hire a qualified roofer. This is not a DIY project either. Roofs can be extremely dangerous especially if you don’t have the correct access, harnesses, and PPE.

A leaking roof can cause a lot of damage if left unfixed. Even a small leak can let in a lot of water. Plus, most small leaks will turn into big leaks if they are left untreated for long periods of time.

As soon as you notice a leak, it is time to call a local expert. To find the best local roofer we recommend using a trade comparison website. This can save you money and you will be able to find reputable companies.

Click here to compare local roofers

Which trades are best for issues with penetrating damp?

If penetrating damp is your issue, then the trade you employ, will depend on the work that needs doing.

Penetrating damp is the result of an external defect allowing water to enter the property. This could be anywhere on the outside of your property (excluding the roof).

Who you hire will depend on the complexity of the job. If the external issue is obvious then you may be able to hire a local tradesperson. It is when the issue is less obvious that the skills of a trained damp expert will come in handy.

Times you won’t need a damp specialist

Some common examples of penetrating damp, that can be easy to spot can be seen below:

  • Through gaps around windows and doors – Leaking around windows and doors, is usually the result of damaged sealant. This can easily be fixed by removing old sealant and reapplying new. This job can be done by anyone with a bit of knowledge, it’s not really a job for a specialist damp company.  Instead, you could hire a UPVC installer, a joiner, a general builder, a decent handyman, or even DIY.

  • Damaged pointing – Again this can be quite easy to spot, and it is not really a job where a damp proofer is needed. A general builder can replace the old pointing and then repoint your brickwork. If it is a small job, you might even be able to tackle it yourself.

  • Old, damaged bricks – Again this can be obvious, and cracked or crumbling brickwork is usually a job for a general builder or bricklayer to replace. In most cases, this will mean removing the old, damaged bricks, and replacing with new ones. The caveat to this, is if these bricks are just above your DPC level. If this is the case, there is a chance that rising damp could be an issue. In this situation, it won’t hurt to get a free damp survey, before deciding to hire a builder. 

  • Damaged render – This is another job for a specialist trade. For small patching jobs a general builder might be able to do the job. However, bigger jobs will require a professional rendering company.

These are just a few examples, but a general rule of thumb, is if you can clearly identify the issue, then a damp proofing company might not always be the best option. There is usually a specialist trade that is a better choice.

Times you will need a damp specialist

A damp specialist should always be your first choice if the issue causing damp is not completely obvious. When the issue isn’t clear, an expert opinion is needed, and a damp specialist will do a thorough survey to identify the cause of damp.

Due to experience, they are more likely to spot issues that less knowledgeable trades could easily miss.

Basically, if you are in any doubt, don’t hesitate to get in a damp expert. It could save you a lot of money in the long run, as your damp problem will be fixed, and they will usually guarantee the work.

Conclusion

Many different trades can help with different types of damp proofing. However, an experienced damp company will usually have an advantage when it comes to finding more complex damp issues. They will also know the best way to resolve damp problems.

There are some specific jobs where other trades can do just as good of a job. As well as highly skilled jobs like roofing where you should always hire the specific trade.