Damp companies that offer ‘free surveys’ may seem appealing, but our latest undercover investigation found several companies recommending unnecessary treatment that could cost hundreds of pounds.
Everyone loves a freebie, but if you’re tempted by the ‘free surveys’ on offer from damp-proofing companies, you may end up spending more than you need.
In our snapshot damp investigation, we invited damp-proofing companies to carry out an assessment of our properties’ damp problems. In two thirds of cases they recommended unnecessary or inappropriate treatment, or missed the problem completely. But does that mean you have to pay to get good advice?
All we needed was a plumber
In one case, our property had a leaky toilet – and any damp specialist should have instructed us to get this fixed before the room could even be assessed for other potential damp problems.
There was no evidence here of rising damp, and yet four of the eleven companies told us that we needed to install a chemical damp-proofing course in the walls and re-plaster the room – at a cost of up to £1,440!
That’s not to say all the companies were bad. We did see some good practice, with just over half of the companies that visited this property giving us helpful advice.
How to get good damp advice
Deciding whether to take your chances with a free survey, or shell out hard cash for independent advice is a toughie. Even though I’ve seen these results first-hand I know I’d be tempted to try my luck with the free option first – although I’d make sure to get at least three companies to come round and quote for the work.
Then, if there were inconsistencies in the work recommended or I had any inkling that the work might be unnecessary, I’d definitely consider getting an independent damp specialist round.
If you think you might need to call on a damp company, check our damp advice guide first for info on the different types of damp that can affect your home (if it’s just suffering from condensation you won’t need a specialist).
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