Victorian & Edwardian Damp Proofing Specialist
“Don’t be damp Be Dry”
Welcome to Be Dri let us help you with your period house problem. We are not just another any old house will do, damp proofing company, and let us show you why.
Damp Proofing and Woodworm Treatment in Period Houses from 1837 to 1920
The information on this website is here to help you with all the questions and answers. That you may want to ask and know about period properties. The subjects covered like damp proofing, woodworm treatment, wall tie replacement, repointing brickwork and wet and dry rot issues These are caused by penetrating damp, rising damp or condensation within your property.
“I just don’t know who to trust”
We hear this all too much, you have a period property problem. You search online for a company to ask and you can be overwhelmed with choices. As there are literally dozens of damp remedial companies listed. Who do you choose? We understand period property damp problems and other common faults found in old houses.
So to help “calm your fears” about asking for advice or a survey from a damp company. Let us share with you what you can expect when you choose Be Dri.
A Modern Damp Problem in Period Properties
Damp problems are now starting to show themselves as the two construction techniques have not been fully understood. Traditional materials as well as porous are flexible. They allow the property to slightly shuffle about throughout the year without cracking your bricks or exterior renders. This allows for natural evaporation of moisture from the internal wall to the outer wall.
Old properties suffer from lack of maintenance and too many modern materials in well intentioned repairs. These do not breathe or flex and will all contribute to internal condensation on the walls and external cracking and damaged brickwork which leads to internal damp.
A woodworm treatment is quite common in most properties which were constructed pre 1970’s. This because the pine timber used in there construction wasn’t treated like modern timber is today. A lot of Dorset's Hampshire housing stock dates back to the Victorian building boom of 1880.
These houses built with pine floor joists and pine floorboards. The roof joists and rafters were also built from soft pine. This is the preferred timber of the common furniture beetle or more commonly known as woodworm. Woodworm in Dorset is quite common because of this and many properties have suffered from this tiny timber pest.
Woodworm like the sub floor areas they attack timber on the ground floor which have poor sub floor ventilation. Lots of Victorian houses have had the ground around them raised with drive ways and patios this has blocked airbricks and breach dpc’s. The result is that the wooden floor timbers contain a high amount of moisture which woodworm like to infest.
The damper the conditions the worse the infestation can be causing considerable damage to internal timber. Such floorboards as they travel along the floor joists which are sat on damp sleeper walls.
Where there is wet rot in the timbers the infestation can causes structural damage to floorboards and joists because the timber loses its strength. Many floors are replaced due wet rot and woodworm infestation in combination.
Our Knowledge of Damp Property Fault Finding
We have taken great care in building our knowledge on period properties repairs and faults that is why we have taken an old fashion approach to Victorian and Edwardian houses; old houses work in a completely different way to modern buildings and so there damp treatments and woodworm treatments will be very much apart.
We have chosen to specialise in the older property because many of these houses have suffered from lack of maintenance and incorrect repairs such cement repointing, blocked cavities, raised drives or pathways and blocked ventilation which has damaged their natural breathing cycle this results in locking damp into the fabric of the house, this damp remains and causes wet and dry rot, erodes the external brickwork which causes corrosion to wall ties and it also hides in sub floor areas were you haven’t notice yet.
More Information about the correct way to repair houses read about the BRE who set the standard for remedial repairs in the UK.
Maybe you’re the home owner. Or your looking to buy or refurbish a period property.
You need some helpful advice in how to solve your period property and restore it with care.
Surveys and reports available for properties with damp related problems.
Call us today for friendly and helpful advice
Understanding Your Homebuyers Report Survey Service
Our reporting surveys are similar in presentation to the RICS Homebuyers Survey, but we have modified it to be much less a 'one size fits all approach' report. We take more care and time inspecting your future home and have available a range of technical equipment to help diagnose any issues found. The RICS Homebuyer format is not suitable for old or historic homes those built before 1920. For these homes we recommend a more detailed survey with far more information of what is really causing the problems.
The homebuyer’s survey report was originally developed as a cheap, standard format of a full building survey. It includes the homebuyer’s survey checklist. We find this inadequate for old buildings, which need a much greater level of detail and attention.
Did you have a home buyer’s survey from your mortgage company instructing you to get further advice on?
Damp Proofing and Woodworm Treatment Surveys
Once you have a fault and it takes affect long term then damp problems start to appear they manifest themselves into one of several common types of damp; rising damp, penetrating damp, salt damage or condensation due to excessive internal humidity.
Any one of these damp issues can then lead to secondary problems such as wet and stained walls, woodworm infestation, wet and dry rot outbreaks and wall tie replacement due to corrosion or spalling brickwork.
You may need a professional damp, woodworm, waterproofing or building survey report because you are buying or selling a property. Or have had a Home buyers report and need questions answered fast and reports within 48hours.
Period Homes From 1837 – 1920
Damp Proofing Traditionally Built Houses
The time-honoured use of traditional materials such as lime mortar and soft kilned fired bricks that are porous and expected instead of repelling water they absorb it in wet weather until dryer weather conditions can evaporate it away. This is a natural event known as breathing and is required so your property can expel internal and external moisture throughout the year.
Due to old construction techniques old houses will move slightly throughout the year with the seasons on their shallow weak foundations. Old houses can have cracks in them but this is usually historic movement because of their flexible materials and not always signs of wall tie failure or serious corrosion.
Modern homes are built on modern 3 – 6 feet deep foundations depth depends on ground the property is built on to prevent any movement of the house once it is constructed. These properties are made from inflexible materials such cement mortar, modern dense hard bricks which are great at keeping the weather out but are not designed to be breathable or flexible.
Damp Proofing and How Does BS7913 Effect You?
The principles we work to are clearly covered by the BS7913 standard, which describes best practice in the management and treatment of historic buildings. It applies to historic buildings with and without statutory protection such as Victorian, Edwardian, Georgian, Regency homes from 1700 to 1920.
Why we use BS7913 is to provide our professional expertise and that the conservation of historic buildings requires judgement based on an understanding of principles informed by experience and knowledge to be exercised when decisions are made. British Standards that apply to newer buildings might be inappropriate for older ones.
Everything within this website relates to old buildings. The techniques and materials are essential to old houses, but they equally can be applied to new ones. You cannot apply new house techniques to old houses! The Golden Rule - BREATHABILITY!
For further information
Damp Meters Beware
Damp meters are actually better described as resistance meters and their use in surveys has been severely criticised in media reports as they are totally unsuited for use on building materials. And some unscrupulous companies have been misleading people as to their true use and then mislead the results they give you.
The problem with these meters is that they measure all types of moisture they don’t differentiate between them. Three British Standards BS:5350, BS:6576 paragraph 4 , and BS:7913 all state that these meters are unsuitable for measuring moisture in building materials, and that chemical methods should be used. (Br Dri use chemical methods to check moisture levels if required)
Be Dri Customer Service Dorset Hampshire Wiltshire Somerset
Don’t be damp Be Dri call us today and let us help you with any of your damp proofing, woodworm treatments, wall tie replacement, repointing brickwork and wet and dry rot issues a professional contracting company covering Dorset Hampshire Wiltshire Somerset.
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