Welcome to Be Dri, let us help you with your period house problem.

We are a trusted damp proofing and restoration company based in Dorset, let us show you why, by inviting us to survey and quote your property to remedy any property issue that you may have.

Be Dri have excellent knowledge of property fault finding from damp and water ingress. We provide guaranteed work and also offer insurance backed guarantees.

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. We rectify property issues and we offer the following services; damp proofing, woodworm treatment, wall tie replacement, repointing brickwork and wet and dry rot issues, often caused by penetrating damp, rising damp or condensation within your property.

Call or email us now for any advice, costings, quote or survey! 01202 622581

Be Dri Cover Dorset & Hampshire. Email or call now.

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.


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 Understanding home buyers report Dorset Wiltshire Hampshire Somersetsize 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?

Home Owners

homebuyers report problems Dorset Hampshire Wiltshire SomersetMaybe 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

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)

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 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 Damp - Woodworm - Wall Ties - Repointing - Ventilation - Condensation - Wet & Dry Rot Surveyssuch 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.

A) Penetrating damp is caused by block cavities when there is a lot of debris such as sand and mortar and parts of bricks and wood left over from the original build bad building practices today. This material gets wet and penetrates on to the internal wall this damp then rises up onto the internal plasterwork and looks like rising damp and which makes it look like the Dpc has failed.

B) Other courses of low level penetrating damp are heavy soils raised up and touching the property’s external walls causing this constant wetting and with blocked cavities this damp transfers across on to the inner wall and timbers.

C) These properties have climbing plants, these types of plants grow by sending their root system into the mortar which causes the bed joints to open and force out the sand and lime mortar. This will leave your wall open to driving rain and damp patches high up on the wall. And with this much foliage the wall cannot evaporate any excess moisture. Wall ties will also be exposed to the elements and will start to rust away.

D) Penetrating damp is also caused due to new raised ground levels and the Damp Proof Course (DPC) being breached also the render is touching the ground drawing moisture. The render being cement is cracking and it has been render to the ground this is causing moisture behind it and forcing it to detach from the wall. This will bypass the current DPC.

E) Remember a DPC is a physical barrier to stop moisture traveling

upwards you would be very unlucky to have one fail completely. A DPC will not stop anything, if things are going under it or over it.

F) If Rising damp is suspected in vast cases it will really be penetrating damp which transfers across a wall and not up through the DPC.

If the DPC has been broken or removed due to building work then another can be inserted and over-lapped to make a new DPC.

wetting in the same area will allow water to soak through the walls
this will be due to lack of maintenance in many cases.

Defects liked blocked or broken gutters, broken downpipes and blocked
drains are some of the common faults which cause internal damp by

When air vents and cavities are blocked this will stop air circulating under the floor and will increase the dampness in timbers. As this moisture increases the right conditions for wood rotting fungi will increase and create the right conditions for wood boring insect.

It is quite common in old houses to have blocked cavities due to poor building practices of the time.

These large amounts of building materials are carelessly left in there because early Victorian builders didn’t fully understand the cavities purpose.

Also when older houses had there sash windows replaced with new plastic PVC the old sash weights and wood were left in the cavity causing damp to transfer to the inner wall.

Some cavities have vast amounts of material in them causing damp to penetrate onto the internal walls making it look like rising damp and a failed DPC.

If a property has had its old sand and lime plaster replaced or has been skimmed over with pink gypsum plaster which isn’t breathable and the property suffers from high humidity. This will make the plaster damp and were this material holds a natural amount of natural salts such as nitrates, chlorides and sulphates they can be carried within the moisture.

Some of these salts are hydroscopic (attract and hold water vapour from its surroundings) and can make a wall appear to have rising damp or some kind of damp penetration, when in fact it is damp humid air in a room attracting moisture from the atmosphere.

A French drain is simply a shallow gravel ditch excavated near the base of the wall. This helps disperse damp that would otherwise collect and
soak into and up a brick wall, by allowing the moisture to evaporate
away first. If the ground is considered to be too wet a perforated pipe
can also be used to divert water further away from the house. This is done by digging an extended trench into the garden, before back filling with 20mm – 40mm gravel.

One of the most common damp problems is caused by defective plumbing these leaks can go unnoticed for months or years causing serious damage to sub floor areas. Copper pipes can develop miniscule holes caused by corrosion and this is a particular problem with unprotected copper pipes
laid in concrete floors.

Older houses are affected by this problem more every year, soft sand and lime mortars are washed away by weathering and allowing rain penetration.

As well as preventing rain penetration and protecting wall ties from corrosion good pointing makes the house look better again.

All buildings move and most will show some signs of cracking at some stage, many cracks have been there for decades such as historic structural movement which has now stabilised and mean very little. Sometimes these cracks are danger signs such expanding corroding wall ties but mostly it’s just your house adjusting to the seasonal weather changes during the year.

Any minor cracking may simply be your old house shuffling about on very shallow foundations like it always has and with general maintenance these cracks can be refilled. Always call for advice if you have any concerns about these problems.

Houses which suffer from this problem are caused when the old sand and lime mortar has been eroded away with time as it was supposed to, this protected the soft handmade bricks and aloud the mortar to expel  moisture. Spalling is caused when the old sand and lime mortar is replaced with much harder sand and cement which is tougher than the old bricks and doesn’t allow moisture to be expelled through the mortar bed.

What happens now is that that trapped moisture cannot pass through this harder mortar and forces it way out through the face of the brick causing it to blow the face of the brick.

Most of our woodworm treatment takes place in the lofts of houses as
that is where most seem to start because these little beetles fly into them and start there life cycle. But any long term woodworm infestation
in a house with softwood such as pine in its construction can and does seem to spread. They do like the ground floor area this probably due to
sub floor timbers attracting slightly more moisture and making the wood more easily attacked.

They will spread along the floor joist and underneath the floorboards into other rooms in the sub floor areas and when the grubs are ready emerge from there flight holes as adult beetles. The woodworm treatment we off will quickly stop the infestation and the woodworm life cycle as the product soaks into the wood.

The woodworm treatments we offer can easily stop the wood boring insect infestation which is alive in your house and causing damage to your construction timbers. A woodworm treatment is applied to prevent the further damage caused by the woodworm grub

Active Beetle infestations like the common furniture beetle are common today because much of the timber used in construction is softwoods such a
pine. Everything in your home from the roof joists to the floorboards is made from it and they like to infest damp timber.

Properties from the 16th, 17th and 18th Century tend to have much more hard wood in there  construction like oak and suffer attack from the Deathwatch beetle in damp conditions.

old cob cottages were built on stone plinths, the effects of rising damp should never become a problem as long as there is adequate external land drainage. Specific attention should be paid to the build-up of soil that surrounds the stone plinth. As overtime this can build up leading to water penetration.

Many properties over time have had the ground around them raised to install new paths and driveways this has had a negative impact on the house its self.

In some cases it has blocked air bricks and in others it has gone above the properties Dpc which prevents rising damp affecting you and your internal timbers. In others if you have a rendered property it will allow moisture to travel up the render and pass your Dpc and cause penetrating damp.

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.

Free Sales Quotations for Property Faults

A sale quote allows a prospective buyer of our services to see what costs would be involved for the work they would like to have done without the need for a detailed survey report.

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 propertys in Dorset Wiltshire Hampshire Somerset

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.