So after a lot of thought and contemplation about what to do with our 'damp situation' - We decided to call in an independent surveyor. Independent surveyors can vary in cost from a few hundred to over £600. If I was going to pay a fair amount of money on another survey, I wanted to make sure I was getting in the right guy. So I quizzed him a bit; what happens in your survey, what do you look for, how long does it take etc etc. After a 25 minute chat (a bit excessive, I know!) I was certain I had the right guy. I booked him up, and he came round within a few days.
It was a big day for our little house, it was like going to a specialist doctor for it's full scan. In my mind there was always the possibility this surveyor would agree with the other guy, even though I was pretty damn certain he was wrong! The independent surveyor was incredibly knowledgeable - he explained why moisture readings would always be higher around the chimney breast (because of remaining soot reacting inside) and why our house would generally produce higher readings in certain areas - north facing walls that never receive sunlight etc. After a good look around, inspection in the loft (the first guy failed to do this!) he concluded our property needed no damp proofing work whatsoever. This was the result we needed, and the money we spent on him certainly paid off. Because he works independently, does not carry out any of the required work himself, and because he has absolutely no affiliations with any company, his survey will always win over a bog-standard damp-proof company one. Win Win. We saved ourselves over 2k, stopped our buyers from running away at the sniff of "rising damp" and managed to prove to their mortgage lenders this house was worthy of its full price. Or had we? Of course not. The damage was done. If we didn't believe their survey, why would they believe ours? And they didn't. In their minds, we had damp problems. They're young, naive, cautious, finicky, first time buyers. Even though they viewed our house, could SEE we have no damp, once something so major has been said, they couldn't see past it, and decided they no longer wanted this house.
So, we'd lost our buyer for the second time in this process - All thanks to a rising damp misdiagnosis scam. Cheers for that. And the real question is - Should this ever have all been necessary? Should damp-proofing companys be allowed to dish out free surveys? Are they even really trained correctly? They tried to scam us 2k, advised unnecessary injections - who would this really have benefited? Only Mr Damp-Proof and his pocket. If he couldn't take our money, well he could certainly take our buyer. And really, to conclude all this; this could have all been avoided if Mr-Damp-Man had done his job correctly in the first place. But hey ho, life goes on, and maybe next time it will be third time lucky?
...Or not. We shall see.
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