Damp Survey: What Is It And What Are The Costs?

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damp survey

Damp is something that can affect any household – whether it be a major or minor problem. When left, damp can cause serious problems to a house, both structurally but also to those living inside it.

This makes it important to make sure you’re aware of any damp, either in your current home or a home you’re looking to buy, making a damp survey something you should get familiar with.

We’re going to talk you through what a damp survey looks at, the types of damp and the costs of a damp survey and damp removal.

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Will damp show up on a house survey?

If a house survey level 2 or 3 has been taken out, then any evidence of damp will be picked up on and highlighted in the survey report. However, a house surveyor is there to look at the house’s overall condition and quality, so won’t be focusing too much on one specific issue, meaning any damp won’t be largely assessed.

The damp assessment in a level 2 or 3 house survey will just be the surveyor using a handheld moisture monitor and having a quick look over the walls, floorboards, etc.

What happens if a survey finds damp?

If a general house survey finds damp, then you will need to get ask for a specialist damp surveyor to carry out a damp survey on the property, particularly if the amount of damp found is concerning or there is damp-related damage.

The specialist damp surveyor will give a detailed idea of how much damp is affecting the property, such as what type of damp it is (more on that later). The surveyor will use more specialist tools than just a handheld moisture monitor and will know the correct areas to look in, which are generally most affected by damp.

As a general statement, a damp survey will take somewhere between 3-5 hours but will vary depending upon the specific type of survey being taken out.

During the damp survey, your surveyor will:

  • Identify the cause of damp by determining the source of the problem
  • Identify which type of damp
  • Look for future potential problems as a result of the damp
  • Check for any damp related problems within the building structure

As a result of the damp survey, the specialist damp surveyor will be able to recommend how serious the level of damp is and what needs to be done to solve the issue.

Their damp survey report will document the findings, written in a way that is easy to understand, stating what the current issues are and what problems may arise in the future as a result of the damp.

If requested, the damp survey can include the potential costs for how much damage has been caused and what repairs need to be made as a result. This is particularly useful for buyers, as they’re able to show the seller what they will have to pay to fix the damages, which can help with renegotiations of the selling price of the house.

Is a damp survey free?

Sadly a damp survey isn’t free and will come at a fee. The damp survey cost will defer depending on the size of the property – the more space needing to be covered, the more time it will take the surveyor.

As a guide, this table details an approximate damp survey cost:

 Size of property Average cost
 2-bed flat £200
 3-bed terraced house £400
 4-bed deatched house £600

Figures taken from Checkatrade

Of course, the location of a property will also play a part in the damp survey cost, with London and the South-East generally being more expensive.

If an emergency damp survey is required, there may be an additional same-day service fee, which is normally around £50 on top.

Types of damp

When a damp survey is being conducted on a property, there are 3 main types of damp that the surveyor will look for:


Condensation is caused by a build-up of moisture on a surface. This is as a result of moist warm air condensing on cold walls, which creates water droplets on the surface.

Condensation is a form of damp that most people will be familiar with, as a little bit of condensation is normal, depending on the season.

Signs of excessive condensation include moisture on windows and dark mould on walls and/or ceilings.

Rising damp

Rising damp is caused by water rising up through the walls of a building from the ground. Walls and floors do naturally allow in a bit of water but should be stopped by a barrier called the damp-proof membrane or damp-proof course.

The clear signs to look for to spot rising damp is a ‘tide mark’ on walls, wet skirting boards and/or wallpaper peeling at the bottom of the wall.

Penetrating damp

Penetrating damp is caused by rain seeping into the home from outside, which can come as a result of heavy rainfall, broken roof tiles and/or blocked gutters. Penetrating damp can also come as a result of structural problems in a building.

Is damp in a house a problem?

Ultimately, damp is something that you need to be aware of and shouldn’t be in a house in large volumes, as that’s when it really becomes a problem.

After a damp survey, the specialist damp surveyor will detail how much of a problem the present damp is, and what needs to be done in order to remove the damp before it becomes a serious problem. The longer the damp is left, the greater the risk of serious damage.

Often damp may not be a problem at the time it has been picked up, but if left untreated, can grow and start to pose a number of risks, such as damage to plaster, corrosion, health issues for those with asthma/other respiratory problems, staining, mould growth and structural timber decay.

How much does it cost to remove damp from a house?

How much damp treatment costs will depend upon the type of damp present and what treatment method is being undertaken.

The cost of treating damp can vary. Rising damp, in particular, can cause a large amount of damage, making it essential to treat, should there be any signs of it within a home.

To treat rising damp, the cost will naturally depend upon the type of damp treatment used. We’re going to go through the different options to help give some idea of the costs, but of course, it will ultimately be independent to each situation.

Damp Proof Course (DPC) pricing:

 Type of DPC Terraced house Semi-detached house Detached house
 DPC injection – one wall £500 £750 £2,000
 DPC injections – whole house £900 £2,100 £4,750
 Plastic DPC – one wall £300 £425 £625
 Plastic DPC – whole house £600 £925 £2,075
 Damp-proof membrane £125 per m2 £125 per m2 £125 per m2

Figures from MyJobQuote

Drainage channel pricing:

 Scale of work Terraced house Semi-detached house Detached house
 Channel dug along one wall £200 £300 £450
 Channel dug around the whole house £320 £550 £1,250
 Channel dug along one wall and a gravel path laid £275 £400 £600
 Channel dug around the whole house and a gravel path laid £350 £825 £2,000
 Channel dug along one wall and concrete paving stones laid £400 £700 £1,400
 Channel dug around whole house concrete paving stones laid £750 £1,900 £4,200
 Channel dug along one wall and a thick concrete path laid £425 £750 £1,200
 Channel dug around the whole house and a thick concrete path laid £850 £2,100 £4,000

Figures from MyJobQuote

Cost of clearing our cavity walls:

 Number of isolate sections to be cleared Average cost
 1 £145
 2 £180
 3 £205
 4 £260

Figures from MyJobQuote

Another thing that needs to be considered when thinking about damp removal, is the amount of time it will take, meaning there will be a further added cost of the labour. The time taken to treat damp can take anywhere from a few hours to over a week.

Well, that’s everything you need to know about damp surveys, including the damp survey cost, the types of damp and how much it will cost to remove damp from a property. Have you had a damp survey? Or do you have any insight to add? Don’t hesitate to get in touch today!

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photo of Millie Archer

Millie is a perfectionist with a passion for property and writing articles. You’ll find her researching the latest housing trends and the newest up and coming areas worth investing in. Read more about Millie here.

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About Millie Archer 142 Articles
Millie is a perfectionist with a passion for property and writing articles. You'll find her researching the latest housing trends and the newest up and coming areas worth investing in. Read more about Millie here.

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