Evolution of damp diagnosis for residential surveyors

Damp diagnosis conferences nationally


Phew…. Just finished a series of five conferences across England, for residential surveyors. I was just one of five expert speakers, offering continuing professional development to delegates on each day, over several weeks from October to last Tuesday. My presentation was entitled “The evolution of damp diagnosis; surveying and reporting to fit the changing housing and social scene” Sounds a mouthful I know, but the talk covered what it said on the tin.

Phil Parnham Blue Box

Phil Parnham gets things started with his talk on structural assessment


What I mean by that, is the way damp diagnosis has adapted to take account of how our homes have changed, from well ventilated buildings to sealed up compartments.   Many of us live with lots of trapped water vapour, causing problems, which just weren’t there a few decades ago. Mould used to be something which only grew on cheese and bread, but sadly it is now very common in many homes across Yorkshire and nationally.

Over the last decade or two I’ve seen the type of damp I’m finding changing and of course I’ve had to learn new skills and techniques to assess damp problems and resolve them effectively. Phil Parnham is a well respected RICS surveyor and he asked me to pass on some nuggets to the residential surveyors and to bring them up to speed on what’s hot and current in damp diagnosis.


It was hard to get all the good stuff into a 50 minute talk, but I did my best and covered four sections including

  1. The changes which have occurred in our buildings and how we live
  2. Assessment of the internal built environment
  3. Approved document part F (building regulations – means of ventilation).
  4. A section on BRE 245, hygroscopic moisture, salt analysis and moisture meter hints and tips.

Professional Conferences organise these events and were superbly professional and efficient from start to finish. In my business I always try to get feedback from clients and they were excellent at that. This enabled me to refine the presentation so that an initial 95% excellent/good score ended in Crawley with 98%! I’m chuffed with that.  Thank you to the surveyors who gave feedback. I spoke to almost 1000 surveyors across the country and I hope that some of them took away some useful information to help them and their clients.


These conferences allow surveyors to keep their knowledge up to date, find out new things and refine their expertise on a wide variety of building issues. My fellow speakers covered a broad range of topics including:

  • Phil Parnham – two sessions; Spotting, assessing and reporting on building movement – what to do when the earth moves….. and Below ground drainage problems – not what they are cracked up to be.
  • Peter Beckett – Leashold enfranshisement – what you need to know
  • Alan Appleby – The valuation battleground – letters from the trenches
  • Graham Stockey – Red Book and valuer registration – reduce risk through compliance – insight from the RICS


I managed to attend all but two of the sessions, finding out among others things – valuation surveying is tough and, the due diligence required is complex and daunting; leases are mind-mindbogglingly complex! Damp diagnosis is simple compared to what some of the residential surveyors do for a living every day.

Bryan Hinde talking to residential surveyors

Bryan’s such a nerd….. proximity to dew point and vapour pressure is aired in full


My thanks go to Landmark Quest who sponsored these events and rightmovedata  – a great team of people working with Professional Conferences to raise standards.


Special thanks too, to my good friend Dave Cook of Cook group, who stepped in and presented the Brighouse, West Yorkshire conference as I was away on holiday for that one.

I occasionally present talks for companies, surveyors, architects and built environment professionals on damp diagnosis as well as associated issues like waterproofing basements and structural repairs, so if you’d like one get in touch. I do not charge a fee if these are in Yorkshire as there’s a chance of a spin-off for my Yorkshire based damp proofing company (BT Preservation), or my wall tie and structural repair firm (Brick-Tie Limited). A small fee or charity donation is enough to get me to travel a bit further though.


Dry Rot.




Copyright © 2010 Preservation Expert. Legal Stuff: All the advice and information in the posts on my blog is made in good faith and is based on my experience and knowledge at the time of writing. However, nobody is infallible and whilst I’m confident that most of what I write about preservation issues is accurate, there’s a good chance there’ll be an error or two somewhere. I do change my mind about stuff, as I gain more experience. In view of this you must make your own decisions on whether to follow any advice I write and think about this; I could be wrong. No responsibility will be accepted by the author for any losses anyone may suffer as a result of any mistake or for the consequence of any action you take as a result of reading this blog. If you do suffer a loss, resulting from anything I’ve written, a verbal heartfelt apology will be your only compensation.