Subject to instruction details, survey inspections (of dwellings) will include a ground level inspection of external features, visually and with the aid of binoculars, to determine as far as reasonably possible defects allowing rain penetration and hence dampness and timber decay.
A visual inspection, supplemented by moisture meter readings, will be made of accessible structural roof and floor timbers, including staircases, and adjacent joinery. Unless prior arrangements have been made, surveys are non-invasive. Thus, major items of furniture will not be moved, carpets will not be lifted, and no attempt to disturb wall linings, laminate or wood strip overlays (to inspect timber floors beneath) will be made. If permission is obtained (from the owner) prior to inspection, and confirmed in writing, carpets attached by gripper rods can be lifted and refitted, and due care will be taken to refit without damage, though no assurance can be given that this will be entirely successful. Inspection of roof timbers is limited by hatch dimensions, and insulation in the roof space – secondary layers will often cover ceiling joists and make it unsafe to move away from the access hatch. Floor timbers will be inspected where possible utilising existing cut floorboards – boards will be cut for access to subfloor timbers only with written permission.
Internally, inspections for dampness will include visual inspection, and use of electric moisture meter, hygrometer, and surface thermometer. An anemometer (to test extractor fan performance) and thermal imaging camera will be used where appropriate. Dampness inspections will generally not include solid floors, as the appropriate test cannot be carried out reliably at a single visit (2-3 days for the apparatus to settle is required, and hence a second visit). However, obvious defects will be noted.
Inspections for condensation will be based on a single visit. This will impose some limitations on the data which can be obtained. However, if longer term data is needed, dataloggers can be deployed to collect temperature and relative humidity readings over a period of time. If required, this would attract an additional charge.
Photographs may be included to illustrate problem areas.
Reports will include appropriate outline recommendations, and a general guide on costs. Detailed estimates will not be produced, but can be obtained from competent contractors.