Cavity Wall & Tie Surveys

Alpine Damp

Local Surveyors Near You.

  • We are totally independent of all contractors
  • We have over 30+ years of surveying experience
  • Our Surveyors are all employed by us
  • We have offices and Surveyors that cover Central & Southern England & Wales
Failed Cavity Wall Insulation

As explained under Damp Surveys, cavity walls were introduced in 1932, in an attempt to stop internal penetrating damp that had been an issue with previous solid wall constructed properties. The structure was simple, normally a 100mm external wall, a 50mm air cavity, and then a 100mm internal wall. The two walls were held together by various forms of wall ties. The cavity allowed any absorbed water to drain internally down the cavity, without it passing into the internal wall.

In the 1970’s cavity wall insulation became recognised as a natural way to increase the insulation in a cavity wall constructed property, and in the 1990’s it became compulsory under building regulations to install it.

There was a reason for an air gap, and it was a very good reason, to stop the bridging for water to pass from the external to the internal walls as previously described. In our opinion, and as witnessed by many home owners who are suffering with damp as a result of saturated insulation, filling the cavity was a costly mistake. At the time home owners were told that the insulation be it beads or similar, would not act as a bridge in the cavity as the water/moisture would drain down through it, and therefore it would not transfer water to the internal wall skin. At the same time when the external wall was in perfect condition, was non porous without deterioration, and we were not suffering with the wettest Winters in many decades, it would probably work, however this is no longer the case for many people.

We are experiencing more and more clients who have Penetrating Damp caused by saturated cavity wall insulation bridging the gap. And where the cavity insulation has slumped to the lower levels of the cavity, again it is often misdiagnosed as a DPC issue, and wrongly expensive injection DPC’s recommended, when in fact only the saturated insulation needs removing. In addition we are experiencing properties with higher level damp patching that can be caused by an external defect allowing water to penetrate the insulation, and then in that area penetrate the internal wall. This can also be misdiagnosed as deteriorated wall ties causing damp spotting.

In order to confirm the cause, and in addition to our non-intrusive methods, with authorisation to drill a small hole, we would inspect the cavity with one of our small end (8mm) cameras, and ascertain the true condition of the insulation. On the rare occasion, it may be necessary to remove a brick, to allow us to extract a sample of the insulation.

On completion a detailed report will be provided, detailing exactly what has been undertaken as part of the investigation or survey, the results, and our unbiased recommendations for the rectification of the issue.

Cavity Wall Tie Surveys

As previously stated, cavity walls became common construction practice in 1932, and with them the cavity wall ties which were bonded between the brick work within the mortar, at regular spread intervals of 900mm horizontally, and 450mm vertically. The ties were generally made from steel, although in earlier years other less strong materials were utilised such as slate and specially shaped bricks to tie the external and internal skins. In later years the steel ties were galvanised in an attempt to prolong their life span.

As we know, water and moisture penetrates the external skin of the wall, and in turn the moisture reacts with the steel ties causing corrosion and deterioration. This in turn causes the metal to expand, and then the joint between the brick work to crack, allowing yet more water penetration, thus increasing the deterioration of the tie, and increased potential for dampness within the property. When the moisture in the crack freezes during the colder weather, the water expands again causing the crack to open further.

The defects that become visible as a result of deteriorated wall ties are longitudinal cracks along the wall, or in much worse cases, bulging of the wall, which is normally a result of incorrectly spaced ties across the cavity, therefore not providing the bond required for the particular wall.

As there are so many issues related to wall tie deterioration, or the lack of the ties, Alpine Damp will undertake a thorough survey to establish the extent of the problem, and in order to provide recommendations for the rectification. As per the damp surveys offered, Alpine Damp have no connection to wall tie installation companies or builders, and neither do we provide the service, thus negating any financial benefit from recommending unnecessary works for the client.

We will scan the effected wall with a metal detection device, in order to locate the ties within the cavity, marking them externally with chalk. This will allow us to confirm if there is an issue with the density and spread of the ties. We will then drill a small hole through the external skin, and seal it on completion. This will allow us to insert a small ended camera, and inspect a sample of the ties, thus allowing an accurate report on their condition. On rare occasions it is necessary to remove a brick, in order to clearly see the tie, and this is normally when cavity wall insulation obstructs the visibility.

On completion a detailed report will be provided, detailing exactly what has been undertaken as part of the investigation or survey, the results, and our unbiased recommendations for the rectification of the issue.

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Example Damp Survey Report
Example Damp Survey Report

Alpine Damp take their time to make the right diagnosis, utilising numerous survey methods for confirmation. On completion a detailed report will be provided, detailing exactly what has been undertaken as part of the investigation or survey, the results, and our unbiased recommendations for the rectification of the issue.

VIEW SAMPLE REPORT

Example Homebuyers Report
Example Homebuyers Report

Many people consider the Mortgage Valuation survey to be one that will highlight any issues worth considering. This is not the case, the Mortgage Valuation survey is to ascertain if the mortgage requested is covered by the value of the property in the worst case scenario that the mortgage cannot be covered.

VIEW SAMPLE REPORT

Looking For A Damp Survey?

Alpine Damp are an independent surveying company, with absolutely no connections to any damp proofing company, and therefore have no interest in financial rewards from remedial works. Call us today: 0330 333 9238

What Our Clients Say

We have offices and Surveyors that cover Central & Southern England & Wales, Alpine Damp undertake literally hundreds of surveys for both Domestic and Commercial customers, resolving issues that others cannot resolve, in all house types, through to large 5* hotels alike. We utilise our years of experience, combined with the latest survey technology and additional methods that others do not use such as Thermal Imaging, and Acoustic technology.

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Alpine Surveys made the whole process really simple, and everyone was polite and courteous throughout the whole process. The initial call from Sarah was really useful, with great communication throughout. Mark did the survey was really professional. He investigated the damp thoroughly and explained the results - I just wish I had used them before having "damp proofing" installed by another Checkatrade tradesman which is already failing and didn't resolve the problem. I now have a clear plan of what needs to happen to resolve, and feel confident in the results. Time will tell, but would recommend.

Damp Survey, in London

“The company was professional from start to finish. From the initial call I made, to final contact to pay the bill. The staff member who came to my house talked me through everything step by step, showing me what he had discovered as he went along, showing me readings on the testing equipment ( even drawing on his I pad to help explain), and giving me verbal advice ahead of that official report. He also wore plastic over his shoes indoors. I felt informed, and I trusted what he said. Even though it was bad news for me, I was glad to know her extend of the problem. I would recommend the company”

Damp Survey, in London

“Very professional service. I received my report the day after the survey. The report was extremely clear about areas of concern and actions required by the seller which has greatly aided my decision to buy the property. I also spoke to the surveyor Mark, who was very pleasant and helpful in giving more context to the findings. I plan to use Alpine Water mgt once more to go back and check that remedial works have been carried out as recommended prior to buying. I would certainly recommend this company to anyone.”

Damp Survey, in London

“The surveyor was not phased by the chaos of moving with boxes and furniture in disarray. He was punctual, polite and acted in a professional manner. When he published his report I spotted a small mistake due to a misunderstanding (not the fault of the surveyor), so called Alpine. The surveyor called me the next day and the rectified report was emailed to me the next day. Very happy.”

Damp Survey, in Banstead

“I used Alpine H2O to provide a specialist damp report on a property I was going to buy. Sarah was very helpful when booking this survey and Mark the surveyor went through in detail with me any queries I had regarding the findings of the survey. I am very thankful that I had this survey done as I would have possibly proceeded on a property without being aware of its defects. In addition Alpine H2O do not carry out remedial works and therefore do not benefit from anything found in the survey so the survey is entirely independent. I would certainly use Alpine H2O again.”

Damp Survey, in New Malden

“Very professional service, and a very thorough survey. Completely independent and only do surveys, so you can be sure they won't try to push you into getting unnecessary work carried out as they'd have nothing to profit from doing so.”

Damp Survey, in St. Albans

“Survey and investigation done as requested. Communication with company was excellent and report was produced quickly and thoroughly. Report was thorough and informative and the recommendations were easy to understand.”

Damp Survey, in Woking

“We currently have a damp issue in our property (both on an internal wall, and external wall). Alpine Survey' s carried out tests and produced a comprehensive report identifying the suspected cause of the damp and suggestions on next steps. I would highly recommend their services, ahead of calling out plumbers, trace and access, cctv surveys etc.The expert who visited the property was experienced, thorough and professional, and the customer service was excellent.”

Damp Survey, in London

“Very helpful, polite and efficient. Was kept informed of surveyors time of arrival. Would recommend as pleased with service.”

Damp Survey, in Watford

“The surveyor arrived at the time specified and took the trouble to ensure that the house remained as clean and tidy as it had been when he arrived. He took time to explain (in layman' s terms so the information was clear) what he was doing, what had caused the problem and gave good advice on how to solve it and how to find a suitable builder.”

Damp Survey, in Buckingham

“I Phoned through to Alpine Surveys on a Tuesday, they managed to get someone out on the following day (I guess I was lucky in this regard) and by the Wednesday evening the highly detailed report had been e-mailed through. I would thoroughly recommend Alpine Surveys on promptness and quality and would use them again.”

Damp Survey, in Portsmouth

“The surveyor was extremely helpful and explained verbally the issues and possible solutions on the day. We received the written report with photographs in two working days. The company kept us fully informed of the process and progress and was highly efficient in handling our enquiry and delivering the service.”

Damp Survey, in Chichester

“I was very impressed with the Mark Dobson who did the survey, he answered all my questions in detail and was clearly an expert in his field, I would not hesitate to use Alpine again compared to other companies who do a "free survey" and also carry out the works needed!!!- the information given on the free survey was incorrect in my opinion against what Alpine recommended”

Damp Survey, in Horley

“The investigation was carried out professionally and courteously, with all aspects of the issues and the treatment options explained clearly and patiently. I would not hesitate to recommend this company, as they provide impartial professionalism and a comprehensive plan of action to tackle damp problems.”

Damp Survey, in Uckfield

“Although I did not meet or speak directly to the surveyor as he surveyed our potential new home, both Sarah who was my main contact and Mark, the surveyor were efficient and detailed. The report was thorough and delivered a few days after the site visit. Any questions I had were also answered promptly. Worth the investment.”

Damp Survey, in Guildford

“Mr Dobson was professional and courteous. He undertook a thorough survey and the report was provided very promptly.”

Damp Survey, in Godalming

“I requested an independent investigation into potential damp in my property following claims by an Eco firm trying to sell me a product for £3K. Alpine Surveys are independent and their surveyor did a first class job. Initial communication with Sarah at Alpine by e-mail and phone was first class and Mark the surveyor talked me through the findings. The report provided within 48 hours was comprehensive and allayed my fears. £350 well spent and saved me a fortune. I would highly recommend Alpine.”

Damp Survey, in Aylesbury

“Surveyor turned up when they said they would. They explained the process and their initial thoughts on the issues. It was very obvious that they were knowledgeable in the field. Report was sent within 24 hours and was very comprehensive. Would recommend the company to others and will be considering them in the future if other surveys are required.”

Damp Survey, in Farnham

“This is the second time we have used Marks services and again the advise he has provided has been invaluable.”

Damp Survey, in Weybridge

“Professional, punctual, confident ,and more importantly found the problem that to date no one has managed to do. We are very impressed in every aspect and would have no hesitation in recommending or using them again.”

Damp Survey, in Weston-super-Mare

“Alpine Surveys undertook a thorough survey to investigate the cause of a damp patch. The surveyor inspected the internal and external walls and took measurements of the relative damp and moisture content. We received a report with the measurements and thermal images to show the extent of the damp spread. The report also contained recommendations to rectify the issue. The surveyor was very helpful and took time to explain the issues and his recommendations. This is very helpful before we speak to any builders, to make sure they diagnose the problem and undertake the correct work.”

Damp Survey, in Epsom

“So glad I had this report done but a professional company, thanks to the company doing a full detailed report of what was wrong with the house I was going for, gave me confidence with deciding if to continue with the sale.”

Damp Survey, in Poole

“Mark really open our eyes to the mechanics and behaviour of single skin older building. It's all about breathability with lime render/plaster not about waterproofing with cement mortar. Conducted a very thorough survey and produced an excellent report afterwards to help us fix our damp problem the correct way, just wish we'd had it done before we spent money getting the house rendered with waterproof cement render!”

Damp Survey, in Epsom

“Excellent work by a very knowledgeable and experienced person. I would always recommend Mark and Alpine to anyone having damp problems or indeed if they were considering purchasing a house.”

Damp Survey, in Poole

“Alpine provided a much-needed and invaluable professional investigation for me (overseas landlord) at my tenanted property. They gave me the facts and unbiased valid information-just what I needed! As an independent company, Alpine is an absolute treasure; because the price is agreed in advance and the results are accurately compiled. No hidden extras, no "I know someone who can do that job" or any other potentially misleading sales talk. They provide a no-nonsense service which enables homeowners to then make informed decisions based on their findings. Highly recommend Alpine Surveys! Thank you.”

Damp Survey, in Eastbourne

“I have instructed Alpine Surveys to complete two surveys in the last month on behalf of my company Censeo Property, one for a property we are buying and the other on behalf of a client. Both are basement flats. I had the same surveyor for both properties, he arrived on time and worked systematically through the properties using both damp meters and thermal imaging. The reports produced were detailed and specifically the Thermal Imaging allows for non-invasive investigation, which has been very useful to my client to allow for the eliminations of some of the potential causes of the damp”

Damp Survey, in London

“This survey was undertaken due to dissatisfaction with other free quotes from damp proofing companies. Despite professional approaches, the variation in establishing underlying causes of damp seemed to add up to educated guesswork. The Alpine surveyor spent much longer exploring the potential cause and the use of thermal imaging seemed to pinpoint the source more precisely. The surveyor involved me and demonstrated what he was doing. I felt satisfied that money spent on effective unbiased diagnosis would save money down the line on potentially expensive and unnecessary work.”

Damp Survey, in Bristol

“I telephoned to enquire whether I could book a survey and received a very quick response. The survey was booked within 2 days which was extremely convenient for me.”

Damp Survey, in Coulsdon

“Inspection of Commercial Property: Very happy with Alpine Surveys - Timely, efficient, organised, polite and informative. A pleasure to deal with. Sarah who organised the appointments and follow up calls was excellent too - Thank you.”

Damp Survey, in Barnet

“Prompt, flexible to rearrange timing due to bad weather and exhaustive reporting.”

Damp Survey, in Teddington

“I was very impressed with the service offered - from initial enquiry through to receiving the survey. Very knowledgeable, helpful and prompt in sending the survey through.”

Damp Survey, in Sutton

“We had a Damp Survey carried out on property we were in the process of buying. Following the Homebuyer's survey we initially carried out, there were a number of damp related items that we wanted to get checked with a more detailed damp survey. The survey was carried out on the date we booked and we received the report the following day. The report was very clear and highlighted the areas of concern and the steps to rectify. Very pleased that it allayed our fears and put our minds at rest. Would definitely recommend.”

Damp Survey, in Dunstable

“No work was carried out, purpose of visit was for survey. Your colleague was polite, kept us informed as to what he believed the issue was and appeared to carry out a detailed investigation.”

Damp Survey, in Godstone

“Mark was extremely thorough with his investigation and identified the sources of my problems which another company wasn’t able to. His report was very informative and I would have no hesitation in recommending him.”

Damp Survey, in Haywards Heath

“Mark arrived on time and carried out a full survey and gave me good explanations of the root causes and proposed corrective actions. The report provided the same day with detailed analysis of several issues. We've not yet been able to confirm that the proposal will solve the problem, because the suggested works in the proposal are quite expensive and disruptive, but I do believe the Mark has identified the roots of the problem. I hope we can report back good news once we can afford to carry out the works.”

Damp Survey, in Henley-on-Thames

“Dealing with Alpine has been a pleasure. The booking staff are very capable, informative and courteous and the surveyors who attended were extremely professional, knowledgeable and reassuring. The report arrived on time and its format and content, logical, precise and clear. I would have no hesitation in recommending Alpine.”

Damp Survey, in Sevenoaks

“Excellent service, the man that did the job was really helpful and all issues were resolved after actions taken as advised, would definitely use again and recommend.”

Damp Survey, in Slough

“The inspector was very thorough, attentive to all details and identified the elusive source of a leak that numerous other companies failed to identify over the years. Excellent work and excellent customer service!”

Damp Survey, in London

“The surveyor was extremely pleasant, professional, approachable and an overall nice happy chap. Arrived and cracked on straight away. He explained his findings in plain terms so I would understand when the survey came through. I like the fact they are an independent company and not selling other goods off of the back of the survey like alot of others. Competitively priced vs the £400 I was quoted by another company! Sarah was friendly and easy to deal with. Survey came a little later than expected but wasn't an issue. Would recommend!”

Damp Survey, in Luton

“Alpine provided a comprehensive report on damp in a house I am a prospective buyer for. I spoke to the surveyor over the phone about the report, and received email responses to further queries. Sarah was very helpful in arranging the survey and in follow up emails.”

Damp Survey, in London

“The surveyor, Mark, Was very friendly and polite and undertook the survey very efficiently. The report was sent well before the 48 hour estimate. I had one follow up question that was answered quickly and efficiently.”

Damp Survey, in London

“I called in Alpine Surveys to find out why a bedroom wall was getting damp. After the survey we were told the leak was coming from a water tank in the attic. Although common sense would have pointed to the water tank as the logical place for the leak three different plumbers had failed to find anything wrong with it over a period of some months. The survey was quite expensive but proved beyond doubt we needed to replace that tank. We also had a full report from Alpine confirming the rest of the house is dry which is helpful as we are in the process of selling the property.”

Damp Survey, in Poole

“Excellent, friendly work; explaining what was being done and recommending solutions before report. Very pleased.”

Damp Survey, in Hampton

“Very thorough survey done and thermal imaging also done and shown to us. Advised on what action to take. Mark(surveyor) was pleasant and professional and I had complete confidence in him”

Damp Survey, in Bournemouth

“I highly recommend Alpine Surveys. Mark was extremely knowledgeable and carried out a comprehensive survey/report on an old property I was in the process of purchasing. He gave sound advice and prevented me from wasting thousands of pounds on injection tanking, as recommended by another 'damp specialist'. In my opinion having independent advice is certainly the way to go if you want peace of mind that you won't be ripped off by companies offering 'free' damp surveys.”

Damp Survey, in Chalfont St. Giles

“Mark arrived early, was polite, professional and thankfully for us (finally after spending huge amounts of money getting nowhere on the issue) highly effective. We now know what the issue is (inside the house not outside). If we need to do this again these guys are the go to outfit. Thanks again.”

Damp Survey, in Hook

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