Damp Survey, Central London

Posted: 18th February,2021

Damp Survey, Central London

Recently our surveyors undertook a very interesting damp survey on a famous landmark you might recognise, London County Hall. London County Hall is the building that used to be the headquarters of London County Council and later the Greater London Council. The Grade II listed building is situated on the South Bank of the River Thames, with Westminster Bridge next to it. 

Alpine Surveys were instructed to undertake a damp and moisture ingress survey, in order to ascertain the cause of moisture ingress into the building. During the survey it was quickly discovered that the external condition of the building was severely deteriorated. The building was originally commissioned to replace the mid 19th-century Spring Gardens headquarters. Since construction in 1911 specific areas of the building such as, the roof coating, adjacent roof valley and chimney stack had deteriorated.

For 64 years the County Hall served as the HQ for the local government of London, during the 1980’s there was a lot of political conflict and the front elevation of the County Hall frequently served as a billboard for opposition slogans which were visible from the Palace of Westminster.  

As the property ages, the level of absorbed moisture increases within the structure. The moisture is absorbed into the structural materials and despite evaporation and extraction a certain amount will remain as residual moisture. Over the decades the residual level will increase, unless mechanical drying is undertaken.  

Furthermore, the surveyors established externally that the defective bituminous coating and internal render had trapped the saturation within the structure, in turn increasing the level of deterioration. This property was built using a solid construction; therefore, it does not have a cavity to allow air circulation between wall skins, and to stop moisture migrating from the outer wall skin to the inner skin. Our surveyors can conclude this specific information from the top of the range equipment they use and their years of experience. 

After a surveys completion we always provide our clients with a thorough, in-depth and comprehensive report, detailing the surveyor’s specific findings and recommendations for remedial works that need to be undertaken in order to eradicate the problem(s).

Did you know…

  • The building was opened by King George V in 1922.
  • The site was previously occupied by four properties: Float Mead (flour mills), Pedlar’s Acre (wharves and houses), Bishop’s Acre (factory) and the Four Acres (workshops and stables). 
  • It is faces in Portland stone in an Edwardian Baroque style. 
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