In this blog, Icon Surveyors will consider whether a building owner who wants to install a damp proof course on the Party Wall needs to first serve a Party Wall Notice on an adjoining owner and whether or not a surveyor should be appointed.
So, in the simplest of terms,
The fact that the works being carried out consists of damp proofing matters not, any building owner who proposes to carry out works on a Party Wall is legally obliged to serve an adjoining owner with a Party Wall Notice.
That said, if the works merely consist of removing plaster from an internal wall to treat damp on an internal wall, unless there is a stipulation pertaining to any permissions required for alterations within a leasehold agreement, a building owner is not, under the Party Wall Act 1996, required to serve a notice upon any and/or all adjoining owners for works that will not affect the Party Wall.
When should I (a Building Owner) Appoint a Party Wall Surveyor?
There are several different methods of damp proofing. Icon Surveyors, would always recommend a building owner, who is not that much familiar with damp that may occur in the walls of a building, to appoint a Party Wall Surveyor who has a track record of dealing with problems arising from damp walls in both old and new buildings. There are many variables to take into consideration when trying to determine the best course of action to take in order to fix the root of the problem as opposed to using temporary measures that will alleviate the problem for the short term.
- The first thing that an experienced surveyor will want to establish is how old the building is. This will usually determine the materials that were used to build the structure and thus, what materials are best suited to proof any existing and/or potential future damp.
- The surveyor may then want to establish whether the damp has been caused over the long term or whether there has been a recent influx of water.
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Thus, a good surveyor will locate where the ingress of water is coming from and use a damp meter to establish whether any damp area(s) exist. Whether there has been any form of a damp proof course used in the past and, if so, what method and materials were used? To carry out a proper examination of the effected wall(s) a surveyor will drill a hole and collect the dust/remanence therein to be tested in a rig designed for the purpose of detecting damp.
Without going into all of the procedures that are carried out by a surveyor whose objective is to provide the best solution for a building owner that has encountered damp related problems, Icon Surveyors would again advise that any building or adjoining owner who suspects that damp may have occurred to a Party Wall structure or building appoints an experienced party wall surveyor. This in our humble opinion, will save time, money and perhaps further damage to any structure or building that appears to have some form of water ingress or indeed damp.
Icon Surveyors are happy to provide a free consultation on party wall matters to any building or adjoining owners who may be affected by the subject matter raised in this blog.