Books & publications recommended for surveyors and owners of traditional buildings with moisture related problems

English Heritage Practical Building Conservation – Building Environment

This books looks at the interaction between building materials and systems and the surroundings and how this may to deterioration, outlining the evolution of building envelope design and environmental control systems. It presents way of assessing remedial treatments, and includes discussion on occupant health and sustainable retrofitting. The principal authors, Dr Robyn Pender, Dr Brian Ridout & Tony Curteis are experts in their fields of conservation and building environmental issues. Click here to visit the English Heritage Bookshop.

Haynes Period Property Manual – Care and Repair of Old Houses

This book is essential reading for owners of period properties. The author is a chartered building surveyor and conservator. Like most Haynes manuals the text is supplemented by lots of annotated photographs and the advice is detailed enough and it is set out in a very clear manner. Click here to visit the Haynes Bookshop.

BRE Digest 245 -Rising damp in walls – diagnosis and treatment

This Digest examines the origins of moisture accumulation in walls and provides guidance on addressing rising damp when detected. It is crucial to accurately diagnose the root cause of any dampness. If a structure already possesses a physical damp-proof course (DPC), it is improbable that it has failed, as most DPC materials have a prolonged lifespan. However, various faults, such as mortar droppings in a cavity wall, can render a DPC ineffective by bridging it and enabling moisture to travel up the wall. This Digest includes visual examples of these and other ways in which an existing DPC can be bridged.

Although high readings from a moisture meter may indicate a damp problem, it is not conclusive as some accumulation of salts may occur in the walls of old buildings. Appendix A outlines how to drill samples from a wall to determine its moisture content and hygroscopicity, and explains how to interpret moisture gradient profiles. Click here to visit the BRE Book Shop.

“Rising damp myth” statement the true storey – by Stephen Boniface

This article on Linkedin sets out Stephen Boniface’s current position on his previous statement that rising damp is a myth. The article confirms that rising damp is usually misdiagnosed and chemical damp treatments are rarely necessary. Click here to view the article on Linkedin.

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