building valuations



The best way to stop black mould

and dampness problems


Independent Building Surveyors

We are independent Chartered Surveyors who have many years of experience carrying out BuildingSurveys, often known as Full Structural Surveys, of every Era, type and style of building.  All our Building Surveyors have a wealth of property knowledge and are happy to answer your property questions.
Free phone 0800 298 5424 for a chat.

Property management of an ex-local authority house

We have been involved with one particular house, from a property management point of view, for ten plus years. Over that time we have rarely had property problems with this well built ex-local authority house.

In our experience these houses, providing they are traditionally built and not non-traditionally built, were built with labour that the council employed directly.  The tradespeople were time served and they were supervised by older experienced time served tradespeople. 

These types of houses generally also had a clerk of works and an in-house Surveyor or architect project managing the work.


Ex-Local Authority House

Free phone 0800 298 5424


Our Surveying Articles

If you don’t know whether your building is traditional or non-traditional then see our other articles on this website or phone us on 0800 298 5424. 

Here are a few we think you may be interested in:

Non-traditional and traditional properties, what are they?

It may look like a traditional house construction but it may secretly be non-traditional

Condensation and damp walls

French drains

Black mould

We generally have not had many problems with this type of building but there have been one or two times where black mould has started to appear, which unfortunately can be a fairly common problem in this Era of property. However it interested / intrigued us how some people were able to live in the property without getting any black mould and others weren’t.


Unique survey sketches included in our building surveys help our clients understand property issues

Lifestyle in a house


We think to a great extent the problem of black mould can be put down to how the people live in a property.  We find that people that air rooms by regularly opening windows, together with actions such as opening windows when they have a shower or bath, or carry out a large amount of steamy cooking and also activities such as drying clothing outside or having a tumble dryer that’s vented externally help in preventing the build up of moisture and thereby the occurrence of black mould.  


Small extract fan

Understanding what causes black mould and how to prevent


However, we recently had a young couple in one of our properties who had young children and for whatever reason they decided not to use the extract fan. We had installed better good quality large extract fans that were humidity controlled, which meant that they switched on and off when the humidity became too great.  The tenants had decided to disconnect the extract fans as they weren’t happy with them being on all the time and having to pay the bill.

There was a general lack of understanding of what creates humidity and as a result there was a lot of black mould throughout the property.


External extract fan

Improvements to a building help minimise dampness

Dampness occurs due to a combination of elements and actions. First of all we should call it condensation rather than just dampness. There may be other dampness or condensation in the property, which means that the walls and floors already have a greater element of dampness in them than they would normally.  This means that when humid activities occur in the property condensation occurs on the walls and can’t be absorbed by the walls.  The plaster air molecules pick up dirt and skin as they travel from the shower, etc, to the colder areas, such as in the bedrooms, on the corners of the walls, within cupboards, etc, and leave a black mark on the walls which grows as it increases and can then lead to all sorts of health problems.  Although it has to be said that research is still relatively new in this area and the Jury is still out as to exactly what health problems dampness does and does not cause.



Bubbling paint caused by dampness / condensation

Black mould causes and other associated problems

Not only do you need to look at the cause of the black mould rather than the effect, which is the black mould, you also need to look at the property as a whole and see if there are other factors that are causing problems.

In this particular case, the property sits on a sloping site and rainwater is being discharged against the property on the front, rear and side walls.

We have carried out everything we possibly can to reduce the dampness getting into the property.  We have:-

1. added a French drain to divert the dampness around the property

2. lowered the ground level to ensure that there are two courses of brickwork between the ground the damp proof level.

It should be noted that the ground level had risen over the years as car parking had been made to the front garden, which was originally grassed and would have absorbed water, and it had been replaced with shingle and concrete, which meant the rainwater simply discharged against the property.


French drain


Free Examples of our building surveys

If are buying a property then you may like to see some examples of Building Surveys our Chartered Building Surveyors have carried out. You will see that our surveys contain many high quality digital photos, sketches and definitions that help to explain the specific problems that we find within the property.

There is also an Executive Summary at the start of the survey report that highlights the main issues that we find with the property.

Please call us and we can email you some of these examples.

Free phone us 0800 298 5424 and ask for an example of one of our surveys. We have carried out surveys on every Era and age, type and style of property.

Why we always recommend having an independent building survey?

Always have an independent building survey, as this will pinpoint any property problems. Caveat emptor means buyer beware and is why you need to have a building survey to find out if there are any problems within the property; the estate agent certainly will not advise you of any.

Remember the independent building Surveyor that you employ will be the only person working for you with your interests at heart.

Photographs and surveying sketches, ovals and circles

We include many survey photos and unique survey sketches, which we have commissioned over many years surveying in our building survey reports to make property problems clear and as easy to understand.


Single panel radiator; we much prefer to see a double panel convection radiator


Independent Surveyors

If you truly do want an independent expert opinion from a surveyor with regard to valuations, mortgages, mortgage companies, surveys, building surveys, structural reports, engineers reports, specific defects report, structural surveys, home buyers reports or any other property matters please contact 0800 298 5424 for a surveyor to give you a call back.

Commercial property surveyors

If you have a commercial property, be it leasehold or freehold, then you may wish to look at our Dilapidations Website at and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site .

Our articles

We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).

The contents of the web site are for general information only and are not intended to be relied upon for specific or general decisions. Appropriate independent professional advice should be paid for before making such a decision.

Our rights

All rights are reserved the contents of the web site is not to be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or part without the express written permission of



building engineers



Home Buyers Reports Property Surveys - why we're the best. Engineers Reports
© Copyright
Site Map

1stassociated-logo-for-footer IVSA-badge IVSA-putting-client-first call-us-for-footer

We have thousands of free property articles to help you - or call us freephone on 0800 298 5424

We have been working in the property industry for many years and have been
providing free property articles for over ten years. All for free and to help you with buying your next property.

House and Home Surveys and Useful Information

All you need to know about Building Surveys

Building Control, what do they do?

Designers and Architects will they save me money or will they cost me money

Enviroment, Your Building and Garden Gnomes

Estate Agents help sell houses and work for the vendors

Have a Structural Survey to protect you against structural problems

Home improvements, builder problems and ideas for you on how to solve them

How a Surveyor values a property, Chartered Surveyors and Regulated Valuers

How Chartered Engineers and Building Engineers can help you

Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas

NHBC National House Building Council

Structural Surveys and How We Can Help You

Traditional and Non-Traditional Houses and Mortgage Problems

Valuations and how much is the building worth?

Whats the difference between a Chartered Building Surveyor, Chartered Surveyor and an Independent Surveyor

Useful property problem articles by Chartered Surveyors explaining building issues to avoid

External - Helpful information on building problems on the outside of the property

Chimney issues and problems

Cracking and Movement Problems and Surveying Solutions

Flat Roof Problems, how we can solve them

Foundations and Structures and Settlement and Subsidence and Underpinning

Pitched Roofs Problems and Solutions

Roof Problems

Wall Problems

Windows and Doors and Fascias and Soffits and Wet Rot and Dry Rot and other problems

Internal - House problems we have investigated inside

All you ever need to know about floors

Asbestos in your home, what you need to know

Ceiling Cracks and Structural Problems

Condensation, Damp and Black Mould Problems

Cracking and Movement Problems and Surveying Solutions

Windows and Doors and Fascias and Soffits and Wet Rot and Dry Rot and other problems

Woodworm is it a problem or not? Is it active or not?

Services - Building help and advice on costly services

Drainage, what's underground can affect what's above ground

Heating; I just can't get my house warm enough or alternatively I just can't get my house cool enough

You can't mess around with the electric, you need an expert


Commercial Property Services

Building Terms Explained and Directories

Commercial Property Surveys

Commercial Structural Surveys

Leisure Facilites

Offices Large and Small

Shops and Retail

Warehouse and Industrial Buildings

Dilapidations Help and Advice What is a Dilapidations Notice?

A Beginner's Guide to Dilaps

Damp Mould and Condensation

Dampness Rising Damp Mould Black Mould Condensation

Dilapidations and Negotiations

Dilapidations Claim by a Landlord

Energy Saving what can I do?

Finance what is a Financial Adviser (We are not Financial Advisors)

Fire Risk and Help

Health and Safety Risks

Insurance how do I get the correct property insurance?

Landlords Surveying Advice

Property Investment how can I invest in property?

Property TV Reviews by an Independent Surveyor

Schedules of Condition Leasing a Commercial Property

Scotts Schedule and Section 18 Valuation

Tenants Surveying Advice

Weather how does weather affect my property?



Snow and Ice

Strong Winds

Reviews from clients on Commercial Building Surveys

Churches and Charities, helpful reviews from our clients

Industrial Buildings and Warehouses and what our clients say about us

Offices Large and Small, reviews and feedback from our clients

Pubs, Restaurants, Hotels and other Leisure facilities we have surveyed over the years

Shops and Retail, helpful reviews from our clients


First Time Buyers

Buying a Leasehold or Shared Freehold Home

Buying and Selling Houses for the experienced house and home purchaser

First Time Buyers how do I go about buying my first house and home?

Improve your property knowledge with our presentations on house, homes and commercial property

Building Surveys

Building Surveying Useful Information


Dilapidations Presentations in Detail

Final Year Building Surveying Exams for University Students or those that would like to know more

How old is your Building? Which era was it built in?

Party Walls

Surveyors and Design Tools

Disputes and Party Walls

Boundary Disputes

Building and Property Disputes

Party Wall Book Reviews

Party Walls Your Rights and Responsibilities

1stAssociated Surveyors Review for Structural Surveys and Building Surveys

Building Surveys, reviews and feedback from satisfied customers

Buy to let property clients, what they say about our structural surveys

Buying at auction, review of the survey

Buying bungalows and retirement properties and how our surveyors can help

Both at work / busy couples, how we can help and some 1stAssociated client reviews

Families with a young person flying the nest, reviews and feedback

First Time Buyers, what they say about us

Listed buildings, structural surveys

Older buildings, a review of buying an older house

Families with children looking for a new home, feedback and reviews

Buying a Non-Traditional Property

Residential Surveys

House and Home Surveys

Commercial Building Surveys

Commercial Surveys

1st Associated Surveyors Are Also Available in the Following Areas:

East Anglia and East

South and South East

West Country and South West


North and North East



London Markets

London Parks



Areas of Britain

1stAssociated Independent Expert Property Surveyors

Specialists in Home Buyers Reports, Building Surveys and Structural Surveys and Schedules of Condition

All Surveyors are Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors qualified and RICS regulated

and are Members of the Independent Surveyors and Valuers Association

Putting the Client First

We do not accept service of documents by email or fax