London Borough of Lambeth
London Borough of Lewisham
London Borough of Hackney
Restoration Express Ltd
Bath Municipal Charities
Barratt Homes Ltd
The HEET Project
Professor Malcolm Hollis
New Forest District Council
One Housing Group
WHCG LLP Solicitors
Royal and Sun Alliance
Edgar Horn Chartered Surveyors
Lloyds TSB Insurers
Testimonial 1 - 2011
From : Ian D BSc UES MRICS
I am a Chartered Surveyor and Property Developer and have my own private
portfolio of properties in London.
I own in particular a lower ground floor flat in Earls Court and I have had
severe problems with damp in the flat since October 2010. I needed help with an
Expert who might diagnose why my flat was so damp. I approached Ralph Burkinshaw
There had been a procession of surveys of a lower ground floor flat that I rent
out not far from Earls Court Underground station. My tenant complained of damp
issues. I had never known of any problems to the main living area since
purchasing my flat about ten years ago - and the pre-purchase survey did not
mention any damp patches. However, a leading damp-proofing company managed to
find rising damp throughout the lower ground floor even in rooms I had presumed
to be damp-free!
As one might expect, rising damp was the cited cause. This led me to take legal
advice as disputes arose concerning who was responsible for remedying the damp.
The Freeholder or Leaseholder?
The cause had to be verified by an independent consultant. Ralph promised me
that he would be very thorough, and that he could not predict the diagnosis. To
my surprise, he concluded that the flat's biggest damp problem was not 'rising
damp' but numerous leaks. He found this out by lifting laminate flooring and
taking off bath panels, as well as excavating next to a dividing wall. He tested
the bath and found edge seals leaked as well as the waste fitting. Salts
analysis also helped nail the cause. He also found much hidden mould.
Work to remedy the dampness will now focus funds towards the Building Insurance
policy as damp was coming through to my flat in 3 separate areas, two of which
are through a common part roof and a common part dividing wall. To improve the
damp issues I will now upgrade the bathroom and improving ventilation as well as
preventing further water/damp ingress from the suspect common held areas.
Devoting financial resources to 'rising damp’ alone would not have addressed the
root cause of the dampness and mould - which would have re – appeared simply
I thank Ralph for his thorough investigation and diagnosis that I will now act
upon to hopefully make my flat damp free.
Ian D BSc UES MRICS
Testimonial 2 – 2011
From : ‘AJ and Family’ July
Many thanks your prompt action on our behalf, and also for the well wishes. We
are since Monday 04th relocated with another housing association and the
property is much to our liking. We have begun the process finally of settling
the family down and it has been long in coming. Though a short relative distance
away we are in a good area in a residence with great potential. We should
finalise all with a settlement next week.
We engaged Ralph Burkinshaw to conduct a dampness investigation of our property
after our housing association left our complaint over a year in disrepair. When
the question of liability was being looked at we felt it was in our best
interest to invite an independent surveyor for a second opinion. After
discussions and an overview of our situation we received Ralph to conduct a
survey. With all his equipment Ralph was every bit the professional, skilled and
meticulous in his approach. He conducted a very thorough investigation into our
history with the problem, our housing association's position on the matter and
the impact of the problem on our living environment. His vast experience and
industry knowledge shone among representative surveyors for the housing
association, and evened out what was to then a one-sided contest in favour of
the housing association and their stakeholders against us. The report was worth
its weight in gold, having established that we were not party to any
liabilities, and made strong recommendations which were then passed on to other
stakeholders for their benefit. We find Ralph to be a true professional in every
respect, engaging with relative insights and thorough in his approach. He left
no stone unturned and helped to bring a swift conclusion to our dispute on the
strength of his participation. His work is highly recommended.
AJ and Family.
Testimonial 3 - 2011
Last August, you did some damp investigations for us here at Britwell
I am writing, very belatedly, to thank you for your help; not just for your
advice on the causes of the dampness and suggested remedies, but also for
your recommendation of X Contractors.
X Contractors repointed the end wall where we suffered so much penetrating damp,
replastered the inside, and sorted out the extensive damp at the foot of the
partition wall (see attached).
The room 'feels' very different now there is no underlying damp, and the
repointing looks really good. Indeed, we were so pleased with X Contractors services
we have just used them for another project. (Like the damp issues, a project
long delayed as before we met X Contractors we didn't know how to find anyone we could
trust to do the job).
So, thanks again!
Testimonial 4 - 2011
'I recently bought a period property in London, NW3. I knew there were likely to
be damp problems to address from the building survey - but was surprised at the
sheer extent of the re-plastering quoted for by a leading damp-proofing company.
I sought advice from Ralph, who carried out a thorough investigation - and he
was able to confirm which walls needed re-plastering, and which walls did not !
He also discovered some areas of suspect solid flooring needing to be re-laid,
and advised on external landscaping upgrades that would help reduce dampness
along external walls. His unbiased advice put our minds at rest ! '
Testimonial 5 – 2012
From : Mr and Mrs Greene
When we bought our house in Shoreham-by-Sea we were not aware of any damp
problems along the flank side – the Living Room – mainly because the front rooms
were full of storage and inspection was impossible !
We moved in and re-laid the floorboards, as well as re-plastering the front
rooms – the work done by a local builder. The walls are cavity walls – even
though the property is early 1900s. The cavity wall was checked using a
borescope and wall ties were OK – quite corrosion free.
However. We were crestfallen when we saw damp patches appearing on our new
plasterwork – along the flank side.
Numerous surveyors and dampproofers came to inspect and to quote for remedial
work. Some favoured injecting a chemical dpc, most advised re-plastering to a
metre high, but we were not convinced that any of the experts had got it
We found Ralph’s website and arranged for a dampness investigation to give us
peace of mind.
Ralph was to say the least thorough. He not only checked the walls with a damp
meter – as all the other surveyors had done already – but levered off skirting
board, took up floorboard, checked out drains and assessed floor ventilation. He
discovered that the builder’s plaster had been extremely sand-rich and showed us
how it could physically crumble in the hands. The cavity wall was found to be
full of debris. The drains were partly blocked and the timber floor needed
additional airvents, as well as replacement of some rotten timber wallplates.
Ralph carried out salts analysis of plaster samples as well as confirming just
how wet were the bases of the cavity walls. Some surveyors had already advised a
simple perimeter channel filled with shingle to help keep the wallbases dry, but
Ralph explained how a drained channel could be installed linked to the existing
drain system – a far better solution. The selected perimeter channel design is
featured in his book ‘Remedying Damp’.
Ralph listed the work needed to produce dry walls and reduce the risk of floor
deterioration. Ralph did not recommend a chemical injection dpc be installed –
as he had discovered the existing damp proof course – which could be made
effective by localised lowering of the yards.
We see now that the limited approach of just re-plastering the walls would not
have addressed cavity wall and floor problems and would not have achieved a long
term cure. So he has more than justified his fee !