Buildings through the ages have always been prone to damp related issues, which can result in walls and adjoining timbers becoming damp and affected by fungal decay.
Here we are in the year 2020 and nothing really has changed in that respect. Buildings (old and newer) are still – and will always be – prone to damp related issues. Sometimes those problems are very evident but other times they are not and this is where there is a reliance on a trained and experienced Surveyor.
So! if you discover potential problems it always makes sense to come to a damp and timber specialist and these are some of the reasons why:
1. Are they members of the Property Care Association (PCA)?
Reputable timber and damp specialists are members of professional bodies such as the Property Care Association (PCA).
PCA members must meet stringent criteria to demonstrate their technical competence, service delivery and financial stability. Their staff are trained to professional standards to resolve property defects. Therefore, by choosing a registered PCA member you have some assurance that remedial treatment work is going to be carried out by credible professionals, dedicated to a high standard of customer service.
The PCA also regularly audit members to ensure that these standards are being maintained.
2. Are they an established company with years of experience carrying out damp proofing / waterproofing and treating timbers?
Specialist surveyors have undergone training and passed exams in their field, such as CSRT (Certified Surveyor Remedial Treatments) which refers to damp and timber related matters in buildings and CSSW (Certified Surveyor Structural Waterproofing) which relates to below ground, structural waterproofing of buildings. Properly trained Surveyors are also more likely to have the correct equipment to investigate issues, such as Protimeters and thermal imaging equipment, etc. Importantly, they will understand how to interpret readings and results from this equipment.
3. Are their guarantees protected by back-up insurance – Guarantee Protection Insurance (GPI)?
Whereas general builders should have a good working knowledge of buildings and building related problems, they cannot provide long-term guarantees for remedial damp and timber treatments, or waterproofing works. Most general builders will call on specialists, such as Preservation Treatments, to carry out damp / timber / waterproofing surveys on properties that they are working on as they recognise that Companies such as ours are experts in their field and will provide a bespoke service. As well as providing their own long-term guarantee for work completed, PCA approved companies are also able to offer insurance back-up guarantees through Guarantee Protection Insurance (GPI) where required.
4. Are their staff trained technically in carrying out every aspect of their work?
When you do similar tasks every day you become good at what you do – but not complacent! Technicians who have been trained to install cavity drain membranes / damp-proof courses / dry rot treatments and woodworm treatments know what they are doing. When you do similar tasks on a regular basis you learn to avoid the pitfalls and are able use the expertise to make sure you do a great job and provide customer satisfaction. Even though they have experience, training does not stop there and our Surveyors and Technicians will often be sent on refresher courses for certain things, or will attend training courses when new products or services are introduced.
5. Are their staff trained in Health & Safety?
Surveyors / Technicians / Office Staff should have the technical and first-class health and safety training in all aspects of their works, including; Working at Height, Lone Working, Risk and Method Statements, PPE Personal Protection Equipment, to name but a few. Also, our Technicians undertake an annual health surveillance check for their wellbeing, which covers Noise, HAVS (Hand Arm Vibrations), Lung Function and a Skin Assessment.
6. Does the company have trade affiliations?
- CHAS (Construction Health and Safety) is a third-party accreditation for health and safety legislation and requirements which must be renewed each year
- SAFE CONTRACTOR – again this is an industry recognised standard for annual vetting of contractors to demonstrate health and safety competence.
- CONSTRUCTIONLINE – We are an approved supplier and this is another recognised standard for health and safety and financial stability
- BS ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management – the Company needs to demonstrate its ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and statutory and regulatory requirements. One of the main aims is to enhance customer satisfaction through its effective application of the Management System.
- BS ISO 14001:2015 Environment Management – to demonstrate conformance and ensure compliance with environmental laws and regulations making a self-determination of conformance on the Environmental Management System
7. Why come to Preservation Treatments?
Preservation Treatments have been in business for just under 50 years and are very proud to say that a significant amount of our work comes through recommendations and existing clients. When problems are misdiagnosed it can cost you more in the long term. For example, condensation and rising damp may often appear alike to the untrained eye; yet the solutions are very different! By getting an expert opinion, you can have the issue rectified professionally and effectively.
If you suspect that your property needs some remedial damp or timber work why not call a specialist so they can give you their expert opinion?