Pre School and Day Nursery
Dampness and Condensation
We are highly qualified independent surveyors and have carried out surveys on all types and eras of property from traditional Tudor residential properties to pre schools and even churches! We can offer you advice on your property problems and can carry out a building survey on your prospective purchase; whether it is residential or for business. We can prepare a schedule of condition and property report in relation to your lease. We carry out dilaps reports for landlords or tenants.
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A well established pre-school and day nursery has recently contacted us with regard to dampness in their property. Having seen the type of work that we have been carrying out and having had many builders have a go at sorting out the problem over the years, and having been sold various products that they are not happy with that didn't resolve the dampness problems they decided the only way forward before they get sued for allergies relating to mould growth, etc, was to ask us to carry out an appraisal of the property , formerly known as a building survey, more correctly known as building pathology.
Sources of Moisture
Our initial research has been to look at the different sources of moisture in the property and the considerable amount of moisture being created by the children and teachers, not forgetting associated activities, such as drying of clothes, washing of children and cleaning throughout the property, with additional items such as rising damp (dampness coming through to ground level), lateral dampness (dampness coming through the walls and the roof) and cold bridging causing condensation (where sections of the property are colder than other sections) and interstitial condensation (where condensation is causing problems within the structure).
Problem solving practical solutions
We have had discussions with the owner of the pre-school and day nursery and we have had discussions with the manager of the pre-school and day nursery to understand how the business is managed. We also looked at what we would term as a timeline, which is an historic reflection on developments at the property; be this alterations and amendments in the physical form to the buildings such as new double glazing, damp proof courses and the use of de-humidifiers, to the education of the staff about condensation and asking them to open windows to air the property and the practicalities of this during the winter months when they obviously don't want the children to get cold.
We also interviewed a member of staff to see how they view the situation.
Example of air movement in a room
Achievable and sustainable results
All building problems can always be solved by throwing a lot of money at them, it is the resolving of the problems, using the right solutions that is the most difficult aspect.
In this case, for example, a full air conditioning system would resolve the problem but it would be:
require constant maintenance from specialists, and
be expensive to install in an older property, such as this, that has been amended from a large house.
Even in a purpose built structure it is hard to add such things as these.
Avoiding being sued in a litigious society
We looked at the main concerns and the main factors driving our instruction to carry out work and the owner advised it was her concern that whilst they couldn't see any mould growth they certainly could see condensation and there may be a claim against them from one of the mothers/clients.
The owner of the pre-school and day nursery couldn't see it but we could
We identified mould both between the suspended ceiling tiles and the original ceiling and also within the roof void.
An eye to the future with solutions and common sense
We would also consider whether there are green solutions, such as solar voltaic panels, rainwater or grey water recycling. More commonly, the solution is the addition of insulation.
Compare our website articles and compare our surveys
Have a look around our website to see the quality of our articles. We pride ourselves on our professional standard and easy to read reports which we have been carrying out for many years. We would also be happy to email you some examples of our tailor made reports, Schedules of Condition, Structural Surveys and Property Reports. We can send you examples of Structural Surveys on, we believe, every type of property and era.
We use photos and sketches in our reports
In our structural survey reports we include our own unique sketches and photographs from a very powerful optical zoom camera to identify problem areas and to help to explain pictorially the issues which we as Independent Surveyors often find helps to highlight and explain property areas of concern.
An example of one of our photos
Our circles and ovals
In our building surveys and structural surveys the circles and ovals are a tool we use to draw attention to property problem areas so that you are not left wondering what the property issue is.
An example of one of our sketches
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).
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