The first thing to be aware of is that your Valuation is not a survey. Although it may have been a Surveyor who visited the property, the inspection that would have been carried out is in no way comparable to even the lowest level survey inspection. To avoid confusion I will refer to Valuers and Surveyors separately.

Most Valuers will carry out between 4 and 6 Valuations a day, when you factor in the time spent getting between each property, picking up keys and filling in the paperwork that does not leave long to actually look round each property.   It is not uncommon for Valuers to spend as little as 15 minutes actually in the house. This is not long enough to carry out a full inspection for damp, let alone spend the time identifying the cause and considering solutions. Instead the Valuer has to make assumptions based on factors such as the age of the property, whether it has a damp proof course or any obvious external problems.

Please do not take the above to suggest I do not think Valuers do an important job. They do have an important role to play in the process but you must remember their role is important to the mortgage lender, who is their client, not you.

The report will say damp has been found but will rarely say where, what the cause is or the severity of the problem. So it comes down to you as the home buyer to sort out what to do next, often the bank will make it a condition of the mortgage that you resolve the damp problem. So what is the next step?

The best thing you can do next is to appoint a Surveyor to carry out a Building Survey at the property if you have not done this already. Tell them that damp has been found at the property and you need to understand how to resolve the issue. If you instruct any other type of survey then these will identify the damp and give you some more detail, but often they will not go on to explain the solutions that are available.

You might consider asking a Surveyor to report only on the damp issue. This will certainly be a cheaper option but probably not by much. The Surveyor will still have to inspect the whole property to fully assess the damp problem so why not have him report back anything else he finds? Remember the Valuer may not have even looked in the roof space and a lot of nasty problems can lurk up there.

The other option you can consider is arranging for a damp treatment company to visit the property and provide a report and a quote. Damp treatment companies only really specialise in treating one form of damp, rising damp. This is the form most people will have heard of but is actually the least common. Funnily enough if you ask a company who specialises in treating rising damp to tell you what type of damp you have 9 times out of 10 they will tell you it is rising damp.

I don’t think this is fraudulent or dishonest in any way, damp is just a very difficult issue to fully diagnose. Water can spread and run long distances before it shows up as a serious issue and it takes a lot of experience and knowledge to follow the trail properly. The sort of experience and knowledge I always bring to my surveys.