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JamesI
JamesI, Developer
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 2569
Experience:  I have a portfolio of renovated houses, including DIY projects from installing bathrooms and new heating systems to rewiring.
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I had a leaking pipe which caused serve damp coming from

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Hi,
I had a leaking pipe which caused serve damp coming from saturated concrete floor. My insurance company moved me out and employed a drying company. The drying company have said to me that the thermodynamic tiles and the glue used to stick them may be inhibiting the drying out process
I relayed this to my insurer who spoke to the drying company , the insurers
said the lack of drying may be due to a lack of a damp membrane. Therefore I am liable.
I am seeking advice on the impact tiles and glue would have on the drying out process. They are drying with large fans. Also,the lack of DPM ( if this is the case)
Is it likely both are affecting the drying process

Hi, thank you for choosing Just Answer, my name is ***** ***** I will help with your query today.

What is the age of the house in question?

If this has been going on for some time with excessive heat over the past 2 weeks I doubt the absence of a DPM would cause significant issues, since the argument would be moisture from the ground is rising, but with the water table very low at the moment and the ground bone try I cant see an argument being made.

Depending on the age of the property I would check you have a DPM on the external brick work often can see small parts sticking out of the mortar, and good chance if there is one on the brick work there will be on the subfloor, I would also check who signed off the building as this would have been checked as part of building control.

I would argue its for the insurer to prove the absence of a DPM (since if the building is traditional type and signed of by Building Control, and evidence of one on the brick work its highly unlikely one isnt present on the subfloor, especially if its not become an issue until recently).

Are the tiles linoleum, if so the thermal properties of those are minimal, but it may be another underlay, levelling compound or similar was placed under them which is insulating the floor.

Look forward to hearing from you

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you James,
The building was built by Hackney council. We moved into it brand new in 1979.
I have contacted the council about the damp proof membrane and am waiting for there response.
Lana

Hi Lana,

Im fairly certain there would be a DPM, if you actually find someone who put that in writing may be another story.

Logically though if you didnt have one and they claim thats stopping\hindering the drying process how come you didnt have damp in the previous 30 plus years, when we had high water tables, floods and all sorts over that period.

It just doesnt stand up to reason from my perspective, especially when you go and look at how dry the earth is currently.

Do let me know if you need anything further, also was I right that the floor tiles are lino?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you James
You have given me some strong arguments to go back with.
The tiles were lino
I will leave this for now, but come back as matters progress
Thank you!
Lana

No problem Lana, please rate the response to date using the star rating on the page, the question stays open for 4 weeks so if you think of anything else do come back to me.

JamesI and other Home Improvement Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Good Morning James,
Further to your response. The insurance company seem to backing away from the DPM argument. They are, however, saying the property is dry. Please advise of the type of reading/measurement I should ask for and the level for a property to be considered dry and not damp.
Thank you
Lana
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi James
Thank you for your previous response which was very helpful.
The insurance company appear to be backing away from their damp proof membrane stance. However, they are now saying the property is dry. Please can you advise on the type of measurement and level I should expect if a property is considered to be dry.
Many thanks
Lana
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi James
Thank you for your previous response which was Avery helpful.
The insurance company appear to be backing away from their damp proof membrane stance. However, they are now saying the property is dry. Please can you advise on the type of measurement and level I should expect if a property is considered to be dry.
Many thanks
Lana
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Sorry for sending multiple times, was working on my phone and it didn't show as sent

Hi Lana,

Not a problem, please note it can take some time for me to reply.

There a many ways to measure how damp a property is, the most common is by taking readings of materials such as walls, floors and wood frames\doors etc.

5-10 on a damp meter is considered normal, anything above 15 is deemed high.

You can also look at humidity which should be around 45%, but certainly less than 55%.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi James
Many thanks for the prompt response.
From what you have said, the last time they spoke to me about the damp meter reading but today the are talking about humidity. Are they equally effective measures? Should I be asking for both types of readings?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi James, could you advise how to do a telephone conversation as there has been further developments.
Thanks
Lana

Yes you should be asking for both, humidity is looking at moisture in the air, damp is about what is in the fabric of the building (walls, floors, window frames etc).

No point having low humidity and high damp as over time the air will become more humid as it picks up moisture in the building.

Please note I am not currently available to call you until 15.15

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hello James
The drying company are saying that they have taken an in-depth moisture reading and concrete should have a relative humidity reading of 75% for concrete. which is acceptable to sign off with. I asked about a damp meter reading of about 10 and they said this is not a technical term. Can you confirm it is better to have the damp meter reading and where I can find evidence of the 10 reading being the standard concrete floors.
I just tried to pay another £33 by PayPal for another session. Got two messages, one with a receipt and one saying I have paid already and won't be charged?

I dont have access to your billing details, give customer services a call on 0***-***-**** they can sort you out with regard to billing queries.

Concrete is porous and RH requires a internal measure so it rather depends where and how they have measured the RH.

They are correct RH is a far more technical measure, but that doesnt demonstrate if the property is dry, they should be taking damp readings of walls, floors, door frames etc.

Have a look at this website here it gives a fairly good rationale about what to be testing and what it means. However in summary you shouldnt be using the floor reading alone to say if a property is dry.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hello
In your opinion would a liquid damp proof membrane solve the problem of R H reading of 100% or would you advise continued drying. Many thanks
Lana