Under floor ventilation is essential to stop damp build up. Put simply, damp is stale moist air trapped inside your house which will overtime rot the floorboards. If your wooden flooring is damp, musty, mouldy, and smelly or you have fungi growing then you will need to install under floor ventilation.
The first step is to engage the services of a trained building surveyor like McCarthy Partnership. They in turn can undertake what’s called a non-destructive survey of your property and report on any damp issues.
It is important that you select your building surveyor with care. They will need a level of expertise appropriate with that of a competent chartered building surveyor. If you rely just on the advice of a building contractor they may recommend costly, and unnecessary, work.
As an initial course of action a building surveyor will examine the external ground level to see if there is a damp proof course and/or the presence of air bricks that helps ventilate under the floorboards. If neither of these is present then it is likely that measures will need to be taken to introduce fresh air under the floor and into the house.
The building surveyor will then take a moisture meter reading within the property. This will indicate if there is a damp issue and what timbers are most affected. This will help with assessing the remedial work that is required.
The building surveyor will use their knowledge and expertise to determine the cause of the damp. In some cases the pattern of readings from an electrical moisture meter can come from salts within the brick and could give very similar result as if there was active rising damp.
In some cases specialist advice, and further investigation, may well be needed. The use of on-site testing salt kits or carbide meters are generally reliable, but are also solely dependent on the skill and expertise of the on-site investigator and their ability to interpret the data that’s obtained.
Therefore if you are thinking of installing a wooden floor, or you suspect your current flooring may suffer from damp penetration, you would be wise to hire a building surveyor to make an initial assessment.