• Cellar Tanking Systems and Basement Conversions
  • Wet Rot and Specialist Dry Rot Treatments
  • High Pressure Damp Proof Course Injection
  • Same day 1 hour return Woodworm Spray Treatments
  • Wet Rot and Specialist Dry Rot Treatments
  • Condensation and Black Spot Mould Treatments
  • Cellar Tanking Systems and Basement Conversions
  • Wet Rot and Specialist Dry Rot Treatments
  • Same day 1 hour return Woodworm Spray Treatments
Customers and lenders want to know that the property is going to be a safe investment for 25 to 30 years.
We look for problems that can cause damage over 30 years. Let me tell you what the surveyor is looking for:

During a survey, we will find out how
the water is getting into your home.

Basement Conversion Quotes
and Cellar Tanking Surveys

this is what the surveyor will be looking for:

  1. Wood and water do not mix, any wood in a wet room like a cellar will require treating
  2. Ventilation in the cellar or basement will reduce the build up of moisture in the air
  3. Is there any ponding or pooling of water on the cellar floor at any time during the year
  4. Are the cellar walls stable. If there is a step supporting the walls, can they be reduced.
  5. Is there sufficient ceiling height in the cellar or will the basement floor need to be lowered
  6. A tanking system with plasterboards will reduce the size of the cellar by 50~80mms when fitted
  7. A floor sump will collect the water in the cellar, then a pump will remove the water outside
  8. Vaulted cellar ceilings can be treated and plastered using special methods
  9. A cellar can be enclosed in a waterproof coating, called a tanking or drainage system
  10. The decorated basement will look like a normal room in every way

A typical cellar would cost approximatly:

  1. £5,997 for the cellar tanking system, cellar sump pump and plastering for a 4x4M cellar
  2. A vaulted main cellar room ceiling would add £897 to the cost
  3. A cellars brick stair case, extra tanking and new wooden stair case adds £897 to the cost
  4. A new concrete floor in the cellar would add around £1,497 to the cost
  5. A new consumer unit for the cellar electricity supply requirements should cost around £350
  6. Usually the bigger additional cellar convertion costs are the bespoke customer requests
  7. Some cellars will have strange building features that make the cellar tanking process difficult
  8. We usually charge £75 for a local Triton Isola Platon cellar sump pump inspection
    and around £75 for a limestone wash. These are required for the pump guarantee.
  9. The 10 year insurance backed cellar material failure guarantee is around £50
  10. The 10 year insurance backed cellar service guarantee is 20% of the invoiced price,
    this covers you in case the cellar tanking system fails due to incorrect fitting

Obviously, each cellar would have to be priced individually,
but we think that this is a good rough guide.

Call Aquarius free for a free survey: 0800 0730 415
serving the Midlands for over 10 years

see an example of our basement conversions

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cellar tanking systemscellar tanking systems 2

Damp Surveys

this is what the surveyor will be looking for:

There are four main causes of damp in your home

  1. Rising damp ; from the ground up, soaked up by the bricks, the wood and the plaster
  2. Penetrating damp ; rain penetrating through the walls and breaching the cavity
  3. Faults; missing roof tiles, faulty guttering, leaking pipes, gaps in the brickwork etc..
  4. Condensation ; poor air circulation, blocked vents, gas fires, cooking etc...

this is what the surveyor will check:

  1. New houses have cavities, the outer wall can get wet like a rain coat, leaving the inner wall dry.
  2. Older houses do not have a cavity, so the wet outer bricks are linked to the inner bricks
  3. Bricks and concrete are not water proof, they soak in and hold water like a sponge
  4. Most mortars are porous, allowing water to penetrate faster than water can travel through bricks
  5. Many houses DO NOT have cavity trays, to collect any penetrating water in the cavity
  6. Many houses DO NOT have weep-holes, to remove the penetrated water in the cavity
  7. Many walls are not chemically sealed to prevent water penetration of the outer walls
  8. Many houses have poor over handing protection from rain, with small inadequate eaves
  9. Many older houses DO NOT have a damp prevention layer set at the inner floor level
  10. Many cavity insulations are porous and actually help water penetrate onto the inner wall
  11. Many cavities have obstructions such as mortar blobs, water then splashes onto the inner wall
  12. A recent feature is cavity wall insulation which can allow a link from the wet to the dry walls
  13. Even new bricks, conforming to BS5628 can absorb up to 12% of water by weight
  14. Even new bricks, conforming to BS5628 can contain 2.44% of soluble salts
  15. Soluble salts are removed by water, leaving the bricks or mortar weakened and porous
  16. Micro pours in the bricks and mortar, can soak water up to 1 meter above floor level
  17. Micro pours the bricks and mortar, can allow penetrating water through
  18. Soluble salts, from the bricks and mortar are carried by the water, causing white staining
  19. Soot and dirt can also be carried by the water through the bricks, causing dark stains
  20. Many outer wall bricks and the mortar are sodden with water in the winter months
  21. Many houses have damp bricks and mortar up to the inner floor level, below any DPC
  22. This water freezes and can break the mortar and even the bricks, (like exposed pipes)
  23. Damp which penetrates through the inner wall, can damage the plaster
  24. Damaged brickwork is difficult and expensive to repair and can devalue your property
  25. Is there 2 bricks, 150mm or 6 inches of splash height from the outside floor the damp course level
  26. Drives and new paths are laid over the old path, raising the outside ground level
  27. A salt tide mark can indicate how far up the wall the damp and soluble salts have climbed
  28. Salt will damage the plaster, even if you remove the plaster, new salt will damage the new plaster
  29. Timber floors will be sat on wooden joists which will be set into the wall under the damp course
  30. The damp may have penetrated into the joist ends which will weaken them

Why is rising damp a problem?

  1. Unlike rain which is clean water, rising damp is dirty water out of the ground
  2. Soluble salts in the ground rise up the bricks and mortar with the damp
  3. Soluble salts attack and degrade gypsum or plaster based products
  4. Soluble salts attack and degrade paints
  5. Soluble salts can leave a noticeable white tide mark on your walls
  6. Soluble salts remain trapped in the bricks and mortar
  7. Plastering over a salty wall will just be damaged later
    • Some builders cover the damp walls with plasterboards to hide the damp
  8. Damp wood can be attacked by rots and wood boring insects
  9. Rots can give off a musty smell in your home
  10. Colder damp patches will attract condensation and black mould growth
  11. Stronger bricks are normally used below the original damp course
  12. Weaker bricks above the damp course can be damaged by frost if they are damp

Any plaster products 1 meter above the damp course are at risk if the damp course fails
Any timber products below the damp course are at risk
Any timber products 1 meter above the damp course are at risk if the damp course fails
Any weaker bricks up to 1 meter above the damp course are at risk if the damp course fails

It is assumed that the damp course on a new house will be effective for 30-years, after which a new damp course will need to be inserted to prevent any soluble salts from rising past the damp course.

If soluble salts pass the damp course, it will contaminate the walls. A new damp course will need to be installed to prevent any new salt from rising and the contaminated walls will need to be covered with a waterproof render.

A new damp course can save you the time and expense of hacking the contaminated plaster off and re-plastering using waterproof rendering and then plastering.

As a guide ~ per meter

Damp course  £15
Remove contaminated plaster £15
Waterproof rendering £15
Plastering  £15

So a damp course at £15 per meter is 4 times cheaper than the full damp treatment at £60 per meter.

 

In most cases, the ground level bricks will need treating and the plaster will have to be replaced

  1. Damp can severely reduce the value of your home because of the potential future repair costs
  2. Once damp has started to penetrate your house, it can very difficult to stop
  3. Redecoration can remove the effects of the damage, but you should tackle the causes of damp
  4. To remove the causes of damp penetration, you need to consult a damp prevention specialist
  5. If you have a timber floor, the joist ends will be sat in damp bricks below the damp course.
  6. These joist ends will need checking. Hopefully they will only need treating.

Call Aquarius free for a free survey:
0800 0730 415 or Walsall 01922 449891

serving the West Midlands for over 10 years.

let me show you how we remove damp from your home

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damp metersdamp metersdamp meters

Woodworm Surveys

this is what the surveyor will be looking for

The woodworm life cycle. (also known as the bookworm or common furniture beetle)

  1. An egg is laid by an adult woodworm in a flight hole (in the wood) or on the surface
  2. The egg hatches and the larvae bores into the wood immediately
  3. The larvae eats the wood (starches for sugar) for several years causing damage
  4. The larvae pupates, the emerges as an adult woodworm, eating through the wood to leave

this is what the surveyor will check:

  1. The Common Furniture beetle causes 75% of all woodworm damage to properties
  2. An adult Common Furniture beetle can fly and lay around 80 eggs each year
  3. The common furniture beetle lives in dead wood, sapwood, softwood or European hardwood
  4. The common furniture beetle larvae live in the for 2 to 3 years causing damage
  5. Common furniture beetles leave flight holes of 2 ~ 2.5 mm in diameter
  6. These flight holes are usually on the dark side, or underside of the wood, such as floorboards
  7. Floorboards will be riddled with holes underneath, but clear on the surface or light side
  8. Most people discover the problem when the floorboard breaks due to the amount of damage
  9. Common furniture beetles emerge from May to August
  10. The house longhorn beetle lives in soft woods only due to its size
  11. The house longhorn beetle larvae live in the for 5 to 11 years rapid and severe damage
  12. House longhorn beetles leave oval flight holes 9 mm by 6 mm
  13. House longhorn beetles lay around 200 eggs
  14. Death watch beetles attack decaying hardwood, oak, beech, elm, walnut etc..
  15. The death watch beetle larvae live in the wood for 5 to 14 years and are very destructive
  16. Death watch beetles leave flight holes of 3 mm + in diameter
  17. Death watch beetles emerge from March to June
  18. Wood boring weevils are associated with wet fungal decays in live in decaying wood
  19. A woodworm specialist will look for signs of woodworm activity
  20. We are tracking the treatments we have carried out and notice that they are usually near woods!
  21. An active woodworm infestation should be treated immediately
  22. Woodworm numbers can expand rapidly each year
  23. Is the moisture content in the wood sufficient to support life
  24. Have the moisture levels in the wood been raised by blocked air bricks
  25. Are there sufficient airbricks for each room, we recommend 2 per room
  26. Has the drive or path been raised to block the air bricks

Small wood boring insects:

Other wood boring insects:


To break the life cycle of the woodworm

  1. All wood surfaces are sprayed with a Triton chemical treatment, especially the dark side
  2. The woodworm spray soaks into the wood, penetrating 4 to 6 mm deep
  3. The emerging woodworm come into contact with the chemical and are killed
  4. Any new woodworm eggs that have been laid will not emerge

Call Aquarius free for a free survey:
0800 0730 415 or Walsall 01922 449891

serving the West Midlands for over 10 years.

let me show you how we can remove a woodworm problem

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woodwormwoodwormwoodwormwoodwormwoodwormwoodworm

Wet Rot and Dry Rot and Mould Surveys

this is what the surveyor will be looking for:

For any fungal growth to occur, there has to be four items present;

  1. Air ~ which can carry spores and moisture
  2. Water ~ dry timber cannot rot
  3. Food ~ which will be the timbers
  4. Temperature ~ which needs to be comfortable

There are four main causes of damp in your home:

  1. Rising damp ; from the ground up, soaked up by the bricks, the wood and the plaster
  2. Penetrating damp ; rain penetrating through the walls and breaching the cavity
  3. Faults; missing roof tiles, faulty guttering, leaking pipes, gaps in the brickwork etc..
  4. Condensation ; poor air circulation, blocked vents, gas fires, cooking etc...

Observations:

  1. Food ~ Wood breaks down to release sugars which feeds the wet and dry rots
  2. Temperature ~ must be comfortable for wet and dry rot
  3. Is the moisture content in the wood sufficient to support life for wet and dry rots
  4. Have the moisture levels in the wood been raised by blocked air bricks
  5. Are there sufficient airbricks for each room, we recommend 2 per room.
  6. Has the drive or path been raised to block the air bricks
  7. White branches or strands of fungal growth indicate dry rot spreading
  8. Sheets of white growth behind skirting or sheet timbers indicate dry rot spreading
  9. Cubioding (as shown) of wood indicates dry rot
  10. Dry rot can spread across dry timbers, concrete or bricks in search of food
  11. A cotton wool like growth can also indicate a dry rot spread
  12. Dry rot has been known to spread across treated timbers in search of food
  13. Wood which goes darker, possible cubioding with a loss of strength indicates brown rots
  14. Wood which is bleached, coarse and fibrous with a loss of strength indicates white rots
  15. The fungus consumes enzymes which it converts into sugars
  16. A musty smell may be noticeable with dry rot
  17. Any softening, cracking, shrinkage or distortion of the wood can indicate a fungus
  18. Cracking which can be deep may occur with wood that has shrunk
  19. Humid stagnant conditions are most likely to cause fungal growths
  20. Optimum conditions would be 22 C+ with a 30% humidity, e.g. centrally heated homes
  21. Growths like dry rot can spread over 4 meters per year
  22. Dry rot can grow through walls and spread across a room in search of food within a year
  23. Fungus can give of microscopic spores, 0.01 mm in size which spread wildly
  24. Types of fungus include a white cotton wool appearance
  25. Dry rot growths are like a mushroom with a silvery grey skin with a yellow lilac tinge
  26. Strands of fungus supply nutrients like roots burrowed into the wet wood or bricks
  27. Strands of fungus which burrow into the wood or brickwork, cause the damage
  28. Specialist treatments must be administered straight away, especially for dry rot
  29. Severe cases require removing damaged wood 1 meter past the visibly infected timbers
  30. Ventilation should be improved by the use of vents, fans and de-humidifiers if necessary

See the table below for a detailed look at the main types of rots that can damage your timbers.

Brown Rots:

 

White Rots:

Call Aquarius free for a free survey: 0800 0730 415 or Walsall 01922 449891
serving the West Midlands for over 10 years

let me show you how we cure a wet rot or dry rot problem

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dry rot, wet rot & moulddry rot, wet rot & moulddry rot, wet rot & mould

Condensation

this is what the surveyor will be looking for:

What is condensation

  1. Condensation is water vapour returning to its liquid form when it cools
  2. Condensation, unlike damp, travels in the air as vapour, from one area to another area
  3. Condensation is a lifestyle problem and can be cured by making a few simple changes
  4. Mould growth requires a lot of water which can be supplied by regular condensation

The 4 main sources of condensation are;

  1. The kitchen, from cooking
  2. The Bathroom, from showers or baths
  3. Drying clothes, either from the clothes dryer or by drying clothes on the radiators
  4. Breathing, or too many people or pets living in a small space

The effects of temperature and the amount of water in your home

  1. Water is held in the air, how much depends on the dew point, that changes with the temperature
  2. Cold air holds a small amount of water, air at 10C may hold 1 litre per cubic meter or air
  3. Hot air holds a large amount of water, air at 30C may hold 10 litres per cubic meter or air
  4. So the dew point is the point at which no more water can be held in the air
  5. Air at 30C may not hold 11 litres per cubic meter or air, 1 litre must fall as condensation
  6. So the amount of water floating around your home depends on the temperature
  7. To reduce the amount of water in the air, you could reduce the temperature in your home
  8. We have fitted thermometers in houses with a red line at 23C to reduce the condensation

The effects of temperature and the distance water can travel in your home

  1. Water floats as small particles in the air
  2. Small slow moving particles of water bump into each other forming larger particles of water
  3. Cold air moves slowly, so the water forms large heavy particles which can not travel very far
  4. Warm air interacts with cold air forming currents, where warm air rises and cold air falls
  5. The moving air is the transport system as the water particles stay small and are carried further
  6. Warm homes can have condensation problems far away from the water source
  7. To reduce the distance that the water travels, you could reduce the temperature in your home

Why condensation forms in certain areas

  1. The moist air travels around your home in a cycle, up and down the stairs, in and out of rooms
  2. The heavier moisture can hit walls and be picked up again by currents travelling around the house
  3. If the vapour lands in an un-ventilated area, it will collect there and not dry out, such as corners
  4. If the warm moist air touches a colder wall, the water vapour forms into condensation
  5. If the warm moist air touches a cold window, the water vapour forms into condensation
  6. Condensation can form in cold corners, outer walls, opposite stairs and opposite bathrooms
  7. Warm air is travelling around the house, collecting water, that is released in cold areas
  8. Stand with your back to a water source, put your arms out, this is where condensation will form
  9. Stand at the top of the stairs, put your arms out, this is where condensation will form
  10. If you are pointing to a corner where condensation forms, then this water is travelling to this point

Removing the water vapour at source

  1. A large extractor must be fitted in the kitchen, to remove the water vapour from cooking
  2. A small extractor must be fitted in the bathroom, to remove the vapour from showers or baths
  3. A ceiling mounted de-humidifier can be fitted to collect the vapours floating around the house
  4. Clothes drying must be done outside or in a condenser dryer, which must be emptied regularily
  5. If there are a lott of people in living in a small house, extra ventilation will be required
  6. The temperature must be kept below 25 degrees centigrade
  7. Open windows in the summer when the air is less damp than the air in your house

Call Aquarius free for a free survey:
0800 0730 415 or Walsall 01922 449891

serving the West Midlands for over 10 years.

let me show you how we cure a condensation problem

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Damp Concrete Floor Sealing

Why do concrete floors get wet or damp?

What causes a concrete floor to get wet or damp?

To make a dry concrete floor that will stay dry, a builder needs to:

  1. Dig a hole that is deep enough for:
      • a layer of soft building sand for drainage approx 4 inches
      • insulation approx 4 inches and
      • the concrete which should be a minimum of 4 inches for a small room
        • concrete is usually made up of cement, sand, gravel and water
  2. The soft building sand must be laid evenly across the floor or floors
      • the sand must be stamped down and flattened
      • it is very important that the sand is free from sharp object such as stones
  3. The damp proof membrane is easily punctured by
      • stones,
      • tools,
      • boots,
      • ready mix concrete,
      • sharp objects
  4. A thick gauge dpm should be laid in 1 piece around each room
  5. The dpm should be left 6 inches up the wall above the finished floor level
  6. The insulation should then be laid over the dpm, completely covering the floor area
      • the builders should not be wearing shoes or puncture the dpm
  7. The concrete can then be carefully poured over the insulation
      • preferably very wet to help it self level
      • preferably using a pump one room at a time
  8. You should not walk on the dpm in case it is punctured
  9. Extended tools should used to smooth the surface of the wet concrete
  10. When the floor is dry, the dpm can be trimmed to 3 inches above the floor
      • This protects the dry floor from potentially wet walls
      • This can be hidden behind the ventilated skirting

20+ Reasons why you need to seal your damp concrete or tiled floor

  1. Most solid floors are laid over a puntured or degraded dpm that is leaking
  2. Most cellar floors are laid over a punctured or degraded dpm that is leaking
  3. Dirty water carries soluble salts and rises up into concrete floors as rising damp
  4. This dirty salty water can cause a smell, discolouration and salt damage
  5. Rising damp from the floor can then rise up the neighbouring walls
  6. If you need to seal a freshly laid, drying concrete floor in a shop for example
  7. In a hall where you want long term piece of mind that the floor will be dry
  8. In a factory when mixing water and oil can cause a safety hazard
  9. If you have an old concrete floor to seal from the rising damp
  10. Most concrete floors are damp because the dpm material will be punctured
  11. If your concrete floor is cold, it is probably damp
  12. Red tiled floors can be cold because they are damp
  13. Red tiled floors are usually laid over a rubble filled or ash base which will be damp
  14. You should not lay lino over a damp floor as the water will build up behind the lino
  15. Excessive water behind any flooring can cause mould growth and a smell
  16. You should not lay carpet over a damp floor as the water will soak into the carpet
  17. You definably should not lay any wooden flooring over a damp floor as it will get damaged
  18. Expensive tiles can be damaged by the soluble salts which rise up with rising damp
  19. Read the label on your tiles, they will state you should lay them on a dry clean floor
  20. Any tile fitter will tell you that they cant lay tiles over a damp floor
  21. In a cellar where the floor is lower than the normal ground level
  22. On any floor that is below the normal damp course level

Call Aquarius free for a free survey:
0800 0730 415 or Walsall 01922 449891

serving the West Midlands for over 10 years.

see an example of our work

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External Wall Sprays

  1. Water soaks into bricks, mortar, render and under paint
  2. Frozen water expands, cracking the faces of bricks, cracking render and damaging paint
  3. Wet bricks transmit the cold into your home, especially if there is no cavity
  4. Repointing is required when your mortar has been damaged by freezing water weathering
  5. A strong silicon sealed external wall can repel water like a glossed car or a window
  6. The water will bead and run off your walls as if your walls were made of glass
  7. Typical shop sealants are family safe and too weak to last
  8. A professional sealant requires specially training and equipment
  9. A professional sealant is only sold to competant, trained and approved contractors
  10. We have been sealing walls for over 10 years in the West Midlands area.

******The cost is less than you think for you entire house, garages, sheds, even roofs.

Call Aquarius free for a free survey:
0800 0730 415 or Walsall 01922 449891

serving the West Midlands for over 10 years.

see an example of our work

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Other surveys that we carry out include:

  1. Timber & Damp reports for mortgages
  2. Plastering and plasterboarding, but never over wet walls
  3. Floor painting & underlays on damp or drying floors
  4. Wall sprays to protect outer walls from the rain
  5. Brickwork
  6. Concrete fencing to treat uneven ground levels
  7. French drains
  8. Exterior rendering using waterproof render
  9. Landscaping to incorporate drainage systems
  10. Light tube installation, sun tubes that use natural light

Call Aquarius free for a free survey:
0800 0730 415 or Walsall 01922 449891

serving the West Midlands for over 10 years.

see an example of our work

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