Damp Diagnosis Services
Mr. Ralph F Burkinshaw
Tel 0207 737 4868
Mobile 07949 959 170
Email ralphburkinshaw@gmail.com


Diagnosing Damp
Handbook for surveyors on all aspects of dampness investigation, colour illustrated. Published 2003. Ralph Burkinshaw & Mike Parrett.
Order from RICS website: www.ricsbooks.com

Remedying Damp

Ralph F Burkinshaw, RICS Books, 2009
Substantial textbook with range of dampness remedies explained and illustrated by case studies.

This textbook covers a wide range of damp problems together with remedy illustrations ...........
  • Basement waterproofing
  • Drying after flood
  • Mould
  • Ventilation
  • Wallbase damp
  • Woodworm and dry rot
  • Plumbing problems
  • Bathroom and shower design solutions

And How to Monitor Dampness.....................

Order from RICS website: www.ricsbooks.com

Book Reviews :

1) Diagnosing Damp

Reviewer: Dr David Watt, Senior Research Fellow, De Montfort University, Aug 3rd 2004
Diagnosing Damp provides an essential reference for all who wish to understand the often complex causes and effects of dampness.

A clear and practical section on the science of dampness and sources of moisture sets the scene and helps debunk much of the misinformation that one sees in survey reports.
Any volume on building defects and diagnostic practices runs the risk of loosing its readers in a mire of technical complexity and jargon. Here, this is not the case, and the authors should be congratulated for producing a comprehensive guide to an often-complicated subject. Diagnosing Damp - through its clear written style, easy-to-follow format, and level of illustration - stands head and shoulders above its competitors.

Reviewer: A C Auchterlounie FBEng FCIOB MRICS, Senior Lecturer, Bolton Institute, Mar 8th 2004
A very easy-to-read and comprehensive book that deals with the problems of dampness in a thorough manner. Good format and layout split into three main sections that are logically set out to help the practitioner in the correct diagnosis of the causes of dampness in buildings.

Part 1 looks at the science, sources of moisture and the management/cure of dampness; it does this in clear well written text with the help of useful tables, good quality sketches and excellent colour photographs.

Part 2 covers survey advice and again is written in the same clear text with good quality sketches, tables and again both black-and-white and colour photographs. It considers the general principles of dampness investigations and in actual building elements, as well as a comprehensive look at the currently available equipment and tests.

Part 3 puts the guidance into practice; it details a logical four-stage approach to dampness investigations and presents 11 detailed case studies to illustrate damp problems, their investigation and diagnosis.

There are also some detailed appendices, one of which lists and discusses the legal implications and relevant legislation. In summary a very good book, worth the price and one that all those involved in the investigation and diagnosis of damp should read and certainly have a copy in their office.

Reviewer: Martin S Beck BSc MRICS, Principal Lecturer/Regional Training Advisor, RICS West Midlands, Dec 5th 2003
The arrangement of the book is both logical and very detailed without being too complicated for any surveyor to understand.

The real attraction of this book, for me, is the inclusion of the case studies, which not only clearly identify the common damp problems often encountered, but also some of the common mis-identification problems that happen when trying to diagnose damp problems.

The real world nature of these case studies gives me great confidence in the whole text book and I would rcommend it to any surveyor who should know about damp problems, or needs reminding of the nature, extent and complications that can occur when carrying out an accurate damp diagnosis.

Reviewer: Dr Barry White, Recovery Magazine, Oct 23rd 2003
Written with authority by authors who know what they are writing about, people with extensive experience of real-life, practical dampness diagnosis

Journal of Architectural Conservation, July 2004

By Dr David Watt :

(extract) ‘Through its clear written style , easy-to-follow format, and level of illustration – stands head and shoulders above its competitors. It is a sensibly priced book that will provide students and practitioners alike with a sound and lasting point of reference on which to base their own dampness investigations.’

National Flood School :

‘A complete reference source to aid diagnosis. Appropriate for any level of survey it contains colour photographs, checklists and case studies’.

RICS Business (Sep 2003) :

‘Verdict : A must-have reference for all property professionals involved in damp investigation’

2) Remedying Damp

a) BDMA : Recovery Journal
Ralph Burkinshaw’s recently published book is reviewed by Steven Richford

WITH KNOWLEDGE and expertise,passion and curiosity, Ralph Burkinshaw has created another valuable addition to the resources
and reference material available to our industry.

Published in January, ‘Remedying Damp’ has over 250 pages of information and data, including a wealth of illustrations, appendices
and references, which will further advance the technician’s knowledge. Burkinshaw has been interested in diagnosing dampness in buildings
for many years and, in 2003, coauthored ‘Diagnosing Damp’, a book which focused on the correct identification of inherent building

‘Diagnosing Damp’ was of particular interest to damage management technicians, for whom the ability to identify and differentiate incident
related dampness is an essential part of their expertise. In his latest book the author has combined his knowledge of building
science with his understanding of psychrometry and it links perfectly to the work we carry out.

As techniques advance, there will always be debate and disagreement in any field. There will be those who might wish to debate some of
the content, and that’s to be expected. However, taken as a whole, I think most will appreciate the way it demonstrates the value
damage management practitioners can add in damage mitigation. Among other things, the book explores a variety of targeted drying
systems, including the type of drying that reduces building demolition and overall claims cost. The processes being illustrated with good quality
photo images and diagrams. Burkinshaw also invites us to look through the customer’s eyes and reminds us yet again of how
important this is.

As construction metholds evolve, we are continually searching to improve our knowledge and to produce increasingly green
structures and solutions, while at the same time we still have all the old building stock to work on.
The laws of science under-pinning our work don’t change, but they do need to be well understood. ‘Remedying Damp’ not only helps us
with this but explains the practical application of this science, in an environment and in ways we should all find relevant.

b) Homebuilding and Renovating Journal
Remedying Damp provides you with the knowledge and tools to understand how to deal with damp problems in buildings. It offers practical help and advice in tackling the effects of damp and illustrates remedial action you can take. Practical examples, diagrams, case studies and photographs enable you to select the most suitable remedial approach. Written by one of the authors of "Diagnosing Damp" (RICS Books, 2003), this book will enable you to: employ a useful seven stage process to tackling damp problems; access technical advice on the various damp remedies available today; assess alternative strategies and damp remedy options with the help of direct illustrated examples; understand the implications of the chosen damp remedy option; and, use checklists and case studies to verify your approach. The main text is supplemented by useful appendices, a glossary and a comprehensive section of references and further reading.

About the Author
Ralph Burkinshaw FRICS PGCHE is a chartered building surveyor with 30 years' experience in the property and construction industry. A practising surveyor and building contractor, he has written and researched on dampness in buildings extensively, including the classic textbook for surveyors Diagnosing Damp published in 2003 by RICS Books. He runs seminars on dampness diagnosis and remediation for surveyors and is qualified in remedial treatment surveying (CSRT).The author has extensive experience in flood remediation, with industry qualifications in applied structural drying and water damage restoration, and is a silver trowel holder for brickwork. Ralph travels throughout the UK diagnosing damp problems and helping to devise their remediation

Selected Journal Papers
SPAB News Sep 2001
Dampness Abounding
How a positive nitrates result may not actually prove rising damp
(Journal of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings)

Structural Survey Volume 20 Number 5 2002
What is the moisture meter trying to tell us?
(Winner: Award for Excellence, Outstanding Paper 2003)
Various tests on moisture meters described. www.emeraldinsight.com

Structural Survey Vol 22 Number 1 2004-10-24
Which instruments should surveyors use to monitor moisture condition?
Includes a useful test where a floor screed is cured, and its moisture condition monitored using a variety of surveying instruments
(Winner: Highly Commended Award, 2005)

Journal of Building Appraisal (JBA) 2005 -Issue 1 Volume 1
Wall Base Damp Is one horizontal damp proof course sufficient protection?
Various low level damp problems are described and illustrated where damp penetration
at low level was the main cause. www.palgrave-journals.com

Journal of Building Appraisal 2006 - Issue 1 Volume 2
Moisture on Tap
A case study where various diagnostic techniques gradually home in on the cause of dampness.

‘The Rising Damp Tests of Camberwell Pier : Potential height of moisture rise in brickwork and the effectiveness of a modern chemical injection cream damp coursing application.’
Published in the Journal of Building Appraisal, 2010

‘Rising damp :Part 1. Case study examples and the Lambeth Pier Test : How to isolate ground-sourced rising damp by the ‘Burkinshaw Test method’.
To be published in 2012 for the first issue of Journal of Building Survey, Appraisal and Valuation’

Damp Diagnosis Services