Gravimetric testing for dampness is the process of establishing the true water content of a material sample differentiating between the two possible sources of moisture which make up a materials total moisture content. A materials total moisture content is the sum of its capillary moisture often referred to as free moisture introduced from issues such as rising damp, penetrating damp and water leaks. The other part is its hygroscopic moisture content which is the materials ability to absorb moisture from the air which can often be increased by excess contamination.
The gravimetric process is the most accurate process for establishing the true moisture content of a material sample and determining its moisture composition as described in BRE 245 'Rising damp in walls: Diagnosis and Treatment'.
Unfortunately, this process is disruptive, meaning samples of the structure need to be removed for profiling and analysis and because the procedure involves the use of specialist equipment the process must be undertaken off site in a controlled laboratory.
The samples are then subjected to a series of different environmental conditions before being weighed again at each stage. This allows a weight measurement of water uptake or loss at each stage to be converted to a percentage of water.
With the ability to identify exactly how much water is attributed to free moisture and hygroscopic, including where exactly the moisture is distributed through the structure, we can accurately advise if a problem is persistent or historic and what remedial action if any, is required.
Once complete our surveyors will produce a bespoke report which will contain a comprehensive assessment of the problems identified during our survey. Our reports include our diagnosis, damage appraisal, recommendations, repair specifications and costs for repairs, if necessary.
Edited pictures along with category damage ratings are also included to assist your understanding about the urgency of any repairs needed.
Our reports are available in both printed media and/or secure electronic portable documents (PDF) for email.
If you suspect a problem and require a survey, or simply need advice please contact us.