A Day in the Life at Olympic Construction

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Describing a day in the life of Olympic Construction is quite a challenge, as we offer such a range of services that no two days are the same. As Chartered Building Engineers and Certified surveyors specialising in dampness, waterproofing, timber and structural stabilisation defects in buildings, we are approached by both, private and professional clients, to provide advice and undertake inspections across the North West and East Cheshire.

Olympic Construction is an RICS Registered company and a long term member of the Property Care Association (PCA) so have a full understanding of the information in Homebuyers reports and can undertake the inspections requested by lenders and provided the written reports and specifications required.

We are also members of the SPAB ‘ Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings’ so can inspect and advise on defects and repairs on listed buildings.

As members of RPSA ‘Residential Property Surveyors Association’, we can provide an independent detailed inspection of your property. Reporting defects within our comprehensive areas of expertise, using the latest inspection equipment and testing facilities to provide you with an accurate and informative report.

Penetrating dampness

Moisture can enter a property in many different ways, through defects to the external structure, resulting in direct water ingress, defective roof flashing, gutters, leaking pipework and defective pointing.
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Salt dampness

Salt dampness, which can affect a structure at all levels throughout the building, this being due to a chemical reaction occurring within the structure, due to hygroscopic salt contamination from several different sources, the ground, chimneys or contaminated building materials introduced into the property. This form of dampness is one of the most miss diagnosed by unqualified and inexperienced surveyors.

Rising dampness

Rising dampness is often incorrectly diagnosed by unqualified contractors, salesman and surveyors. Who due to their limited knowledge of how to use a conductance meter to correctly trace, locate and eliminate all other sources of moisture first, assume there is a failure of the damp proofing system, which has been installed for years. And more to the point failed on such a dramatic scale a new damp proof course must be installed to the whole property, without providing a credible explanation as to ‘WHY’.
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Environmental dampness

Environmental dampness, resulting in mould and condensation related defects affecting a property. It stands to reason, if the defect only occurs in the colder months of the year, the issues are related to the internal environment conditions and not a structural problem, such as a failure of the damp proof course.

Olympic Construction has the experience, knowledge and testing equipment to establish the reason for the imbalance.  Which includes gathering information form the occupants, thermography surveys to identify defects in the insulation or cold bridging, testing of the installed ventilation equipment, or long term monitoring with data logging. So providing the correct information without destroying your home, or emptying your bank account by installing a system which will not address the issues, such as installing a damp proof course, which can make the situation worse. 

Wet and Dry rot

Fungal decay is natures way of breaking down timbers which are affected by excess moisture. There are two categories 'Wet or Dry rot' both requiring moisture, which in a watertight and correctly ventilated property fungal decay should not be an issue. With decay related defects, it is imperative the source of moisture is correctly identified and corrected before undertaking any remedial works to reinstate the defective timbers, failure to do so will result in the decay reoccurring. Unfortunately, we tent to find when undertaking inspections, these works have not been undertaken, due to the lack of knowledge or experience.
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Woodworm

Woodworm, is simply due to wood-boring insects which typically live externally in wet or decaying timber, which enter the property and infest the installed timbers, for this to occur and progress, the timbers have an elevated moisture content, dry timbers are unlikely to be affected by woodworm. The property owner is generally alerted to the evidence of woodworm by the flight holes from their own observations, or a surveyor undertaking a property valuation inspection, it is my experience 95% of the infestations inspected are historical and no remedial treatments are required.
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Basement/cellar conversions

It is a fact, converting a basement/ cellar requires building regulations, and in some cases planning permission due to the change of use. This requires a correctly designed waterproofing system which conforms to the British Standard BS:8102.

The adopted waterproofing qualification benchmark of the National House Building Council (NHBC) is the CSSW qualification, ‘Certificated Surveyor in Structural Waterproofing'. This is a nationally recognised qualification, obtained following training and examinations through the Property Care Association, who provide the required training to both members and none members.

Unfortunately, some contractors and manufacturers will state other forms of approval schemes and accreditations, which have no training,  examination or recognition or endorsement  by a registered body such as CITB- TrustMark and ABBE (Awarding Body for Build Environment)

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A basement conversion is an extension of your home, which is likely the most expensive investment you will ever make, why take the chance of instructing an unqualified contractor to undertake the works to this area.

Structural stabilisation

The Structural stabilisation of a property or structure above ground level can vary from the installation of remedial wall ties, to a full structural stabilisation specification to a church tower or tunnel, Thorhelical remedial structural stabilisations systems are installed by our trained and experienced team, including design and installation. The Thorhelical systems saves clients’ money by not having to take down and rebuild walls and also saves the historical fabric of the structures in listed building.

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To find out more about what we do:

take a look at our website for an in-depth insight into the services we offer for your property issues.