As with any type of rot, it isn’t always immediately visible to the untrained eye.
Your surveyor should be looking for lots of different indicators that may point towards wet rot. They'll take moisture readings with specialised equipment (if your surveyor is just using the old 2 pin moisture meters you should probably be asking questions as these on their own only produce vague results at best). We use the latest moisture meters that use two different forms of moisture detection as well as a hygrometer to calculate relative humidity and dew point.
I’ve come across lots of surveyors in my own experience who simply use the most basic “damp meters” (the ones with the two metal prongs) until they get a high reading. At which point they stop looking and ask you to get a specialist damp report.
It is essential that your surveyor does NOT stop once they get high readings from their “damp meter”. This should be just the starting point.
They should then carry out other investigations to try to establish whether or not it is indeed damp or just high conductivity readings (which could be from many things such as ferris metals or salts etc.) by using different types of measurement device.
They should also be able to track the issue back as far as they can (within the scope of the chosen report) to suggest what the cause of the dampness is likely to be.
Given that most pre-sale surveys, carried out on behalf of buyers, are surface inspections, it's really important to choose a surveyor who will follow these clues right through to try to find out what the cause of the problem is.
If you’re considering buying a house in Belfast, Lisburn, Bangor, Newtownabbey or Carrickfergus, In fact anywhere in Counties Antrim or Down, simply request a call back and we’ll call you to go discuss your options.