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Investigation of moisture and its effect on traditional buildings

Investigation of moisture and its effect on traditional buildings

RICS has collaborated with Historic England and the PCA to produce a Joint Position Statement - Investigation of moisture and its effects on traditional buildings: Principles and competencies.

The document has been additionally supported by Historic Environment Scotland, Cadw, Historic Environment Division Northern Ireland, SPAB and IHBC.

For the time ever, these organisations have come together to agree on the set of principles and competencies that should be used anytime there is a need for an assessment of moisture within a traditional building. This is most typically likely to be during a pre-purchase building survey, and investigation into a moisture related problem or when a contractor undertakes repairs and alterations to a building.

In the context of a building survey on a traditional building or any historic building, it should be within the competence of the surveyor to be able to make a professional judgement on the building and not simply make a recommendation. This document establishes a position of best practice throughout all levels of surveys and inspection of traditional buildings.

The surveyor should take a ‘whole building’ approach, look for the source of any excessive moisture, not rely on potentially misleading data and should then provide the client with advice to manage the situation. The document goes into detail in a step-by-step format of what the surveyor should do and ultimately to take responsibility for the advice given.

The JPS 2022 will be taken into consideration in any potential disputes and claims against surveyors and the whole profession, at whatever level, is encouraged to adopt it. For most surveyors, this will be nothing new and it will already be standard practice during surveys and report writing. For others, it is a reminder that the building should be looked after to the best possible standard and that client expect the very highest impartial and unbiased professional service.