Tuesday, 25 July 2017

J is for Jamie Watkins

J is for Jamie Watkins

In this instalment of A-Z of Atlantis Damp Proofing & Timber Specialists Ltd, J is for Jamie Watkins.

Who is Jamie Watkins?

Hello everyone! My name is Jamie Watkins and I am owner and Managing Director of Atlantis Damp Proofing & Timber Specialists Ltd. I thought I’d take the opportunity to tell you more about myself and the passion I have for providing excellence in all the services I provide throughout Cheshire.

I began my construction career working part-time in the building yard at Robert Gleaves and Sons in Frodsham. On leaving school, I started full time. I absolutely loved this job! Interacting with all the trades. Gaining a solid basic knowledge of customer service, pricing and material quantities.

Then, in my early 20’s I joined my dad and brother in their plastering business. I followed in the family footsteps to become a third generation plasterer. I perfected all the skills I needed to become a general plasterer and continued to grow my knowledge of building sites and activities. A lot of my dad’s work came from a Damp Proofing firm. My interest grew and I could see an opportunity to develop my own business in this area.

In 2009 I took the leap to set up on my own. I also completed my C.S.R.T. Qualifications through the Property Care Association (PCA). It was an exciting (if not a bit stressful!) time for me. I was on the tools, training up my own crew and working evenings and weekends to complete all the paperwork, but I loved it! I’ve always been a ‘people person’ and enjoyed giving honest, reliable expert to provide the solution that people needed.

I knew there was no need to ever try to pull the wool over the eyes of others and pretend solutions were needed when they weren’t. To this day, I operate on this philosophy. So do my team. I am genuinely saddened when I hear of the poor experiences my clients have had with previous ‘Damp Proofing’ companies and I believe all of our 5 star reviews reflect that we are just not like them.

My company continued to grow and became Ltd in 2013, then VAT registered in 2014.

In 2017 I also became a qualified member of the Wall Tie Installers Federation (WTIF). Their rigorous training progamme was an eye opener. It gave me the confidence to more actively pursue this business area

In 2016, my wife, Freya, officially joined the business and started to survey with me. She also began her own C.S.R.T. Qualification which is now 2/3rd’s complete. Freya, shares my philosophy and is entirely committed to the vision that I began and we are sure we will fulfil our ambition of owning a strong family business that the next generation of Watkins’s can enjoy. My goal is not to compete with the big boys, I wish to remain a local, family run business with a passion for doing the right thing and continuing to enjoy happy customers.

Myself and Freya remain committed to providing Northwich, Warrington, Chester, Crewe, Altrincham and surrounding areas with expert, pragmatic, professional advice on Damp, Timber and Wall Tie fault diagnosis and recommendation. If you think we can help you, call us now on 0800 098 8277.

The post J is for Jamie Watkins appeared first on www.AtlantisDamp.co.uk.

source http://www.atlantisdamp.co.uk/blog/j-jamie-watkins/

Monday, 10 July 2017

I is for Interstitial Condensation

I is for Interstitial Condensation

 In this episode of The A-Z of Damp from Atlantis Damp & Timber Proofing Specialists Ltd, I is for Interstitial Condensation.

Dampness problems associated with condensation and mould growths occur in many buildings yet they are not always fully understood, particularly by the general builder or unqualified damp ‘expert’.

Condensation results from a series of relatively simple and well established physical factors, and is directly related to standards and methods of heating, ventilating and insulating buildings.

Condensation is often confused with rising damp and we are committed to getting you the correct diagnosis. Dampness in buildings can arise from a number of causes and the majority tend to be physical defects such as rising damp, penetrating damp or lack of maintenance. In the case of condensation, the problem is generally self-imposed. The emphasis on improving insulation and the way in which properties are now heated and ventilated has created exactly the right conditions for increasing condensation and mould growth.

Local authorities and, indeed, any landlord receive large numbers of complaints about condensation and mould growth. Atlantis Damp Proofing & Timber Specialists Ltd are committed to helping you resolve your condensation issue in an efficient and cost effective manner.

What is condensation?

Condensation as the name implies is water which has “condensed” from air on contact with a cold surface and it occurs when warm air cools down and releases the water vapour it was ‘holding’ into the air.

Air normally contains water vapour in varying quantities. Its capacity to ‘hold’ moisture is related to temperature; basically, warm air holds more water than cold air. When the air is saturated and it cannot contain any more water vapour at the existing temperature it is said to have a relative humidity (RH) of 100%. If the temperature of the air falls until saturation point occurs the air is at a critical temperature at which it cannot hold any more water – this temperature is known as the dew point. Any further fall in temperature will result in water vapour being forced to condense out as liquid water.

Condensation in a building usually occurs when warm air comes into contact with a cold surface; the air is cooled below its saturation point causing its excess water vapour to change into liquid water. Typically, you will actually see moisture on your windows, reveals, external walls, concrete lintels… in fact anywhere that can be seen as a ‘cold spot’ in relation to the normal room temperate. This surface condensation is often found on bay windows that are in their nature more exposed to the elements, low down corners of rooms (as we all know hot air rises) and behind furniture and curtains where air flow is restricted.

In addition to this surface condensation, air inside a heated building usually contains more moisture than does the external air (its normally warmer inside that outside in the UK!). This means it is a higher pressure which tends to force the warm air through the structure taking the moisture with it. Most building materials except glass, metals, plastics and certain lined elements, are to some extent permeable and do not obstruct the movement of moist air through the structure. the warm moist air will eventually cool below its due point within the fabric of the building resulting in condensation. This form of condensation is interstitial condensation.

What is Interstitial Condensation?

Interstitial condensation is rather more complex than the surface phenomenon and presents a greater hazard. The resulting high moisture content can often go undetected for long periods until serious structural damage has developed such as timber decay. It can also render ineffective any insulation within the component where it occurs.

How can Atlantis Damp Proofing help resolve your Interstitial Condensation Issue?

There are many factors to consider when protecting your property from interstitial condensation. Key considerations should be given to improving ventilation, controlling moisture generation and using an impervious moisture barrier, known as a vapour check, for example a foil backed plasterboard during the internal construction of the property.

If you’re concerned that your property is suffering from the signs of condensation, we are committed to helping you resolve your properties damp issue. Simply contact us now at Atlantis Damp Proofing & Timber Specialists Ltd for an informal chat to agree a way forward.


The post I is for Interstitial Condensation appeared first on www.AtlantisDamp.co.uk.

source http://www.atlantisdamp.co.uk/blog/i-interstitial-condensation/

Friday, 10 February 2017

H is for Hygroscopic Salts and Replastering a Damp Wall

The A-Z of Damp & Timber from Atlantis Damp Proofing and Timber Specialists Ltd – H is for Hygroscopic Salts

In this episode of The A-Z of Damp from Atlantis Damp & Timber Proofing Specialists Ltd, H is for…… Hygroscopic Salts and re plastering a damp wall.

What are Hygroscopic Salts?

When dampness has been rising from in the wall for some time, the soluble salts (mainly Chloride and Nitrates) become concentrated where the water evaporates from the wall. These deposits of salts are Hygroscopic. This means they attract the everyday moisture found in your home. This ‘dampness’ is not caused by water rising up the capillaries of the building materials. It is due to the dampness in the walls evaporating, and leaving the tell tale tide mark.

Why is marked plasterwork often the first sign something is wrong?

Wall plaster can act almost like blotting paper and can be highly susceptible to both internal and external sources of Damp or moisture. Wall plaster becomes contaminated with dampness from walls, floors and the atmosphere. the presence of a damp stain or salting on the surface of the plaster is a sure sign that something is going on that needs professional investigation.

There are many reasons for the appearance of damp such as rising damp, penetrating damp or condensation. The key to dealing with Damp Plaster is to identify the source of moisture and rectify it wherever possible. Once the source of moisture has been dealt with consideration may need to be given to the replacement of the wall plaster, either in a like material or by selection of an appropriate remedial system.

Can I install a DPC without re- plastering determines the success of Damp proofing?

We believe that the importance of the re-plastering works cannot be over-emphasised. The re plastering determines the success of damp proofing and it must be considered as important as the remedial damp proofing, indeed, if not more important. Once the source of the damp has effectively been removed, the hygroscopic salts remain in the wall and can continue to give the appearance of a damp wall. You may find that dampness will appear when the room is humid and disappear when the air is dry. These salts are efficient at absorbing water from the surrounding environment. As a result plasters and masonry may remain damp even though the source of moisture which caused the build up of the salt has been eliminated.

There are many different types of plaster available. The most commonly used remedial plasters are those incorporating a ‘salt retardant additive. It is vital that a special salt retardant additive is used to hold back any residual salts while still allowing the passage of water vapour. In certain circumstances it may be necessary to use specialist renovating plasters that are specifically manufactured for certain situations. Atlantis Damp Proofing & Timber Specialists Ltd will ensure you are given the correct advice and solutions. All our work can be supported with an insurance backed guarantee, so when we leave so do your damp problems.


If you think you’ve spotted some signs of damp in your home, contact Atlantis Damp Proofing & Timber Specialists Ltd to gain expert, honest advice.

The post H is for Hygroscopic Salts and Replastering a Damp Wall appeared first on www.AtlantisDamp.co.uk.

source http://www.atlantisdamp.co.uk/blog/hygroscopic-salts-replastering-damp-wall/

G is for… Garden in your Gutter

G is for….. Garden in your Gutter (causing internal damp)

In this episode of The A-Z of Damp from Atlantis Damp & Timber Proofing Specialists Ltd. G is for…… Gardens in your Gutter (causing internal damp). 

We recently visited a property in Northwich, Cheshire to survey for damp detected on walls internally. A young family had been quoted over £5,000.00 to remedy a reported rising damp problem in their home. They felt this quote was too high and as such were getting some comparisons. One of their friends recommended speaking to us to get a reliable, honest advice from a CSRT expert.

They were right to get a second opinion. There was no rising damp. Using a surface moisture meter, it was identified that there were no readings at skirting board height, or up to a meter high (which would be typical of rising damp). There were, however, high moisture readings. These were in the corners of the rooms at both the front and back elevations on the ground and first floor at ceiling height. An external inspection revealed that the gutters were severely blocked with debris. There was green staining and algae on the wall next to the downspout. This fault corresponded exactly to the dampness that was detected internally.

A blocked gutter can cause damage to your downspouts and water to build up and enter the property through what we term Penetrating Damp. If not repaired, it could also lead to roofing problems, which can, again lead to damp issues internally. As with any damp issue in your home, this could result in thousands of pounds worth of repairs as if you leave it unchecked. Wood rot in your structural timbers can occur.

Gutter and downspout blockages will always happen in your property, sometimes more regularly if your home is surrounded by trees. If you included clearing the gutters in your annual home maintenance plan it will never become a significant issue. As with all types of damp, if you can prevent penetrating damp through water penetration due to leaking gutters is so much more effective than treating it.

To do their job, your gutters and downspouts must be clear of leaves and debris. If they aren’t, drain outlets will dam up and rainwater will fill the gutters, overflow, and eventually pull the gutters loose. During a rainstorm, gutters route runoff from a very large surface—a home’s roof—to where it can drain away from the house. By doing so, they protect walls, windows, doors, and foundations from water damage and help prevent flooding in basements. If your gutters are blocked, they will fail to do the job that they were intended for – directing rain water away from your house and into your drains.

Depending on how hard the gutters are to reach, you can now contact a company to complete this task for you. If you prefer, and it is safe to do so, you can do it yourself. To clean out your gutters you will need: a trowel, ladder, buckets, garden hose, gutter cleaning attachment and gutter sealant. Next you could watch one of the many youtube videos (try https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zFoynqYkCM) on this subject that you could check out for more information on a DIY job.

What should you do next?

If you would like to have a chat with a family run business to get to the root cause of the dampness in your home, we feel confident that we can help you so simply contact us at Atlantis Damp Proofing & Timber Specialists Ltd for our expert opinion to ensure accurate diagnosis and solutions to your property problem.

The post G is for… Garden in your Gutter appeared first on www.AtlantisDamp.co.uk.

source http://www.atlantisdamp.co.uk/blog/blocked-gutters-penetrating-damp/