Survey reveals business opportunity arising from damp

Published:  20 October, 2016

The findings of a new YouGov survey – commissioned by damp-proofing expert Safeguard Europe – into the UK’s experience of damp problems, reveals an ongoing market opportunity for builders’ merchants and RMI contractors.

The survey discovered that not only have around half the UK’s homeowners encountered problems with damp, but also that the issue is even more common in the rented sector – both private and public. With over 20m households in the UK, the inference is that hundreds of thousands of properties are in need of remedial treatments.

And when it comes to house purchasers, the survey further established that damp could either reduce house prices by up to 20% – or deter purchasers from making an offer at all. YouGov spoke to around 1,300 homeowners, discovering that 91% of them would be discouraged from making an offer should they discover damp of any kind in a home for sale. Damp was by far the biggest deterrent, ahead of small rooms (70%), unwanted odours (56%) and an overgrown garden (22%).

Asked what they would do should damp be discovered after they had made an initial offer, 42% of homeowners said that they would abandon the purchase altogether, with 48% saying that they would reduce their offer, over one third of those by up to 20%. With an average UK house price* of around £214,000, this would equate to over £42,000.

The survey also revealed how common damp in homes is. Nearly half of the homeowners surveyed (48%) said that they had lived in homes with a damp problem. YouGov also surveyed renters and found that among this group the percentage was even higher, at 52%.

Damp in homes can have a negative effect on health, comfort and family finances. Damp walls are less effective insulators, allowing heat to escape faster, and according to the NHS, damp and mould increases the likelihood of respiratory infections, allergies and asthma, particularly in the very young and the very old.

However, dealing with damp is often not as difficult or time-consuming as many people imagine. “The survey demonstrates that most people see damp as a huge problem, but that doesn’t have to be the case,” said Safeguard director Hudson Lambert. “With the right knowledge and the right products, damp can be tackled successfully and much more easily and quickly than people think.”

For full details of the survey, visit

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