When Buying consider the Ground Floor Level

The use of damp proof courses (DPC’s) and damp proof membranes (DMP’s) is actually still rare in Spain and though the climate is generally dry there are enough wet periods (including some very heavy inundations) that can cause both rising damp or even flash flood water entry to buildings.

 

When buying a property it is worthwhile noting the level of the ground floor compared to external ground level. Ideally the ground floor will be raised at least 200mm above external ground level but more is better, so if there is a decent floor void of say 1m or unconverted underbuild space (often up to 2.5m), the living areas are unlikely to ever suffer from rising damp or surface water ingress.

If you are planning to convert an underbuild remember that some damp proofing works are likely to be needed and in some cases it is best to raise the floor level as part of works.

Some properties actually have a ground floor level below that of external ground (more common in older town houses and fincas). While this should not necessarily deter you from buying your otherwise dream house, it is well worth getting it checked with an electronic damp meter as excessive levels of damp are common and may have been recently covered up.

Information provided by Mark Paddon BSc Hons Building Surveying. MCIOB. Free 17 page buyer’s guide available via www.surveysspain.com  T: 962807247 M: 653733066

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Copyright Mark Paddon 2008

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