Quick Summary

Dear Reader,

If you are reading this page chances are you have ran into Peter Ward's Heritage House web site where he bluntly calls us (and many others dealing with dampness) frauds.

Appealing to your sense of justice and fair-play, this page presents the "other side" of the story, highlighting some important information about Heritage House and his owner Peter Ward who presents facts heavily distorted or even invents "facts" to suit his agenda.

Feel free to read through the information and evidences presented here, see what both parties have to say and decide accordingly based on your personal integrity and common sense.

About Myself

My name is Val Juhasz, I am one of the founders of Core Conservation and I would like to openly address some questions about some of Peter Ward’s recent libelous and defamatory statements about myself and my company. I would like to give you a broader understanding of the whole story.

First, a few words about myself.

I am an Electronic Engineer. I have been living in the UK since 2007. In the UK I have completed a Master’s Degree (MBA) at the Manchester Business School and currently I am undertaking a PhD in Architectural Conservation researching the effects of the "electromagnetic climate change" on moisture movement, how man-made and natural electro/magnetic fields affect old buildings and the movement of moisture in porous masonry.

I have founded Core Conservation in 2014 to promote traditional solutions and through research contribute to a better understanding of dampness.

Core Conservation's Involvement with Aquapol

A significant portion of Peter Ward's libelous statements are about our past involvement with the Austrian firm Aquapol. His "research" or "insight" into the matter was copying-and-pasting the content of an individual German blog, adding his own "twist" to the story to suit his needs.

Here is the information he did not mention.

Between 2014 and 2018 we have indeed been the official UK distributors of the Austrian “Aquapol” firm, a company with a novel, non-invasive technology against rising damp. During this period, as part of our distributor agreement, we have been trading as “Aquapol”.

Aquapol company’s activity in Austria goes back to the late 1980s, pre-dating our activity by decades. They have been pioneering a proprietary non-invasive technology against rising damp. Their technology has been installed in over 40,000 building worldwide, and as far as customers and their buildings were concerned, it was a success.

After being on the market for 35 years, in 2019 the Austrian mother company went into administration due to ongoing legal problems, which were unknown to us until the very end. The problem was caused by the officially published working theory of the proprietary Aquapol technology. The owner of the company, Mr. Mohorn claimed that his technology is using a new form of energy, discovered by him. However, his claims and explanations were not in agreement with any known laws of Physics – his explanations initially raising questions, then leading to skepticism, finally culminating in legal problems.

When we started getting the same questions in the UK, we took action and contacted a member of the original R&D team of Electronic & Microwave Engineers who developed and prototyped these systems decades ago. With his help we clarified some important technical questions, but all this was too late for the Austrian company; their ongoing legal cases caught up with them and they were forced into administration.

Additionally, as soon as we became aware of the extent of Aquapol’s legal problems, we re-evaluated our position and terminated our distributor agreement. Since early 2018 we have been using a different technology from a different supplier, with fully patented and documented technical background.

We still support all Aquapol systems in the UK installed by us. 

That’s in a nutshell our involvement with the Aquapol company.

Here are the official investigation results of the Advertising and Standards Agency (ASA) into this matter. 

Independent Investigation of the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority)

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is the UK’s independent regulator of advertising across all media which includes TV, radio and the internet. Their role is to make sure all UK companies abide to fair advertising rules, all advertisements are fair, evidence-based and won’t denigrate the competition. All UK companies must abide ASA’s fair advertisement code (CAP Code).

ASA logo

Because Peter Ward has been doing nothing else over the years but to denigrate other companies and individuals he regarded as competitors – this included us and several other parties – we filed a legal complaint against him and his company "Campylite Investments Ltd" trading as Heritage House Consulting.

After a lengthy investigation by unbiased experts including the ASA’s legal team, cross-checking all evidences from both sides, the ASA upheld our complaint, ruling the following:

  • The ASA did not receive any complaints about the Aquapol device/system.
no complaints
  • In ASA’s view the Heritage House website acts as a business advertisement platform, where Peter Ward promotes his damp treatment services at the expense of other competitors.
  • Peter Ward's statements (considered ads) were found to be denigratory, attacking Core Conservation’s business practices, and as such they were found in breach of UK’s fair advertisement code.
code breach
  • As a result the ASA ruled that all denigratory statements about Core Conservation and all other companies (Peter Ward's competitors) must be removed from all this web sites and YouTube, and they must never appear in their current form again.
ruling

The original ruling can be read in full, being published on the ASA’s web site here:
https://www.asa.org.uk/rulings/campylite-investments-ltd-a19-1042985-campylite-investments-ltd.html

Peter Ward's Response to the Investigation

In Sept 2020, six months before the ASA's official published ruling about the case; while undergoing investigation Peter Ward tweeted the following, publicly lying about the outcome of the investigation:

“I have all the contacts in ASA… The head emailed me when I told them where to go when Aquapol had a pop. They soon apologised when they saw how fraudulent they were.”

ASA

He just shows what his word is worth.

Here are some other public Facebook comments he made in the past about some of his own paying customers:

  • Throwing nails onto a customer's driveway - his solution to "settle" a disagreement with a customer.
  • Retaining a customer's deposit because that decided to work with a local professional instead.
  • Calling a customer publicly "areshole", "bastard" and others because he questioned his mark-up.

Two Ongoing Storylines

Peter Ward’s motives to make us (and others) look as bad as humanly possible comes from a completely different motivation. There are two different, inter-twisting storylines here:

  1. A COVER STORY: the open story what you see, which in every case is very similar: calling the company or individual he attacks a scam, a fraud or a con, spreading panic, distrust and fear in the general public. It also contains his own self-advertisement disguised as "public help" highlighting how much work he has done to chase or catch these fraudsters. 
  2. THE REAL STORY: the hidden story you should not know, detailing his real motives, depicting a real shady character with outright criminal intentions.

Here is some more information on both.

Heritage House Attacks against Core Conservation - The Cover Story

Here is a bit of background data to our story and how it all started.

The Beginning and Our Interaction

Peter Ward writes on his web presents a "moving" story about how I used him, kept calling him, extracting his knowledge etc. making him an unsuspected victim. There is only one problem with this: the whole story is fake, an outright lie, invented by him to make me look bad.

This is what happened in real life: I only met Peter Ward once. My first and only contact with him was during a personal visit following his first defamatory article he wrote about us – without any warning, without contacting us upfront or any sense of fair-play.

To put things in perspective dear Reader, imagine this: someone you never met in your life publishes on the internet an article about YOU, calling you a scam. What would you do? For the average person the possibility of this ever happening is remotely unimaginable. It’s just too unbelievable that people doing such things to others could exist. Yet, they exist; if you own a business it's not that uncommon.

In the first instance I tried to contact, email or message him to seek clarifications what I thought to be an obvious mistake. All in vain, no reply from him despite repeated attempt to reach him. Then, as a last resort, I visited him at his business address. We met face to face and after a rather long conversation we agreed to do a technical trial project in his damp basement so he can have a chance to assess and evaluate the results of our technology first hand. A few days later my Engineer colleague installed the unit in Peter Ward’s cellar, leaving it in his consignment.

The Cellar Trial Project

Six months later when technical measurements were due, I called him to book a follow-up visit. He was very unfriendly and made it clear that he doesn’t want us to ever go back for measurements. At that point I realized (too late in the game) that he never had anything to gain from this trial in but everything to lose. The success of the project would make him lose professional credibility on at least 2 counts:

  1. On the fact that the technology he attacked so badly, works
  2. something can be done about rising damp which, according to him, does not exist

From that point on I could not reach him anymore. Then some time later he disassembled the unit from his cellar, publishing a scathing "review" about how it didn't work and why it should be avoided.

Since then he kept embellishing his story. He kept writing new articles about us, inventing bogus cases studies with fictitious dissatisfied or conned clients, shamelessly twisting the facts just to discredit us.

Hidden Operation

He describes us as a hidden underground operation he "keeps chasing". This is again a lie. All our contact details are publicly listed on our web site. People contact us every day. Anyone is welcome get in touch with us anytime. The only covert operation is probably his: he attacks professionals and companies from the anonymity of the internet, never carrying out a dialogue nor giving any of these companies a chance to respond him.

Why is he doing that? Keep reading, here comes the real interesting part, the real story.

Peter Ward’s Real Game - The Real Story

To understand his motives and his operating basis we need to briefly understand the main players of the industry. There are 2 distinct industry sectors in the UK that deal with dampness in old buildings:

  • The Conservation sector: mainly led by Historic England, who establishes current conservation policies and guidelines (subject to change based on latest research), and
  • The Damp Proofing sector: formally represented by the PCA (the Property Care Association), a professional membership organization connecting independent damp proofing businesses.

Because dampness is a major cause of deterioration of old buildings, in an ideal world these 2 sectors should cooperate closely. The Damp Proofing sector should work in agreement with the Conservation sector about acceptable damp proofing solutions in heritage and listed buildings; but in the real world - similar to other areas of life - there often is not enough communication between parties.

And amidst this non-optimum communication and perhaps some mutual “negative feelings” comes to the scene Peter Ward, the “third wheel”. He does two things:

  1. He plays these 2 industry sectors against each other, antagonizing and bullying them constantly, creating distrust and lack of cooperation in professional circles. In addition...
  2. He is actively discrediting the professional sector in front of old building owners. primarily the damp proofing sector and the PCA. When anyone disagrees with him professionally or has opposing views from him, he labels them incompetents, fraudsters or scams. He happily "throws under the bus" any company, or individual, even well-respected organizations and heritage groups. This way he becomes the only trusted, independent damp expert who knows everything best, earning him professional recognition  and easy business at the expense of other industry players.

The easiest way to achieve this is by:

  1. Creating confusion about rising damp, proclaiming it out of existence. If the existence of rising damp is questioned, the validity of any rising damp treatment becomes discredited, making the existence of a whole industry segment questionable.

    Why on rising damp? Because of its technical nature. It builds up slowly. Because it can be overpowered by any other more abundant dampness source or made hidden by almost any repair intervention (e.g. by a simple replastering), making the problem temporarily invisible. But most importantly: because it’s complex and as such difficult to understand – making rising damp the easiest case to pitch that “it doesn’t exist” or it‘s “something else” (e.g. it's condensation).
  2. Constantly drip-feeding alarming articles and news to the general public: primarily about the PCA (the Property Care Association) but pretty much anyone Peter Ward has a grudge with.

A Real Story

Proof of this mode of operation is a recent undertaking of the SPAB (The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) to help – Britain’s oldest heritage group, established in 1877. The SPAB recognized not only the fact that unprofessional repairs and damp interventions can damage old buildings, but also the need for professional damp treatments in well-justified cases.

So they decided to do something about it. True to their motto “We advise. We educate. We campaign.” they started organizing professional training courses for the PCA, educating damp proofing contractors about basic conservation concepts and methodologies on breathability, lime, why cement plasters used after a chemical treatment can damage old buildings etc – an important step in the right direction.

pca spab training

Training course on the PCA web site done in conjunction with the SPAB

Who in his right mind would object against such activity where everyone wins? Sympathetic interventions, better preserved buildings, happy building owners etc. Who would have a problem with that?

No one, except Peter Ward. As a result of this activity, the SPAB instantly became the target of his wrath.

The same happened to us, Core Conservation. We are not PCA members. We don’t do chemical injection treatments and we strive to co-exist in harmony with all industry players, sharing our knowledge, helping anyone we can. We came forward with a new, non-invasive rising damp technology, ideal for old and listed buildings, and Peter Ward attacked us instantly. Why? Simply because we were dealing with rising damp. That was our only “sin”. And he went to great lengths to discredit us.

The bottom line here: anyone dealing with rising damp – a segment Peter Ward thinks he owns in the UK – becomes his target. Anyone daring to disagree with him professionally and state that rising damp can exist, becomes his target. Anyone trying to come up with solutions against rising damp or do something about it, becomes Peter Ward’s target. He starts his own personal vendetta campaign, attacking one’s professional or personal reputation by any means possible.

advertising

Incorrect Technical Facts and Advice on Dampness

According to Peter Ward, heating, ventilation, breathability and some lime plastering is everything you need to fully solve all virtually any dampness problem. We do not question the importance of such interventions which are indeed vital ingredients of dry, healthy buildings, however they have clear limitations. Certain dampness problems can't be fully resolved long-term with heating, ventilation or lime plastering alone, even if such measures improve the situation short-term.  

Looking at the technical facts, every major piece of technical information on the Heritage House website about dampness, especially rising damp, is false, misleading people with incorrect technical advise. They are based on Peter Ward's assumptions derived from poor observation of facts that don’t stand the scrutiny of modern research.

Here are some of the inaccurate and misleading technical statements, which have been conclusively proven to be false:

We Do Technical Research 

Unlike Peter Ward who just tosses out authoritarian statements, all our data and knowledge is backed up by thorough technical research. We use leading edge research equipment that can measure and track up to 200 parameters from a wall including tens of temperature, humidity, pressure, electrical parameters from virtually anywhere in the walls or the environment - from surface, depth, under the render, air, timber etc. - all in real time.

Some of the sensors we used are manufactured by us in-house (being an Electronic Engineer) as we found commercially available sensors came with too many trade-offs - too bulky, too expensive or lacking accuracy - and thus not fit for purpose. 

Research

Research equipment

Before finishing off this section, I would like to quickly address one last question: how did I acquire my building conservation knowledge. Not from Peter Ward for sure as I met him only once. I earned my professional knowledge through hard work – through self-education and lots of reading, as well as from conservation seminars and workshops ran by the SPAB or others; both in the UK and abroad including Venice. My Engineering and technical skills greatly assisted me in this journey. Some of my own professional development actions included:

  • Reading: during the past few years I must have read through over 4,000 pages of research papers, white papers etc. and counting. I read virtually anything I could put my hands on that relates to moisture movement, salts, porous building materials, molecular phenomena etc.
  • Building surveys: during the past few years I have surveyed well over 2,000 buildings, amassing a considerable practical experience.
  • Building monitoring: as part of my work I have been involved in the long-term (1-5 year) monitoring of over 400 buildings of all ages, monitoring the movement of moisture through the seasons through drilled (gravimetric) core sampling and other methods.
  • First-hand technical research: because moisture movement in old buildings had still many unanswered questions, I started my own research, initially part time then since the COVID pandemic full time. You can read more about it in the research section of our web site.
  • PhD in Architectural Conservation: my initial research developed into a full-blown PhD program in Architectural Conservation, researching a very timely and interesting aspect of building conservation: the effects of electromagnetic climate change (increasing telecommunication fields such as 4G, 5G etc.) as well as the impact of Earth’s geo-magnetic fields on moisture movement in the capillaries of old buildings.
World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology

We have attended the 2021 London International Conference on Architectural Conservation organized by the "World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology" (WASET) where our research paper won the Best Research Paper Award in Architectural Conservation. For anyone interested, the paper can be viewed or downloaded below. 

Our web site content is not only original but unique in many regards. We get lots of praises from our readers about how informative and educational our content is. Needless to say we don’t need to copy any of Peter Ward’s content - as he insinuated - which has only one unique feature: its libelous aspect.

Your Decision

I am aware this page contains a lot of information, to the point of being overwhelming to some extent, although I tried to present the information in an easy-to-follow, logical fashion, supported by as much evidence as possible all along the way.

To make it easier for you to "digest" this information or separate the important facts from less important ones, here are some suggestions:

Ignore Heritage House's Alarming Statements

Ignore such statements, they are just "noise". Similar to bad news in the mainstream media Peter Ward's statements intend to alarm and confuse people so they can't evaluate facts rationally.

Architectural Publications from the 1800s

You don't need to be a professional to figure out who is lying or saying he truth about rising damp. It is much simpler. It has nothing to do with technical knowledge.

On one hand: Peter Ward is saying rising damp was invented in 1962 by the chemical industry with the sole purpose to defraud people - as stated on his web site.

The fraud of rising damp
On the other hand: here is a list of independent publications from the Internet Archives (as part of Google's old books digitization project) or Forgotten Books documenting the history of rising damp and problems caused by it for the past 150 years. The full content of these books is available for download (as PDF), but we highlighted some of the relevant points below. Check them out. They can't be all lying. 

Then, if you found enough supporting evidence that rising damp has indeed indeed been a genuine building problem historically, you should ask yourself the following:

  • Why is Peter Ward so blatantly lying about rising damp?
  • If rising damp does exist (as documented), isn't his whole ideology about the "fraud of rising damp", that damp proofing has been SOLELY invented for profit and to defraud, is also a lie?
  • What else is he also lying about?

Click on the titles below to explore the publications.

1844 - The Builder (architectural journal), Vol. II

The Builder was a journal of architecture published between 1843 and 1966. Issues from year 2 (1844) mention dampness naturally rising from the ground due to capillary attraction. The use of slate is recommended as solution to prevent the ascent of moisture up the walls.

1851 - The Builder's Guide: A Practical Manual (book)

This professional textbook from 1851 is a practical manual written for architectural students, engineers, contractors and builders.

Dedicating a whole chapter to dampness, including to the prevention of rising damp, stressing the importance of separating the foundations from the rest of the wall with a damp proof course, to stop the upward migration of dampness.

"... to intercept entirely all communication between the foundation below and the walls above, no damp, as far as we have observed, can possibly find its way upward; and however damp the work below the asphalte (DPC) may become, that above will remain perfectly dry and unaffected."

French architects, independently, came to the same conclusion. Even if the footing of a building is always underwater (e.g. house on a lake), using half an inch thick asphalt DPC keeps the walls completely dry.

1863 - Papers of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

This paper read on 12 Jan 1863 at the General Meeting of the RIBA, discusses the sanitary aspects of rising damp in old buildings, and various damp proof course options as a natural remedy to the problem - about 20 years ahead of global UK sanitary reforms, 

"The great evils, in a sanitary point of view, are doubtless caused by damp rising up the walls by capillary attraction. (...) Our remedies for this have generally been a layer of asphalte throughout the thickness of the walls, "sheets of lead", a course of slates bedded in cement, and sometimes compounds of gas-tar, pitch, sand etc."

A new damp proof course is also presented to the attending architects - a layer of perforated bricks, laid as a row of ordinary bricks, to prevent the rise of moisture, while also improving underfloor ventilation.

Some of the architects' comments on this damp proof course technology included:

  • Many new inventions are adopted with difficulty, including the idea of damp proof courses.
  • Some concerns about their additional cost. Damp proof courses have often been skipped to save on material and labor costs.
  • They should be better tested, although in buildings used (e.g. the great Artillery barracks at Colchester) they were very efficient.
  • Their aesthetic look is a positive.
  • Architects were in agreement that damp proof courses were the best method of keeping damp down.

1873 - The British Medical Journal

A report of the British Medical Journal dating 20 Dec 1873 discusses various sanitary aspects of rising dampness in houses, hospitals and public institutions.

Various damp proof course technologies used by architects are mentioned in the paper, including double course slates, Welsh slate bedded in cementsheets of leadhot asphalt DPCs, glazed bricks and vitrified stone-ware tiles.

The paper also advises the retrofitting of a damp proof course into old buildings, which turned uninhabitable buildings into perfectly healthy ones.

1876 - Notes on Building Construction (book)

This 3-volume publication from 1876 was the official syllabus of a three-part advanced building construction course. A whole chapter is dedicated to the problem of dampness and how to efficiently overcome it, including rising damp, penetrating damp and falling damp from the roof or gutters.

Various damp proof course technologies are also discussed, making reference to the fact that slate DPCs embedded in cement are liable to crack and thus fail.

Glazed pottery slab damp proof course built into the wall:

Lastly, according to an official report from the 1867 Paris Exhibition, some interesting technical facts from the book on how much water saturated brickwork can hold:

  • In England, common bricks can absorb as much as a pint or pound of water
  • An ordinary cottage consisting of 12,000 bricks, can hold about 6.5 tons of water when saturated 
  • Porous sandstone fit for building purposes may contain about half a gallon of water per cubic foot. (about 80 liters / m³)

1885 - Helps to Health (health publication)

Realizing the effect of damp walls onto the health and well-being of inhabitants, between the 1870s - 1890s a number of health bills have been passed throughout UK, all of them recommending damp proof courses as a means to combat capillary rising damp.

"We must now turn our attention to the walls, which is equally necessary to protect from rising damp. If you plant a brick or stone wall o ground which is capable of retaining moisture, it will inevitably happen that unless you take means to stop its progress, the moisture will climb up the walls in obedience to the law of capillary attraction."

Solution to the problem is a vitrified (glass-like) layer of bricks or two layers of slate.

The book also provides technical advice with drawings, presenting the wrong way of laying a slate damp proof course" style="" data-css="tve-u-17b10814b5f">, if gaps are left between them.

1891 - Public Health Act London

Clause 96 of the The London Public Health Act from 1891 stipulates the use of damp proof courses for underground rooms: "Any underground room (...) shall not be let or occupied unless (...) every wall of the room is constructed with  a proper damp proof course">."

Period British Books and Publications 

Old books from the Victorian period have consistently documented that problems caused by rising damp were well-known in Victorian England for nearly 200 years, describing significant damages to period 16th - 17th century cottages and country houses.

1870 - English Country Houses - A Practical Treatise on House Building

This book published in 1870 presents 45 private residences of its time, focusing on practical aspects of house building, including: how to properly build walls, construct floors, roofing, ventilation, drainage, what materials to use etc.

The problem of dampness is also discussed in detail, with practical advice on how to prevent it, overcome it and build a dry, comfortable home. Rising damp must always be addressed by laying a damp course under every wall, whether internal or external.

"Damp course: a provision should always be made to prevent any damp rising up the walls from the foundations."

1905 - Old Cottages, Farmhouses & Other Stone Buildings in the Cotswold District

This book published in 1905, presents examples of typical domestic buildings, including some of the most noteworthy houses from Victorian England. The book highlights damages caused by rising damp in many old 17th century cottages - making some rooms almost unusable for living.

"... When the houses were built in sloping sites... by means of terraces and steps... these lower rooms, owing to wet and damp, are now almost unusable except at store places."

The reason why the ground floor rooms of many old cottages were wet and unhealthy, especially during winter time, was lack of damp proof courses, an unknown technology at the time when these cottages were built.

"The ground floor... laid directly on earth, with the result that the moisture readily soaked through, doubtless causing the rooms to be wet and unhealthy, and as damp proof courses were unknown when these houses were built, the lower part of the walls in winter time was moist and damp."

1909 - The Cottage Homes of England

This book published in 1909 highlights the damp, disused condition of some rooms in old cottages due to lack of damp courses in those buildings.

"Also the houses are often built on a slope, and the lower rooms are so damp that most of them are now disused. The stone floors, indeed, were laid direct on the ground, damp courses were unknown, so no wonder that the houses were not dry." 

1914 - Small Country Houses, Their Repair and Enlargement

This book published in 1914, dealing with the restoration of old houses - weather cottage, farm house or small manor house - presents is detail the history, problems and restoration challenges of 40 old buildings stretching back 5 centuries.

Problems caused by rising damp are repeatedly highlighted, linking the problem and associated damages to lack of damp proof courses, unknown when these buildings were originally built. Several such examples are presented, and poor workmanship is also mentioned.

"Some people are apt to suppose that the buildings of historical periods were constructed on particularly sound lines. That, however is hardly the case. It is to the nineteenth century that we owe the use of such devices as damp-courses, and the lack of them in early buildings has not only shortened their lives, but many many of them uninhabitable, sometimes beyond redemption."


Some repairs followed the principles laid down by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildingsthe SPAB, already in existence since 1877. The book praised the SPAB's rigorous work and conservative approach in retaining as much old building fabric as possible. At one building the repair works also included the insertion of a solid damp proof course while undertaking some foundation works. 

"...the principles laid down by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. It is not only conservative in the preservation of every scrap of old work, but eminentlv satisfactory in appearance. For the needful repairs to the walls bricks were made locally of the same size as the old ones. The attitude of the S.P.A.B., familiarly known as the Anti-Scrape, is sometimes more rigorous in respect of the alteration of old buildings than some antiquaries can endorse. Its work has been of immense value, however, in forming public taste and in checking the vandalism which raged unhindered before the Society was formed."

1915 - Rural Housing

This book published in 1915, written by the Medical Officer of Somerset County, discusses important aspects of rural housing, including: the housing shortage, housing conditions, health and sanitary problems etc. The effect of various types of dampness are discussed in detail, based on the findings of professional surveyors.

"A very considerable proportion of country cottages are damp... due to a combination causes. One prevalent cause is the absence of proper foundations and damp-proof courses. There is nothing to prevent the wet from the earth rising up the walls, and it does so rise."   

Rising Damp is listed as a major problem that can be remedied with difficulty. The solution is fitting a solid DPC while other works are being undertaken. Failing to do so, the lack of a damp proof course, often makes old buildings uninhabitable, also resulting in their long-term decay.

"The provision of a damp course... is an expensive and troublesome matter. It has to be inserted... to prevent houses from being condemned." (Def: condemned: officially classed unfit for living)

Modern Research Publications 

There are many international research publications on rising damp: some of them listed below, with more papers on our scientific research papers page.  Click on the toggles below to reveal more content.

1994 - Old House Journal, USA

Old-House Journal is a USA magazine devoted to restoring and preserving old houses. Since its establishment in 1973, the magazine has published many articles on rising damp, the 1994 May-June edition being one of the more comprehensive ones, covering its mechanism, its manifestations and most common remedies to overcome it.

The Journal says:

"Rising damp is most common in low-lying, high-watertable coastal regions such as Charleston, South Carolina, Galveston, Texas and New Orleans - the proverbial land of rising damp. (...)

The symptoms caused by rising damp have been recognized for centuries, and its general action has been understood for close to 150 years. (...) In the "Architecture of Country Houses" (1850)  A. J. Downing how foundation walls laid with lime mortar absorb moisture from the soil, particularly damp soil."

2007 - Research Paper - The Royal Society, UK

Rising damp: capillary rise dynamics in walls, 2007

This UK research paper published by the Royal Society in 2007 not only acknowledges the existence of rising damp, saying that it is an important cause of wetness in buildings...

...but also discusses in detail the various factors influencing rising damp. The paper provides the necessary formulas for calculating various rising damp parameters (rising damp height, quantity of water inside the walls etc.) for walls of different thickness.

2006 - Research Paper - University of Bologna, Italy

An operative protocol for reliable measurements of moisture in porous materials of ancient buildings, 2006

This scientific paper published by the University of Bologna, Italy in 2005, states at the very beginning that capillary rising damp (along with other types of moisture) is one of the main problems in old buildings.

The paper discusses the various moisture measurement methods, while also presenting a methodology on how to easily recreate rising damp under laboratory conditions.

2012 - Research Paper - University of Porto, Portugal

Treatment of rising damp in historical buildings

This paper is part of a series of research papers on rising damp published by a research team at the University of Porto, who have analyzed in detail the mechanics of rising damp, the effect of various wall structures and finishes, and they proposed and analyzed in lab and in-situ a new wall-base ventilation system, as a means to reduce the effects of rising damp.

"Humidity is one of the main causes of decay in buildings, particularly rising damp. (...)

In historical buildings, rising damp is particularly difficult to treat due to the thickness and heterogeneity of the walls.

Traditional methods have proved somewhat ineffective. There is therefore a need to study new systems."

Rising damp has also been reproduced and studied under lab conditions.

2013 -Research Paper - University of Bologna, Italy

Rising moisture, salts and electrokinetic effects in ancient masonries: from laboratory testing to on-site monitoring, 2013

This research paper on rising damp from 2013 studies rising damp and its effects under both laboratory conditions and in real buildings. The paper acknowledges that rising damp is a complex phenomenon influenced by a multitude of factors, which leads to the decay of both ancient and modern building materials.

Results of rising damp recreated in the laboratory after 6 months are also presented.

2017 - German Professional Textbook

Building Dehydration - From Basics to Practical Applications, 2017

This 270-page Austrian technical reference book discusses in great detail every aspect of moisture movement and building Physics.

It describes in detail the development of rising damp through its various phases; one interim phase being interstitial condensation. The book makes a clear distinction between rising damp and condensation, which are two different phenomena.

The stages of dehydration and various mechanisms that contribute to the dehydration of the building fabric are also presented in a logical and structured way.

2019 - Research Paper - School of Architecture, China

Rising damp in two traditional clay-brick masonry walls and influence on heat transfer performance, 2019

This 2019 research paper from China studied the effect of rising damp on the heat loss of the building and they found that "the presence of capillary water has a direct impact on the heat transfer coefficient of the wall." - the damper the walls the more heat loss occurs.

You can search for additional scientific papers on one of the world's largest research portals Researchgate.net which contains over 118 million papers and scientific articles. Here are some relevant phrases in connection with rising damp (click to see live search results):

Modern Building Standards 

Did you ever ask why modern building standards require the use of DPC membranes for new builds to prevent moisture from rising in the fabric? Are they also part of the DPC industry plot?

Building standards DPC

Modern building codes require the use of DPCs 

Independent Investigation of the ASA

UK’s independent advertising regulator, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), after a long independent investigation has ruled in our favor, stating the following: (see above)

    The Heritage House website acts as a business advertisement platform, where Peter Ward promotes his damp treatment services at the expense of other competitors.Peter Ward's statements were found to be denigratory, attacking his competitors, being in breach of UK’s fair advertisement code.

His Professional Membership Revoked

Peter Ward's professional membership from the IHBC (Institute of Historic Building Conservation) has been revoked on disciplinary grounds.
IHBC kicked out member

Obviously, his own version of "truth" tells a completely different tale to the world:

“After years of helping at high level in IHBC consultations I was kicked out - I have the great honour to be the only person ever thrown out of the organization."

Kicked out from IHBC

Twitter Suspends his Account for Violation

During summer 2021 Twitter suspends Peter Ward's twitter account for hateful conduct and harassment - violating Twitter's terms of service.

Twitter account suspended

Peter Ward's Twitter account suspended

Bad Manners, Foul Language

Bad manners and foul language might make him an "original" bloke, but such traits are generally not the hallmark of a true professional.


Thank you for reading through all this.

Hope you found some of this information helpful although it’s sad that we had no other alternative than to compile all this data just to defend ourselves. But beyond a certain point when reason, common sense and all other solutions fail, there is not much you can do but speak up to defend yourself and upheld your professional reputation from such bullies.

This situation also highlights an obvious problem in the building and conservation sector: a lack of an independent central regulatory body in the building industry where anyone subject to such attacks can turn to, In lack of this costly litigation remains the only option to permanently deal with such problems. Maybe in the future things will change.

Despite all this we are always open to discussions to settle any potential disagreements with anyone.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us, we are always happy to help.

Sincerely,

Val Juhasz
Director Core Conservation
BSc, MBA, PhD student