Independent Qualifed Damp & Timber Surveyors

Covering  Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, London, Surrey and Sussex

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I pay for a survey when I can get one free or cheaply from a contractor?

Contractors whether industry qualified or not and Freelance Surveyors who are generally qualified have a vested interest in securing work to ensure the continuance of their business using the methods and products available to them.

It’s not really about whether or not you have damp and/or timber problems it’s about why you have them, what they actually are and the best way of resolve in the most cost effective and meaningful way.

When buying a property a Building Surveyor will typically state that “The damp proof course may have failed”, in our experience this is very rare indeed, causation is almost always due to other influences such as bridging or in fact not rising damp at all but penetrating damp or condensation.

They will also typically state that “Timber in contact with damp walls maybe decayed” which is true however again in our experience the most likely decay if present is common wet rot which does not require treatments, resolve is simply achieved by resolving the source of moisture and replacing the decayed timber.

They may report evidence of woodworm holes but if it’s not active it doesn’t require treatments.

An Independent Surveyor is an individual who offers a specialist surveying service and has no commercial link or interest with any organisations or individuals that derive profit or gain from the undertaking of building preservation work. (Source: The Property Care Association).

This means that by instructing an Independent (PCA) Surveyor you are assured of a person who is not only mandatorily industry qualified but has no vested interest in looking for work for financial gain or “hitting” sales targets.

You will always pay a fee for this service but in the long run the likelihood is that it will be money well spent and save you hundreds if not thousands of pounds by getting the right diagnosis and advice.

How long does a survey take?

How long is a piece of string!!

It depends on the instruction, size of property and many other factors.

With all the information offered a Surveyor never really knows what they are looking at until arrival.

We do not base our fees on time spent, honestly albeit rarely some surveys will take less than thirty minutes, others will take hours, in conclusion therefore it takes what it takes to perform our task ensuring we exercise our Duty of Care.

Do you do intrusive surveys?

Not unless it is deemed essential by prior arrangement for specific reasons although in some cases where for example we can lift floorboards without fear of damage we will as part of our general inspection.

When carrying out pre-purchase surveys it is very rare indeed that a Vendor will allow consent to move furniture, lift carpets and floorboards etc causing mayhem in their homes, a home that has not yet even exchanged contracts.
Even if floorboards are lifted in reality that seen is just a small proportionate snapshot of the general underlying conditions.

Salt analysis testing and actual moisture content testing by intrusion into the wall plasters and substrates behind are generally carried out for specific reasons principally but not exclusively for litigation purposes although for general surveys these are not essential.

Under normal circumstances we will assess the property using non-intrusive methods and test procedures and these together with our knowledge and experience will provide you with a wealth of meaningful information over and above that reported by others.

Why do you request payment in advance and how do we know you are going to turn up, do the survey, provide the service expected and provide the report?

By not performing our task in any way would be dishonest if not fraudulent.

We are a professional company and have built our reputation upon honest transparent and moral ethics as our numerous reviews reflect.

We are granted authority to accept payment by credit and debit cards and thus we are Payment Card Industry compliant reviewed quarterly.

We never accept cash as payment therefore all payments are proven and traceable.

Before instructing us you are informed of our terms and conditions of trading, not in small print but bold and clear.

The downfall of many business failures is bad debt and costs involved in chasing debts.

An average small business is owed more than £11,000.00 with one in five owed more than £30,000.00.
(Source: Sage Pay).

2102 Consumer County Court Judgments (CCJs) are issued everyday with an average value of £2,030.00.
(Source: The Money Charity).

The typical Briton has racked up more than £8,400.00 of unsecured debt.

The average person now owes £8,431.00 on credit cards, loans and overdrafts.

One in four people in Briton are using over 40% of their wages each month just to pay off non-mortgage debt
(Source: Moneysupermarket).

Most people in our experience pay on time although regrettably many don’t.

We are duty bound and committed to ensuring our business is financially sound and free of bad debt risk.
Your statutory consumer rights rightly so are never affected.

Your website states prices as being fully inclusive that implies you are VAT registered, are you or are you simply stating that to inflate your prices for financial gain?

Yes we are VAT registered, our registration number is 131 1738 46 which can be verified by entering VIES into a search engine followed by our VAT number where prompted.

The size, success and turnover of our business is such that we far exceed the £70,000.00 threshold for mandatory VAT registration.

This demonstrates that we are a professional organization with manpower and procedures in-place to provide the first class service we do which further ensures all our clients past, present and future are assured of our 5 star benchmark customer service we constantly strive to achieve rather than smaller organisations who run around like headless chickens trying to do several jobs at once.

All our staff are directly employed, we do not use self-employed or sub-contract Surveyors or call center services, all our team have their own dedicated jobs to serve you well.


Call FREE 0800 0778867


Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm

Saturday 10am - 2pm

Closed on public holidays

We have advised Which? Consumer Magazine & Channel 4 TV House of Horrors

Consult a qualified professional - you could save hundreds or even thousands of pounds.

What Customers Say

"Saved us money that otherwise would have been spent on unnecessary woodworm treatment"

"We instructed Academy Remedial Surveyors to investigate a woodworm infestation that was flagged up in our homebuyer's survey. We chose ARS because they are truly independent - previous experience has shown to us that one simply cannot trust any surveying done by companies that also sell the remedial treatments!

Dealing with ARS has been a delight from start to finish, thanks to clear communications, proactivity and swift turnaround time. We were very impressed with the report: At last a survey written in clear language, with a true common-sense approach and hands-on advice how to deal with some remaining issues.

ARS have saved us money that otherwise would have been spent on unnecessary woodworm treatment. We will certainly use ARS for any future surveys and whole-heartedly recommend their services to anyone in need of highly professional surveyors they can 100% trust."

R Abbas + P Wells more customer comments


5 East Park Crawley West Sussex RH10 6AN


Building 3, Chiswick Park, 566 Chiswick High Road, Chiswick, London W4 5YA

128 Downer Road, Benfleet, Essex SS7 1HX


Ground Floor, Building 100, Lakeside North Harbour, Western Road, Portsmouth PO6 3EZ

Callers by appointment only

Quality Guarantee

Academy Remedial Surveyors are all independent, qualified, registered with the Property Care Association and fully insured.

Property Care Association (PCA) logoThe Property Care Association (PCA) is the industry regulatory body of which members have an absolute requirement to demonstrate their expertise, competence and financial standing. It was formally a division of the British Wood Preserving and Damp proofing Association (BWPDA)

Which? Trusted Trader

Which Truste TraderWe are an approved by Which? who have been testing products and services for nearly 60 years. See our listing on the Which? website.

Principle Surveyors

Ray Baker C.S.R.T., C.S.S.W., MIWSc

Oliver Walker BA (Hons) C.S.R.T. C.S.S.W.