A genuine example of a defect investigation :
“We were instructed to investigate dampness causing damage to a kitchen floor. Our Client's friend (who happened to be a builder with all decent intentions) suggested that the damp proof membrane beneath the floor was damaged and "rising damp" was the problem. Our Client was ready to start pulling-out the kitchen, digging-up the floor etc etc costing many £1,000s.
For a last minute reassurance they wisely called us; during our visit we traced the actual source of the moisture to a long-forgotten waste pipe, hidden away in a remote corner - the pipe had a small crack that was seeping-out water. So the damp proof membrane theory was actually the complete opposite, the fact that it was in a good condition was stopping the water from soaking away!
Simply using our training and experience as a Chartered Building Surveyor the 'rising dampness theory' just didn't seem logical in this case; a simple moisture meter, our eyes and some lateral thinking saw a very quick fix with no disruption, costing next to nothing.”