Damp floor spread

Jul 15, 2020
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Hi all
New to the forum today.

We have a Swift Sprite Motorhome and in 2019 it had some floor rot and 53% near the offside step.
We were told this year it had increased and would be about £2500 to repair.
After dropping it off on 12 March 2020 they have now given me a call to say the whole floor needs to be replaced and it will be 200 hours work and around £16K.

Can damp really spread that fast unless they've been storing it incorrectly or exasperated it while it's been waiting for 4 July 2020.

Any advice on where to get a second opinion in Kent ?

Cheers
Eddie
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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Hi all
New to the forum today.

We have a Swift Sprite Motorhome and in 2018 it had some floor rot and 53% near the offside step.
We were told this year it had increased and would be about £2500 to repair.
After dropping it off on 12 March 2020 they have now given me a call to say the whole floor needs to be replaced and it will be 200 hours work and around £16K.

Can damp really spread that fast unless they've been storing it incorrectly or exasperated it while it's been waiting for 4 July 2020.

Any advice on where to get a second opinion in Kent ?

Cheers
Eddie

Welcome to the Forum and sorry to hear of the motorhome problem. Perhaps in March 2020 they hadn’t properly diagnosed the extent of the problem. But I’m really puzzled as to why 53% damp and some floor rot found in 2018 wasn't dealt much earlier. What happened to 2019?
 
Oct 3, 2013
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Hi all
New to the forum today.

We have a Swift Sprite Motorhome and in 2018 it had some floor rot and 53% near the offside step.
We were told this year it had increased and would be about £2500 to repair.
After dropping it off on 12 March 2020 they have now given me a call to say the whole floor needs to be replaced and it will be 200 hours work and around £16K.

Can damp really spread that fast unless they've been storing it incorrectly or exasperated it while it's been waiting for 4 July 2020.

Any advice on where to get a second opinion in Kent ?

Cheers
Eddie
Hello,Sorry to read about your problem,maybe it didn't spread and was simply not detected in 2018.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Helio Eddie,
I'm sorry to read of your problem.

There is often a difficulty with assessing damp problems in caravans and motorhomes. Often the visible evidence hides the true extent which can only be fully ascertained by exposing the affected area.

As with the other comments I suspect the full extent might not have been evident to a visual inspection or basic damp meter tests when it was presented to get your estimate.

I'm sure you will have your reasons for not having it repaired when the problem was first found, but with damp issues it really is best to get it sorted as soon as its found.
 
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Jul 15, 2020
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Welcome to the Forum and sorry to hear of the motorhome problem. Perhaps in March 2020 they hadn’t properly diagnosed the extent of the problem. But I’m really puzzled as to why 53% damp and some floor rot found in 2018 wasn't dealt much earlier. What happened to 2019?
The workshop asid it wasn't a problem in 2019 but we should have the step replaced the following year. Sorry I did mean 2019 not 2018 when it was found.
 
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Jul 15, 2020
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Helio Eddy,
I'm sorry to read of your problem.

There is often a difficulty with assessing damp problems in caravans and motorhomes. Often the visible evidence hides the true extent which can only be fully ascertained by exposing the affected area.

As with the other comments I suspect the full extent might not have been evident to a visual inspection or basic damp meter tests when it was presented to get your estimate.

I'm sure you will have your reasons for not having it repaired when the problem was first found, but with damp issues it really is best to get it sorted as soon as its found.
Yes hindsight is sometimes a terrible thing :(
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I assume that the motorhome is not under any warranty? Given the estimated cost to repair and the fact that the first advice to wait wasn’t in my view the correct advice I agree that a second inspection would be a good idea. I would try and find a motorhome service Center with Approved Workshop Status in the Kent area. I think that one of the Club websites have details of such, as would the National Caravan Council too. Good luck

 
Jul 15, 2020
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Welcome to the Forum and sorry to hear of the motorhome problem. Perhaps in March 2020 they hadn’t properly diagnosed the extent of the problem. But I’m really puzzled as to why 53% damp and some floor rot found in 2018 wasn't dealt much earlier. What happened to 2019?
My bad it was 2019 it was reported not 2018. I've updated the original post.
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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Sorry to read of your predicament.
I do have a very valid question about the workshop that found the damp initially.
Why did they not advise that at 53% it was in need of immediate attention? Or did they?

Damp will spread and sometimes much faster than would be expected, and always much further than first thought.

Without knowing what the workshop advised or recommended it is wrong to jump to conclusions about the way the workshop operates.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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In all of this we don't know how old the motorhome is? It might be relevant to know how long you have owned it, and did you buy it privately or from a dealer. This information may lead to some other possible solutions.
 
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Hi Eddie,

I can't speak for your particular situation, I can briefly share my own though.

One winter's day I noticed a small drip of water on a cabinet just inside my door and I guessed it shouldn't be much of an issue. How wrong I was.

A couple of weeks later I had completely removed 1/4 of the floor, the entire front end and much of the side walls of my travel trailer. Most of the wood was so rotten I could lift it out in handfuls, I mean it was totally decomposed. One thing that surprised me was why we had never smelled any rotting wood, and remained totally oblivious to the extent of the damage.

The bottom line was that I fully replaced all the damaged material, treated it with preservatives, photographed everything and fully disclosed the work a couple of years later when I sold it.

So in my experience, yes, rot can be extremely extensive and almost beyond belief with how far it can spread.

By the way, the reason for the leak was a small hole in the rubber roof material and I vowed to never again neglect regular inspection and preventative action.

Fortunately for me I'm OK at DIY otherwise I would have had a write off on my hands.

I hope yours works out for you.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Hi Eddie,

I can't speak for your particular situation, I can briefly share my own though.

One winter's day I noticed a small drip of water on a cabinet just inside my door and I guessed it shouldn't be much of an issue. How wrong I was.

A couple of weeks later I had completely removed 1/4 of the floor, the entire front end and much of the side walls of my travel trailer. Most of the wood was so rotten I could lift it out in handfuls, I mean it was totally decomposed. One thing that surprised me was why we had never smelled any rotting wood, and remained totally oblivious to the extent of the damage.

The bottom line was that I fully replaced all the damaged material, treated it with preservatives, photographed everything and fully disclosed the work a couple of years later when I sold it.

So in my experience, yes, rot can be extremely extensive and almost beyond belief with how far it can spread.

By the way, the reason for the leak was a small hole in the rubber roof material and I vowed to never again neglect regular inspection and preventative action.

Fortunately for me I'm OK at DIY otherwise I would have had a write off on my hands.

I hope yours works out for you.

Its surprising how many people think that you can smell damp which in many cases you can’t. It can be confused too with a musty smell more associated with poor ventilation. I’ve had damp in caravans where there has been no smell or evidence of deterioration and was only picked up by damp meter testing.
 
Jul 15, 2020
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Sorry to read of your predicament.
I do have a very valid question about the workshop that found the damp initially.
Why did they not advise that at 53% it was in need of immediate attention? Or did they?

Damp will spread and sometimes much faster than would be expected, and always much further than first thought.

Without knowing what the workshop advised or recommended it is wrong to jump to conclusions about the way the workshop operates.
They said it wouldn't need to be done in 2019 but we should plan to do it in the following habitation service.
 

Damian

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They said it wouldn't need to be done in 2019 but we should plan to do it in the following habitation service.

Thank you for that .
The answer is that they were wrong, very wrong.
At 53% it should have been attended to immediately, or as quickly as they could get it into their workshop, but most certainly not left for a prolonged period.
 
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In all of this we don't know how old the motorhome is? It might be relevant to know how long you have owned it, and did you buy it privately or from a dealer. This information may lead to some other possible solutions.
Motorhome is 2006 , we've owned it since 2017 and purchased it from a dealer. The habitation and other services have been done yearly by the dealer we bought it from.
There was a damp test checked off in 2018 but we were not provided with the damp report. They are an approved workshop.
 
May 7, 2012
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53% is very high and I agree that at that level it should have been tackled quickly. It may be that the idea of replacing the whole floor is a better proposition than just a major part as the damp has reached the point where this is cheaper.
I agree a second opinion might be a good idea as it is impossible for us to know the truth from this distance. It really comes down to do you trust the repairer, and the fact you asked us probably means you have some doubts.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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53% is very high and I agree that at that level it should have been tackled quickly. It may be that the idea of replacing the whole floor is a better proposition than just a major part as the damp has reached the point where this is cheaper.
I agree a second opinion might be a good idea as it is impossible for us to know the truth from this distance. It really comes down to do you trust the repairer, and the fact you asked us probably means you have some doubts.


I would certainly obtain further quotations and ideas because at £16000 it must be getting to be above it’s value if not above it.
 
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Thank you for the history.

I had hoped your purchase may have been more recent, becasue you may have been able to claim against the supplier even though it might have been outside the dealers warranty period. Sadly I suspect attempting to claim for a miss sold vehicle under the Consumer Rights Act would be very difficult to prove under these circumstances.

I am acutely aware in situations like this, we only have one side of the story, but on the assumption you have accurately recalled the proceedings:-

You should be unhappy with the company who assessed the motorhome in 2019 who advised you a damp reading of 53% didn't need urgent attention. That's worrying, and represents less than professional sound advice.

The balance of probabilities suggests that your motor home will have deteriorated further since the initial 53% finding last year. What seems far less likely is the damage expanding by such a large margin to lift a £2500 estimate to £16000 over the same period.

Its worth pointing out that provide the repairs are done to a good standard, the motor home should still function very well.

Its my opinion the original assessment most likely underestimated the extent of the damage at that time, and if the work had started then, the costs would have escalated as the true extent of the damage was revealed. It is also seems likely this is a problem that has been ongoing for some considerable time, and might have been started before you purchased the motorhome.

In view of the projected costs there would be nothing lost if you were to ask if the dealer who sold the motorhome to you might be prepared to contribute to the cost of repairs. They might be encouraged to help if they understand you are aware of your statutory rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

It would need a respected professional engineer to review the damage, and if they can conclude the damp must have been present, or the cause of the damp was present at the point of sale, then you might have a case under the CRA, but as its more than 6 months since you purchased it, you would have to provide the evidence to support your case, and be aware the longer you have a product the more likely it is to develop faults and of course it may have been damaged in use resulting in the water leakage.

Read up about the Consumer Rights Act (CRA) it might provide some respite.
 

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