best customer service for our customers

DBI Customers Come First, Second & Third!

‘Treat others how you want to be treated’. It’s a saying with roots in the good book and one which serves as a testament to every business that places a premium on customer service. Which, if a business is to thrive in this age of choice, is every business worth the name.

Danford Brewer and Ives is thriving and we like to think that is just as much a consequence of the service we provide to our customers as it is other considerations, such as our competitive prices or the range of building services we offer. Simply put, we have a desire to deliver excellence in everything we do.

For example, we invest heavily so our systems, skills, and procedures are always up to date, and we are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment in which our team operates – the environment, of course, being your property.

After all, if we needed building work done us, we would expect an excellent level of service. So why would we then go and offer anything less? Treat others how you want to be treated.

There is rather more to it than showing up promptly every morning and being polite and friendly (although we do, and are). The skills of our staff are certified, as are our health and safety procedures and business credentials.

We work hard to achieve these seals of approval and constantly strive for more…to be better. That means better customer service and, ultimately, peace of mind for our customers.

Danford Brewer & Ives is proud of our high customer service levels and attention to every detail.  Having heavily invested in our systems, processes, and team, are aim is to continue to build a strong, loyal customer base that returns to us every time they consider a new building project.

Recently we launched a new referral scheme for our customers.  You will have no doubt seen this type of thing before when out shopping for your groceries and such like.  After all, the same principles apply for one of the big supermarket chains as they do for Danford Brewer & Ives.

We are so confident in our levels of service that each customer we work with receives a ‘Recommend Us’ voucher.  This voucher entitles the customer to claim a £20 Marks & Spencer voucher for every successful referral they make to Danford Brewer & Ives.

Danford Brewer & Ives are committed to building a customer-centric approach and will continue to think of new and creative ways to help say thank you to our customers, other than of course, consistently competitive pricing and helpful, courteous and professional staff.

We recently held a customer satisfaction survey and, with 111 responses received, we asked for views on all aspects of our service and 86% said our overall performance was good or excellent.

And here’s what they said:
“I was very pleased with the finishing of the work and the customer seems to be very happy too…pass on my thanks to Richard and his team as they have been excellent with their communication, quality of work and customer care”
A Breckons – Tadcaster

“Really happy with the work…the guys were really friendly, helpful and professional all the way through… we are both very pleased with the work and with the fact that everything was done when you said it would be… all in all extremely happy will definitely recommend and use you again”
Mr & Mrs M-B – Ripon

“I just wanted to say how very pleased I’ve been with your company – the customer service has been excellent, you’ve been a pleasure to deal with and the standard of the work has been very high… Needless to say, I’m recommending you to anyone I know who may need your services”

L.M – Ilkley
“We are very pleased with the work done and would like to thank the workman that came as he was very hard working, careful and tidy.”
T & S Garlick – Darlington

There’s more where they came from here on our testimonials page, but we think you get the picture. In the meantime, please contact us if you have any queries; we are (of course) only too happy to help!
[button style="btn-danger" url="/contact-us/" size="l" block="true" target="_self"] Contact the Damp Proofing & Timber Treatment experts today. [/button]

rising damp on walls

Causes Of Damp In Buildings

Causes of Damp in Buildings

Maintaining a property might be a necessity, but it can also feel like a constant, niggling pain. Speaking of which, damp is one of the biggest headaches of all.
Unwanted but just about inevitable - damp is, simply put, unwanted moisture. It can lead to rot, plaster can deteriorate and wallpaper can blister and loosen. The growth of mildew and mould is unsightly and can allow bacteria and fungi to flourish – even causing respiratory problems such as Asthma. And if, say, floor timbers are affected, damp might also cause structural problems.
All of this might lead to a vision of some poor, afflicted ‘house from hell’ but damp does not discriminate. Every building is prone, because there is (just about) no escaping the causes.
Invariably there are three of them:


This is a 100 per cent certainty – since living in a house implies (we certainly hope) that you are breathing in it as well. That creates moisture, as do everyday actions such as cooking, bathing, washing and drying clothes.
Therefore, the air gets wetter and when it can’t hold any more moisture, water will gather on cold surfaces such as windows, tiles and walls.
The colder the room, the worse the potential problem. Yet simple steps can help prevent it from taking hold:

    • When cooking always use pan lids and open a window to ventilate the kitchen
  • When drying clothes, try and do it outside. If you live in a flat, or it’s pouring down, use a clothes horse in a room that’s cool (but not cold)
  • Don’t dry clothes on radiators: this is one of the main causes of condensation and can cause mould growth on wallpaper and soft furnishings
  • If you use a tumble dryer, and if it isn’t self-condensing, make sure it is vented
  • When bathing, run the cold tap before the hot; this will reduce the amount of steam produced. It’s also much safer, particularly if you have small children
  • Open the window a little to reduce moisture in the room
  • After bathing or showering, wipe down the tiles to remove the surface water. Then open the window and shut the door
  • Extractor fans, fitted in either the kitchen or bathroom, must be used properly – in other words, close all windows and doors. This will remove moisture more effectively
  • A temptation might be to switch the heating off to save money. However, heating set at a moderate temperature tends to be more cost-effective in the long run – while also guarding against condensation
  • Always keep your house ventilated, even in winter time. Prevent the blocking of airbricks e.g. by outside decking
  • Try not to place furniture against walls - particularly outside walls, as this prevents air from moving freely and also traps moisture

Penetrating Damp from Rain

Besides problems with roofing, such as cracked or missing tiles, the main cause of rain penetration is defective masonry:
Here is a list of some of the problems...

  • Blocked & overflowing gutters
  • Broken, leaking downpipes
  • Running overflows from cisterns and tanks
  • Porous masonry (under-fired bricks, porous stone, porous mortar)
  • Cracks
  • Defective pointing
  • Unfilled joints and prepends
  • Defective seals around doors and windows
  • Holes in walls - e.g. where cables or pipes protrude
  • Defective render

Properties must be properly maintained, especially the older ones.  It will be cheaper, in the long run, to maintain your property rather than repair the damage caused.

Rising damp

An age-old and ubiquitous problem, rising damp is the common term for the slow upward movement of groundwater in the lower sections of walls by a process called the capillary action.
It could be that poor drainage is a contributory factor, so for starters, it’s certainly worth checking for standing water in crawlspaces and basements.
An electronic moisture meter might be used to help the diagnosis, but rising damp can also be identified by a characteristic "tide mark" on the lower section of affected walls.  An experienced surveyor will use a combination of factors to diagnose the problem.
The tide mark is caused by soluble salts contained in the groundwater, which evaporates but leaves the tell-tale mark at the "peak" of the rising damp.  These salts are often chloride and nitrate.  They are hygroscopic and will attract water from the atmosphere.The control of salts is a very important part of damp treatments.
Damp can be halted by the presence of a damp-proof course – which is usually installed in walls to prevent groundwater rising into masonry.
In the UK, well-built modern houses include damp proofing in the form of a synthetic damp-proof course (DPC), about 15 cm above ground level, to act as a barrier through which water cannot pass.
However, a damp-proof course can be broken or incomplete, allowing moisture to cross the ‘bridge’.
Of course, the better the damp-proofing present, the less chance there is of rising damp developing. But just a few millimetres of ‘bridging’ is sufficient to cause it.
As mentioned, fighting damp is an ongoing battle. Something that cannot be understated, however, is the competence and experience of the person(s) undertaking the investigations: misdiagnosis does happen – and the costs can be high since the wrong form of treatment could be prescribed.
Please contact us if you have any queries – whether it’s about damp proofing or any of the other building services Danford, Brewer and Ives offers, such as timber treatment, condensation control, basement conversions, extensions or building maintenance.
[button style="btn-danger" url="/contact-us/" size="l" block="true" target="_self"] Contact the Damp Proofing & experts today. [/button]

how to treat wood rot

Wood Rot Identification and Treatment

Damp…wood rot…they seem inevitable in a climate like ours, don’t they?
It doesn’t have to be that way: simple measures help keep both at bay. Yet if they lie undiscovered, or ignored, they can take hold. And if that happens, you might have a real problem on your hands.  Timber is where damp can really take hold – in that if left untreated, it means that rot can develop. Commonly, there are two types: dry and wet rot.  It comes as a result of fungi, which breed and attack wood. As a rough estimate, timber with 20 percent moisture content or higher is prone.
Common types of fungi are Serpula lacrymans (dry rot fungus); Coniophora puteana (Cellar fungus); Poria vaillantii (Pore or Mine fungus).  The misleadingly-named dry rot is the enemy so far as timber preservation is concerned; it’s the most serious form of fungal decay in building timber and can destroy wood.
Wet rot is seen more often, but is less serious and usually confined to timber that stays wet. Door and window frames are common examples.
Outbreaks of dry and wet rot start similarly: when fungi introduce millions of microscopic spores into the air. If the spores fall on untreated damp wood they will germinate – via tubes called hypha which spread to form a mass of threads called mycelium. This mycelium then feeds off the wood, all the while spreading through it using hyphal threads that supply water and nutrients.
The problem is compounded, however, when the dry rot fungus spreads from infected timber onto the surface of adjacent stone or brick walls. The hyphal threads can penetrate mortar and plaster, meaning that large areas of the wall can then become infected.
The appearance of dry rot is invariably confirmed by the timber looking darker and cracked.  Some wet rots, by contrast, tend to result in a bleaching appearance. While each fungus has unique features, broadly speaking they are all similar in appearance and treatments are also similar.  However, because there is less mycelium it does not spread into walls – meaning that wet rot is typically confined to the area of dampness.  Even so, the timber will still lose its structural integrity if left untreated.
Besides damp and rot, however, the householder might face a similar headache: the problem of insect infestation i.e. woodworm.  Most commonly, this is caused by a beetle known as the Common Furniture Beetle Anobium punctatum. Exposed wood such as dead tree trunks and branches is its typical habitat, but it can also infest indoor timbers.  How this happens is that adult beetles crawl out of timber in spring/summer, mate and females then return to lay eggs.  Within a month, the eggs hatch and the grubs burrow into the timber for 2-4 years. Eventually, they pupate and the beetle will emerge – the process then repeating itself.
The presence of woodworm is usually indicated by the appearance of new emergence holes and a dust called frass.  The beetle can infest a wide variety of wood, from structural to ornamental, but if left unchecked then structural weakening and even collapse can result in the former.
Regarding identification and timber treatment, it’s crucial that the type and cause of both wood rot and woodworm are identified before any course of action is considered.
Telling dry and wet rot apart is important, therefore, because each requires a different form of treatment.  A detailed inspection should be carried out by a specialist, who will then submit a report detailing both the cause of the decay and the proposed action.
As a rule of thumb, the following (and more besides) will be investigated:
The Roof (i.e. blocked gutters, missing/broken/displaced tiles/slates).
The Walls (i.e. deterioration of mortar, faulty/missing damp proof course, blocked air bricks, cracked or broken pipes, overflow from cistern/water tank).  Internally (i.e. condensation in, say, the bathroom and kitchen, moisture close to external faults, solid floors, trapped flood water, defective plumbing).
Internally (i.e. condensation in, say, the bathroom and kitchen, moisture close to external faults, solid floors, trapped flood water, defective plumbing).
Keeping on top of – or even being aware of – rot and woodworm can prove difficult, but a little time and effort can go an awfully long way.  Fortunately, best practice and innovation are also moving forward, meaning that improved help and advice are readily at hand.
If in doubt, a proper timber survey is required by an expert to correctly identify the problem, the cause and the remedy which may include specialist treatment.  Danford Brewer & Ives have a team of expert surveyors who can produce reports and quotations for any necessary specialist works.
If you would like more information on and detail about individual rots & wood burrowing beetles then please contact us or follow our blog as we will be covering this topic in later posts.
[button style="btn-danger" url="/contact-us/" size="l" block="true" target="_self"] Contact the Wood Rot & Timber Treatment experts today. [/button]


Safety First, Safety Second with Chas Accreditation

Here at Danford Brewer & Ives we want to give you the highest quality service we possibly can. In a nutshell, that means offering our expertise and experience in performing basement conversions and a competitive price to both private households as well as partners, such as building contractors, architects and property developers, who require a specialist sub-contractor.

It stands to reason that Health and Safety matters to us, and its requirements are met as a consequence of our expertise and experience.

When it comes down to it, it’s a matter of simple common sense: since we’re not going to cut corners to compromise our own health and safety, we’re not going to do anything that compromises our customers’ health and safety either. But, of course, there’s much more to it than that.
For starters, there’s the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) to consider. This places a duty on us to have a commitment to health and safety in the first place, not to mention an understanding of the legislation.

And now there’s more: a CHAS (Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme) accreditation – a system of health and safety procedures specifically for the construction industry that Danford Brewer & Ives are now proud to have in our possession.

The advantages of holding a CHAS accreditation are manifold. But what it basically offers is evidence of an even higher knowledge of health and safety, coupled with less of the necessary paperwork – a double whammy for those in the building industry that take part in the scheme, and for their customers too.

In explaining how it works – and before outlining the advantages it offers – it’s best to, as they say, go back to the very beginning.
Our history lesson starts in 1997, when a group of health and safety and procurement professionals from across Great Britain started working with the Association of London Government (ALG) to develop CHAS.

Their main aim, naturally, was to improve health and safety standards nationwide. And in doing this, they created a system of ‘buyers’ and ‘sellers’. In case you were wondering, we’re classed as a seller and if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re a buyer. The buyers have health and safety requirements that the sellers must meet.

The role of CHAS is to ensure that the seller’s health and safety standards are to the satisfaction of their buyers, and to others as well.

That last bit is particularly important, since the ‘others’ in question are, by definition, those of you who might be interested in using DB&I’s services but who aren’t CHAS members yourselves. Private households are the most obvious examples; but since CHAS buyers tend to be large organisations like councils, housing associations, NHS trusts, as well as a growing number of large private companies, then that might also mean the builders, architects and property developers we also sub-contract to.

Arguably the biggest advantage of all is the fact that CHAS buyers, because of their size and the likelihood that large numbers of their employees and others might come into contact with building work while it is ongoing, adhere to stringent health and safety protocols.

And since sellers like us must therefore adhere to them too, it has the effect of upping the H&S ante to the benefit of ALL concerned.
Then there’s the other advantage for us – but one that, we think, also benefits our customers. No-one likes paperwork, do they? It’s onerous and tedious and as dull as the English summer can be…but it’s also an inevitable consequence of health and safety.

And yet membership of CHAS cuts down on paperwork, since membership implies that the requisite health and safety standards have already been reached. Speaking of paper, it’s also worth pointing out that the system has been web-based since 2001.

How might that benefit the customer? Well, there’s necessary paperwork and unnecessary paperwork. Site surveys, project assessments, method statements, risk assessments and references might fall into the former category; but health and safety can also create plenty of duplicate paperwork.

This would take time to complete. But if we can cut down on such duplication, as we can with CHAS, it means instead that we can start – and finish – the job more quickly.

So the advantages of CHAS membership can neatly be summed up in terms of giving an improved level of health and safety but with less of the bureaucratic shenanigans. But there’s more to it than that. Here are a few more considerations for you:

  • It shows that we comply with current health and safety laws. Not only that, however, the accreditation also demonstrates that we have a commitment to improving our health and safety procedures over time.
  • As part of this process, CHAS offers guidance and commits us to consider our procedures in more detail, changing them wherever and whenever necessary. This means that households and businesses we sub-contract to will ultimately benefit from the application of higher standards and greater rigour.
  • When we undertake larger projects for CHAS buyers, it means that they can monitor us as we go about our work – an important consideration when one considers that, in such cases, it’s likely that employees or others might well be in close proximity to our work.
  • Accreditation cuts down on inconsistent decision-making, whereby one supplier might, for example, be judged compliant by one buyer but not by another. Moreover, since a lot of business is now won through tendering, CHAS has increasingly become a prerequisite as part of this.

More than anything, CHAS accreditation underlines that, here at Danford Brewer & Ives, we have the ability, experience and resources to do the job for you. The bottom line is that it will improve our business, and we also hope it will help us win more business – all the while offering our customers greater peace of mind.

A better business will always offer a better service. If we sound like one you want to do business with, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Contact Danford Brewer & Ives today.

July's Late night opening times

Office Opening Times
Month: July 2016
Monday - 8am - 5pm
Tuesday - 8am – 5pm
Wednesday - 8am – 5pm
Thursday - 8am – 5pm
Friday - 8am – 4:30pm
Late Night Opening Hours
Monday 4 th July - 8am - 7pm
Monday 11 th July - 8am - 7pm
Monday 18 th July - 8am - 7pm
Monday 25 th July - 8am -7pm

The Listed Property Show 2016

A Quick Update...

News Round-Up:  December 2015 was easily the warmest December on record, and with the heavy rainfall and flooding meant that many properties suffered from storm and flood damage.  These terrible weather conditions have sent our team into overdrive to ensure our customer's properties were protected from the unprecedented weather conditions.
This extra work hasn't stopped us from carrying out contract work at Oatlands Primary School in Harrogate which involved tanking their basement which will expand the use of the property.  Furthermore, we continue to build on our fantastic Timber Treatment service which has also grown over the past months.
Team News:  Sadly we have had to say goodbye to Sarah who has left due to family commitments and wish her well.  Luckily we have been able to find a new replacement in Amy who has settled in to the team well and has quickly and has already started providing invaluable support from the office.
Dates For Your Diary:  Further to the success of our last appearance at the Listed Property Show, We are happy to announce we will be participating in the Listed Property Show at the Harrogate International Centre again this year showcasing our timber treatment solutions, basement conversion processes and damp proofing expertise.  Our stand will be in a prime location in HIC and we would love you to come and say hello.  The show begins on Saturday 12th March until Sunday 13th March.

Download your FREE invitation to The Listed Property Show here.
Find directions to the show below.


From the South: Take the M1 and A1(M) before leaving at  Junction 45 (Wetherby) then take the A661 to Harrogate. Alternatively, continue on the A1(M) to  Junction 47 (Knaresborough)  then follow the signs to Harrogate.
From the North: Take the A1(M) and exit at Junction 47 (Knaresborough)  then follow the signs to Harrogate
Click here for parking information


HIC is linked to all major UK cities via Leeds or York including a direct, daily connection to London.
Leeds Bradford International Airport (LBIA) is the closest airport to Harrogate.
British Airways run daily flights between Harrogate and London Heathrow and there are regular flights from many connections in Europe and worldwide, including Paris, Amsterdam, Dublin and Scandinavia.
To get from the airport to Harrogate – Catch the Airport Direct  737 bus which runs hourly and will drop you off at the bus station, then it is just a short walk from HIC.
Alternatively, there is a taxi service available with HIC just a 20-minute drive away
We hope to see you there!

How to treat damp in Listed Buildings?

At Danford Brewer & Ives we specialise in treating damp problems in buildings, usually old buildings and sometimes listed buildings.  The oldest and listed properties often provide the most interesting work for us.

Our usual jobs are often in Victorian, brick or stone terraced houses located across Yorkshire & Teesside.  Older properties in general often haven’t been well maintained or have been regularly ‘renovated’ and ‘improved’ on tight budgets. Damp and condensation are recurring problems.  We also see a lot of mid-twentieth century traditional family houses, often brick, semi-detached.  Some of these are now having problems with the failure or breaking down of original, often bitumen, damp proof courses.  Many have been altered, extended and have had walls removed.  We see a lot of damaged and bridged original damp proof courses.

Most older houses would originally have been draughty, poorly insulated places, possibly with outside toilets and certainly no fitted bathrooms & showers.  Heating would have been solid fuel open fires which draw air for combustion and provided good ventilation. We now close up these same structures, double glaze & seal the windows, block up air vents, turn up the central heating and use gas fires.  Showers, baths, cooking and breathing produce lots of moisture into the atmosphere of a home and some older properties don’t cope well with this high humidity and poor ventilation.

Traditional lime-based construction mortars and plasters need a property to ‘breathe’, modern cement and gypsum don’t react in the same way.  We see lots of old houses with solid external walls that have had plasterboard bonded with porous adhesives and now show patches of damp, condensation and mould.  Some modern methods are not compatible with older properties.

Danford Brewer & Ives have many years’ experience of working with a wide range of buildings and many different types of construction.  To be able to diagnose and treat damp problems in older houses you need to understand how the building was put together.  We have worked on thousands of properties. We carry out initial damp surveys with the homeowners and builders to discuss and investigate areas of concern.  We consider the type of construction and the condition of the structure.  We also take moisture readings and sometimes temperature & humidity readings, to help diagnose the causes of damp.

Usually, we can then provide a solution or choices of solutions to deal with the problems and quote for all the necessary works.  Most of our specialist works would carry long term, independent insurance-backed guarantees giving you total peace of mind that the damp problems have been solved.  We are a small company that can offer a personal and professional service and these guarantees mean that we can offer the security provided by some of the larger firms within our industry.
We have a range of solutions to damp and timber problems, some are modern chemicals and plasters which may not be suitable in all instances and may not be right or allowed in some listed buildings.  Sometimes we suggest silicon injection damp proof courses, sometimes electro-osmotic provides a much better answer and we have liquid tanking coating, cavity drainage & lining membranes.  We are also happy to work with conservation officers, listen to any concerns and try to find solutions.  The solutions may sometimes be maintenance, ventilation or undoing earlier ‘improvements’ or a combination of new and old techniques.

More and more of our structural work is carried out below ground level with basement waterproofing, converting cellars to dry, usable spaces sometimes for dry storage or sometimes to extend habitable areas, create a gym or a cinema, a kitchen extending into the garden or a self-contained flat.  This type of work is possible in some listed buildings with the correct planning and conservation consents.  We are happy to look at any of this type of project.

Danford Brewer and Ives are damp proofing and timber treatment specialists.  Based from our Head Office in Ripon, North Yorkshire, we provide a first class service which our customers appreciate.

“Thank you for the quality of the work and all your support with the project...incredibly helpful and hesitation in recommending” Mr & Mrs Griffiths North Yorkshire

If you own an older property and need some professional advice from the county’s leading Damp Proof & timber treatment company, then please contact one of our team who will be only too happy to help.

We'd love to hear from you. To speak to one of our team please contact our Head Office on 01765 804050 or submit your enquiry online.


September 2015 News

New starters
Carl Newton – Operations Supervisor – Carl has been in the building and construction industry since 1985. As Operations Supervisor he is responsible for overseeing works on site, including stock regulation, preparation and health and safety.
Jamie Bell – Plasterer – Jamie is our newest recruit! He has over twenty years’ experience in the construction industry, including plastering, pointing, rendering and joinery.
Steve Flack – Plumber – Steve has worked as a sub-contractor for Danford, Brewer & Ives for the last four years. He has recently been employed as a full time member of staff and has over twenty years’ experience in plumbing, tiling, kitchen fitting and bathroom fitting.

August 2015 Update

Once again we are exhibiting at the Harrogate Homebuilders & Renovating Show from the 6th- 9th November 2015.Harrogate Homebuilders & Renovating Show

We have just started our new customer referrals scheme, giving our customers the chance to receive a £20 Marks & Spencer gift card if you recommend us to friends and family, who go on to give us an instruction. 

We are in the process of updating our literature to include an eight page colour booklet, detailing our range of services and contact details. Currently in the early stages of design, these should be ready for the show.

May 2015 Update

Recent Basement Projects
Ripon – At this property, we provided a full tanking system to a cellar conversion and extension, to allow a fully fitted kitchen, wash room and bedroom to the space.
Thorner & Ilkley – At these properties, we converted the cold, wet basement into a new dry and clean room suitable for storage.
Property renovation
We recently completed a full renovation to a property in Ripon to adapt into a wheelchair friendly home. This also included external ramps, paths, bathroom adjustments, kitchen fitting, new insulation, improvements to the electrics and alarm systems.