Aquapol Masonry Dehydration
In 2016, Michael Marshall contacted us asking for our help in investigating a company based in Edinburgh called Aquapol. They were selling and installing a "Magnetic Dehydration System", that they claimed "uses clever electronics to reverse the water inside the wall fabric and send it back into the ground where it came from". The device looks like a small beehive and is suspended from the ceiling in the affected basement or room. It requires no power source, recharging or maintenance and the claim seems to be that by using "certain wavelengths from Earth’s vast energy field" it can stop water rising inside the capillaries of walls. They are sometimes known as Magnetic DPC (Damp Proof Course) systems. Essentially the theory is that a large magnet can somehow push water out of damp walls. The Building research Establishment - the world's leading building science centre - reported that "On theoretical grounds, it remains a mystery as to how they can work; their effectiveness has not been demonstrated in the laboratory and field evidence is disappointing".
Aquapol's own website showed several satisfied customers and with a little investigation we were able to speak to two who turned out to be quite happy with the product. One couple owned a medieval castle in West Lothian and the other a house in Dunfermline. Both said that they had had extensive work done to try and stop rising damp in their property and only with the installation of the Aquapol had they felt things had improved. However, it was clear talking to them that the improvements just as likely coincided with the other remedial work done. Both had paid several thousand £ for the devices. We passed on our findings to Marsh but unfortunately nothing much came of the issue. Marsh had hoped that the Times would publish a story he had been working for some months but it was pulled.
The company now goes by the name of Core Conservation. Interestingly we discovered at the time that their address was - and still is - literally above our regular venue, the Banshee Labyrinth! Also above it is, of course, the Church of Scientology. It seems this may not be coincidental. The Website heritage-house.org, (who call the whole thing a scam) states that the business is run by Val Juhasz, who, they claim, has some links to scientology. The business still seems to be trading, so if you have an issue with damp, we strongly recommend avoiding buying something that obviously does not help. Interestingly some of the more outlandish claims on the website have been removed since the name change but the products are still offered as part of a package to treat damp issues.