External ground level must be below the height of the internal ground floor timber floor joists, ideally at least 100 mm below.
Furthermore, the external sub-floor vents must be retained and kept flowing - both to front and rear of building, and to flank walls if present. If these are 'missing' or blocked, it is essential they are re-opened, otherwise ground moisture below the timber floors of the house cannot evaporate and the ground floor will rot.
Reduction of external ground level can be achieved by digging a small trench around the outside of the building - these are sometimes shingle-filled depending on how this fits with other landscaping.
Neither of these tasks require a damp or timber specialist and can be performed by a general builder / handyman.
Lastly, it would be interesting to know of any negative consequences reported by the surveyor of the damp you mention in passing e.g. has the degree and extent of dampness been quantified, and is it actually significant i.e. is the timber ground floor firm, is there any decorative damage? or are the surveyor observations merely precautionary.
Anthony J Lewis & Co. Chartered Surveyors
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