Even if you’ve done a whole lot of searching and you’ve found what appears to be your dream home, it is important to stay calm. Getting a detailed survey conducted on a prospective property is just plain common sense and it will help you to avoid the potential pitfalls of properties with hidden defects.
Just what are these hidden defects and how can they affect the cost of renovations and repairs on your property? We look at all the disastrous defects which could end up costing you a small fortune in repair fees.
Mould, when left alone, festers and multiplies and can wreak havoc with both your health and the health of your loved ones. It can get in through the smallest crack, so it is important to look for signs of mould when viewing a property. Mould can be treated effectively, but it is a sign of a damp property and should be treated with caution.
Wood Rot in Timber Framed Properties
Wood rot can be caused by either damp or the leaking of water onto the timber over time, or a termite infestation where the wood has been eaten away. Neither of these scenarios bodes well for your property. In many cases, a replacement is necessary with the unaffected beams also needing treatment for termites. You may also need to inspect the property to make sure that the infestation is actually gone and not just dormant.
A man-made fibreglass like material which was used in a number of properties in the early 1900s. While relatively harmless if left undamaged, disturbed asbestos has been proven to be fatal in many instances. If asbestos is discovered, a professional will need to remove and dispose of it accordingly. Paying to have the asbestos removed and then the walls replaced could add a costly fee to the price of the property although removing it is not always necessary.
While not in itself a major problem, clogged gutters can lead to a build-up of rain and debris on the roof, meaning that leaks are far more likely. Checking the gutters regularly for signs of blockage is important. If gutters are blocked, a property maintenance specialist will offer a professional clearing service, ensuring that your gutters remain clean and clear for some time.
Cracked Tiles or Leaking Roof
Cracked roof tiles can be expensive to replace, particularly with older properties as the same tiles can be hard to find. It is important that any cracked or broken tiles are removed and replaced as soon as possible to avoid water getting under the initial roofing layer. A leaking roof can cause extreme havoc to the rest of the property and irreparable damage in the case of timber framed properties. In some cases, the entire roof will need replacing.
Damp in a property means a poorly ventilated home which can also be open to condensation and mould. With two types of damp to watch out for; rising damp and penetrating damp, the causes could be due to shoddy sealing work on the walls, or as a result of recent weather. Damp must be cut off at the source, which means properly sealing the property and treating the damp already present. It can take some time.
The Importance of a Detailed Report
A home condition report or building condition survey is designed to provide the potential buyer with a detailed report on the condition of the property, including listing any potential, obvious or hidden defects found. The purpose of this report is to provide the buyer with enough information so that they can then make a decision on the purchase of a property. If extensive defects work needs doing, a report will show it up, making it a safe and recommended service when looking at a potential property.
At the end of the day, making a property purchase can be one of the most important decisions of your lifetime, so it is not a decision to be made lightly. If you have any sort of suspicions, or something isn’t adding up properly, you should walk out the door. There will be other properties for you to view and if you don’t have an entirely flexible budget, it is better to be safe than sorry. Some minor defects may not look like much now but if they explode later down the line, those are reparations you will have to be paying for. Play it safe and get a survey done to make sure.
This article was written by Sara Bryant, independent writer for Gowers Surveyors who were consulted over the information provided.