Whether you are looking to buy your first home, you are planning on upgrading or you’re even looking at a commercial premise, it is important to request a fully detailed, professional report conducted by an expert surveyor. With extensive experience surveying properties, surveyors are able to let you know of any potential or serious defects found in a property, including pictures of the defects and advice on how to solve these issues.
Surveyors can provide detailed reports of the property throughout the year, however, it is important to remember that there may be different issues afflicting the property in question as the year goes by. We will have a look at some of the most common problems found in each season, and what could be done to help these.
Spring – Condensation
Condensation, if left alone, can quickly become a problem as it is akin to mould and damp and can cause irreparable damage to the property over time. Condensation is caused by increased air humidity due to improper airflow which can be as a result of insulation, double glazing or even blocking off chimneys.
Signs of condensation can be seen in peeling wallpaper, damp patches on walls and behind furniture, blackened window frames, and surfaces covered in mould and mildew. While it is easy enough to replace the damaged decoration with peel and stick wallpaper, mould is something that is much harder to deal with. Mould can be extremely harmful to young children and those with respiratory problems, so it is important to eliminate condensation where possible.
De-humidifiers are beneficial in preventing condensation and ventilators help to improve airflow which decreases the chance of condensation occurring.
Summer – Woodworms
Woodworms are mainly an issue in Timber framed properties, but they can occur in other properties and they can be a real pain. Exposed timber is more at risk and the woodworm can be active between April and October. Woodworms cause significant damage to the structural integrity of timber, attacking and consuming the cellulose within the wood.
Woodworm larvae can live for up to three years feasting on wood, so once it becomes a problem it can be hard to get rid of without professional woodworm treatment. Worms can be identified by small round holes surrounded by dust in your woodwork, or the appearance of adult beetles in and around the house.
Woodworm treatments often occur in the summer and can be treated using chemical treatments, fumigation techniques, or even the replacement of part or all affected timbers.
Autumn – Guttering
While not so much a structural issue, clogged or poor guttering can lead to a poor drainage system which in turn can put pressure on the roof. If there is nowhere for rainwater to go, it will simply collect on the roof, causing irreparable damage which can be very expensive to fix.
Dead leaves and debris can easily get trapped in the guttering which needs to be cleared out regularly. It is important to be vigilant with guttering issues, as you don’t want to wait too long to clear your gutters out. Repairing a roof is far more expensive than hiring a contractor to clean your gutters!
Winter – Leaks, Drafts, and Poor Insulation
Winter causes a handful of problems to the house, especially the roof. This is particularly true for the areas that get a good amount of snowfall. If too much snow accumulates on your roof, you can run the risk of the roof leaking due to ice damming. Ice damming is the phenomenon where the snow or ice becomes stuck on your roof and cannot drain, thereby leaking through your roof as it melts. Therefore, it is ideal to use a Crommelin exterior grade waterproofing membrane to prevent leakages; the product can avoid possible leaks by acting as a barrier between the building and snow.
Drafts and cold patches are also common during surveys in the winter, as they are more obviously felt. This is an essential part of a survey, as you do not want to be investing in a property that fails to keep warm.
Poor insulation can cause condensation and even dampness and mould, so improving insulation is essential. Using natural insulation in the roofing can save a lot of money, but where possible you may need to renovate insulation between structural reports and invest in double glazing if it happens to get really bad. An expert roofer from reputed companies such as Four Seasons Kanga Roof might be able to help you with fixing the insulation.
If you are committed to buying a property, the chances are that poor insulation or clogged guttering is not going to stop you from making the purchase, but it is important to be aware that the problems your surveyor will encounter may vary between the seasons.