03 Oct

Most Common House Survey Issues

If you’re purchasing a property, you are more than likely about to undertake a property survey. This is a vital first step to examining the structural integrity of your property. Property surveyors often encourage further surveys, and this is done for a very valid reason – property surveyors are by no means experts in all of the ins and outs of building and electrical works, so sometimes an expert recommendation is required.

To illustrate just how important a thorough property survey is, and why you should always follow your surveyor’s recommendations for a more in-depth report, here we’re looking at some of the most common issues that house surveys identify.


Poor ventilation/damp problems

One of the most common complaints that a house survey throws up is that the property has issues with too much moisture causing structural problems. This excess moisture can be caused by poor ventilation or a lack of sealant for wooden structures, and can lead to a whole host of problems that could cause structural damage, such as:

  • Rising damp
  • Penetrating damp
  • Condensation (which can lead to mould/spores growth)
  • Wet rot

An old or complicated heating system

If your survey recommends that you have a CORGI registered gas engineer take a look at your central heating system, it often suggests that the system is very old or too complicated for someone without training to comprehend. While the engineer may take a look at the system and declare it safe to use, it is likely to be rather inefficient and you may benefit from replacing the outdated system with a more modern appliance.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Sean T. Smith, an Electrician's Mate with Coast Guard Sector Baltimore's Engineering Department, installs a new breaker and inspects the wiring of a 27-foot utility boat Thursday, April 16, 2009. The utility boat was brought to Sector Baltimore for installation of the Scaleable Integrated Navigation System package which includes a new radar, depth sounder, heading sensor and GPS. (Coast Guard photo/Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandyn Hill.)

Lack of certification for electrical works

If your surveyor realises that your electrical system doesn’t have the correct certification (usually shown through a sticker on the consumer unit), then they will request that you get an electrician round to check on the condition of the system. This could prove to be completely fine, or it may be that the system was a DIY installation and may not be safe to use.


Ground movement

Ground movement can be caused by either a foundation failure – whether that’s from insufficient depth, changes in ground conditions or a cause related to adjacent structures – or it can be caused by fractures in the property’s walls, floors or ceilings.


Insect infestations

As well as being unpleasant, an insect infestation can be damaging to your property, weakening the structure by boring through the wood. This commonly affects floors and roofs, and can be very costly to repair.


Roof problems

The roof structure can be damaged or defective and the previous owners may not have reported the damage. Overlooked roof maintenance can end up causing the new property owners thousands of pounds, depending on the extent of the damage, and can lead to further problems like rotting wood in the attic of the property.


Drainage issues

Whether it’s a leaking drain, a blockage, root penetrations or a full-blown drain collapse, if your sewers aren’t working as they should, then it can be a major health hazard to your property, and to any neighbouring premises.


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