It’s easy to assume that a property is in perfect condition on first glance, but many homes in London are hiding defects worth thousands in repairs. Some issues are minor nuisances that could help you reduce the property’s asking price, but others may dissuade you from risking your investment and family’s future.
A full building survey report includes urgent defects, areas for improvement and an overall estimate for the repairs, and hiring a chartered surveyor is often much more affordable than having to fix defects later down the line. Here are ten of the most common problems affecting London properties that you might want to know about before making an offer.
Dampness may arise due to a number of issues such as defective weatherproofing, failed damp-proof courses, defective rainwater goods, and while it can wreak havoc on a property, it can also lead to mould growth, a fungus that adversely affects our skin, nervous system and lungs. Fortunately, a thorough damp test is included in a building survey.
- Timber defects- Dry/wet Rot, woodworm
Excessive moisture can spur the growth of destructive fungi, which in addition to infestations like woodworm, can lead to timber rot if left untreated. Just some of the many issues that can lead to excessive moisture include damaged guttering, poor roof ventilation and plumbing leaks.
- Faulty Roofs
Common problems include leaking and defective roof coverings that can cost thousands to repair, which is a small fraction of what a building survey costs.
Even though the use of asbestos in properties was completely banned in 1999, there are still thousands of properties at risk in London. Chartered surveyors will check your new property’s roof, cupboard lining, vinyl floors and ceiling to make sure you’re not unknowingly exposed to this dangerous carcinogen when you move in.
Windows can cost hundreds or even thousands to repair/replace, but some issues are harder to spot than others. A building survey uncovers potentially costly problems such as timber rot and condensation in double glazing.
- Structural Movement
Many London homes are at risk of structural movement due to being constructed on shrinkable clay, which is why building surveyors look for signs of past movement and offer expert advice.
- Gas and Electrical Services
Leaking gas services and faulty wiring are just two examples of common problems that pose safety issues and can be costly to fix. While RICS surveyors can only perform a visual inspection of your gas and electrical utilities, we can arrange for licensed contractors to carry out a thorough test.
- Fire Safety Systems
As the recent Grenfell Tower disaster tragically proved, neglected fire safety is a real threat facing many London properties. A building surveyor will inspect your building’s fire doors, smoke alarms, escape routes and more to ensure it meets current safety regulations.
Many homes in London, particularly near the River Thames, are at risk of flooding. Extending a basement also carries the risk of flooding from drains and surface water. A building survey report includes a flood risk map so that you can gauge the potential danger.
This is an element of a property that’s hard to inspect without a trained eye. The best way to tell if potentially costly drain problems exist is to hire a professional to perform a CCTV survey.
How You Can Avoid Paying Too Much for a Defect-Riddled Home
You don’t have to risk purchasing a potentially hazardous home that could cost thousands to remedy because our affordable building surveyors can perform a comprehensive inspection and have a report in your inbox the following day. Call us on 020 7736 2383 to speak directly with a RICS Chartered Surveyor or get your free quote within seconds using our straightforward tool.