Five Things a House Survey Will Tell You | AD

*This is a collaborative guest post

When having a surveyor inspect your house, there are certain issues they’ll look out for (e.g., mould and damp). As a result of their work, you’ll also learn important information about the current status of your property. Let’s now take a look at five things a house survey will tell you!

Note: The exact areas a house survey will look at can vary depending on which type of house survey is taking place with the options being a building survey, Homebuyers reports, and condition report. However, the issues discussed can be highlighted regardless of the survey type.

1. Damp Issues

One of the key tests often featured in a house survey is to check for issues with damp. Signs of damp can include a musty, damp smell, dark mould patches on walls, ceilings, floors, or surrounding windows, and lifting or peeling wallpaper. 

Whatever symptoms may exist, if damp is an issue, a house survey should detect it. This is important because damp that goes unresolved can lead to a plethora of problems. 

These can include structural damage, the growth of mould and mildew, respiratory problems and other health issues, and higher energy costs. As for the final point, this is because damp affects the ability of a room to heat up and cool down. 

Surveyors will look for two types of damp, those being rising damp and penetrating damp. The former refers to mould that has gradually scaled your property’s walls (i.e., it has risen up). As for penetrating damp, this originates from roof problems. 

2. State of Insulation

Another area generally checked is that of insulation. The surveyor will check that your roof’s insulation is in good order and that, ultimately, your home has a decent level of energy efficiency. The current legal requirements stipulate that buildings in the UK must have an EPC rating of E at a minimum.

3. Structural Concerns

A house survey will look for signs of structural movement too. Moreover, if you have a building survey (rather than say a Homebuyer report), the surveyor will look to create a construction, building materials, and structural defect report. This will provide you an idea of your home’s structural integrity and what sort of action (if any) needs to be taken.

4. Whether Your Home Have Asbestos

Surveyors also tend to look for asbestos as part of a house survey. It’s important that asbestos (if present) is found and removed by a qualified professional. Asbestos can lead to a whole host of health issues ranging from the thickening of lung lining to lung cancer.

While asbestos was once widely used, bans on asbestos came into law in the mid-80s’ after the health hazards associated with these natural fibres had become clear.

5. Whether Your Property Has Invasive Plants

Lastly, house surveys will often tell you whether your property is dealing with invasive plants. One of the plant species a surveyor should look out for is Japanese Knotweed. This species can cause immense damage to properties via its fast-growing root system. These roots can cause harm to a property’s foundations, pavement, and flood defences.

Other plants of concern are toxic plants including foxglove, hydrangea, and rhododendron. One toxic species that is also invasive is euphorbia, known for causing serious burns to skin. Toxic plants can be harmful or even kill in some cases. Whatever the case, if a surveyor finds invasive or/and toxic plants, they’ll advise you as to how they should be dealt with.

Hiring a Professional

The average house survey cost lands somewhere between £350 and £1,000, but it will depend on a wide range of factors such as your location (due to varying labour prices) and the type of survey being performed.

Whatever the case, we recommend getting quotes from three or more surveyors before deciding who to go with. This way, you can weigh up their pricing, how well you get on with each, and any online reviews or ratings they might have before making a decision.

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