While surveys aren’t compulsory when you buy a home, it’s highly recommended. They mostly provide reassurance to buyers. But they also give you an objective view of the property’s condition and a heads-up about anything that needs fixing, either immediately or in the future.
Since a home can be one of the biggest purchases you make in your life, it’s natural to worry about the results of a survey.
If you’re concerned about what your survey could show, here are three common issues found in UK properties and how serious they are.
When buying an older property, there may be asbestos lurking within. While it’s not dangerous to simply have something in your home that contains asbestos, it is dangerous to remove it unsafely. If proper precautions aren’t taken, fibres that cause severe lung damage can be released into the air of your home.
Asbestos is commonly found on the roof, in pipework and within floor tiles. If your home renovation plans include needing to remove something that contains asbestos, it can be a costly experience because of the dangers involved.
Since asbestos was banned in 1999 in the UK, you don’t have to worry about asbestos issues cropping up in your survey of a new build.
2. Unchecked Electricity
Surveyors will visually check the property’s electrics. But since they aren’t electricians, they won’t be able to identify specific issues. The main thing they’ll do is check whether the property has a recent Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR).
Without a recent report, it’s likely the property doesn’t meet the latest safety regulations. That means you may have to have a full rewire of the property’s electrics, which can cause a lot of damage.
Before jumping to any conclusions, it’s best to get an electrician round to check things out if the survey identifies no recent EICR.
Damp in a property is an important issue that needs immediate fixing. Leaving it can cause significant damage to the property and your health. A surveyor will do two main things to check for damp. They’ll look at everything at a visual level, including the walls, floorboards and loft, and they’ll do a sweep of the property using a handheld moisture meter.
Damp is usually caused by two things: water getting in from outside or water leaking from inside the house itself. Sometimes, changes to heating and ventilation systems can fix the issue. Other times, you’ll need to fix the damp course or even the roof.
A survey may not identify the specific cause of the damp. But they should be able to tell if your property has it.
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