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What are the most common problems revealed by HomeBuyers Reports in modern houses?

20/07/20What are the most common problems revealed by HomeBuyers Reports in modern houses?

Like doing up vintage cars, we all know how old properties can sometimes become money pits when it comes to restoration. But modern properties can also harbour problems that should be identified in a HomeBuyer’s survey. Looking out for obvious and not-so-obvious problems and potential snags when buying a property is all part of the process of buying a house. But getting professionals, such as our RICS surveyors at Forge, to carry out surveys can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Structural movement

One of the big potential problems to look out for is structural movement. Even in the most modern properties, settlement or other structural problems can be present. There are usually some telltale signs, such as visible cracks in walls or ceilings, to reveal where the structure has moved. This can be caused by many things, such as windows or door openings with incorrect or no lintels, poor foundations or ground conditions, or unsuitable loads on floors or roofs. Remedies can vary from simple solutions, to major works, so look out for cracks of any kind – some forms of settlement are perfectly normal, while others can signify something is seriously amiss.

Hidden threat

Another aspect to be aware of is the presence of asbestos in a property. Its widespread use in building for many years has resulted in it being hidden away, in building materials such as insulation, roof coverings, plaster and paint. It was once considered an essential component of building but is now best-known for its potential to cause a danger to health, causing respiratory and other disorders. Since 1999 it has been largely eradicated from the construction process and is seldom found in buildings that post-date this period. It needs to be removed by a specialist if it shows up as a threat in a survey, which can be expensive.

Rising damp

Damp and water issues in general should also be flagged up by a surveyor when they are looking over a property. Damp can be caused by a damaged damp proof course, or water encroaching via a chimney breast or poor roofing. Rising damp is easy to spot and can be caused by an obstacle bridging the damp course membrane and transferring moisture from external walls inwards. Modern buildings have cavities, which has eradicated damp transference in many cases. Poor drainage can also cause damp issues, either with problems underground with blockages, or standing surface water on poorly draining ground. This can happen sometimes when garden areas have been flagged or concerted, and drainage areas have been lost over time.


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