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What can a HomeBuyer’s Report reveal?

27/01/20What can a HomeBuyer’s Report reveal?

If you have had an offer accepted on a residential property, you should seriously consider the benefits of paying for an RICS HomeBuyer’s Report. This report can save you money and time by revealing many issues that may not be clear to you but can be picked up by a qualified surveyor.

Suspended timber floors

Suspended timber floors have been used in housing construction for over 100 years. If they are managed correctly, they will last for even longer than that. Timber floorboards are attached to joists just above the foundations. As the floorboards don’t touch the ground, they absorb less moisture, limiting potential structural damage from damp [link to HomeBuyers Report 1]. This can be particularly useful if drainage in the area is not very good. The gap between the floorboards and foundations allows ventilation too, which reduces damp in the joists.

How to preserve the life of a suspended timber floor

The key to preserving the life of a suspended timber floor is to make sure the space under the floor is kept well ventilated. Builders knew the importance of this as long ago as the start of the 1800s and built vents into the brick work. Modern houses still have brick or plastic vents. Quite often we find that people have blocked these up, thinking that the vents are making the house cold. If this ventilation is removed, the void between the ground and timber floor joists can become damp and the joists begin to rot. Damp can be seen climbing the internal walls too.

New driveways can cause new problems

Another common defect often revealed by a HomeBuyer’s Report is when homeowners proudly show us their new path or driveway. This can cause a lot of problems if the external ground level has been raised. This allows water to run through the vents and into the void under the floor, where it causes damp issues.

Damp proof courses can fail

With a suspended timber floor the floor joists are often resting on the internal brick walls. In older houses, where damp proof courses have failed, rising damp can rot the joists. This makes it important for us to test all floors for excessive ‘bounce’ which can be a big clue to an underlying problem.

If you are looking to buy a property, talk to the Forge team about how our RICS certified surveyors can help you with a HomeBuyer’s report.

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