A Building Survey is the most thorough and detailed report
that you can commission on the condition of a property. It is an investigation of the defects likely
to be found within the subject property and it will identify defects/problems
that exist prior to you finalising an agreement to purchase or rent.
We will cast an expert’s eye over the building and we will
be able to identify things that you may have missed
A Structural Survey is usually commissioned when you
purchase a dilapidated or deceased estate where you are already aware that the
property requires modernisation and your primary concern is the structural
integrity of the property.
Generally, this type of survey will not comment on the
overall condition of the property and will not look at or comment on items such
as guttering, windows, doors, central heating, electrics, legal issues etc.
Specific Structural Surveys
A Specific Structural Survey also known as a Specific
Defects Report is usually commissioned where you have a particular problem such
as subsidence, settlement, heave, drainage issues, sulphate attack etc.
It will identify the
problem, place the defect into context and recommend remedial works.
Your mortgage provider will require that a valuation is
carried out on the property to ensure that the value of the loan is
proportional to the value of the property. Although you will pay for this, it
will not detail any problems as the surveyor only visits the property to
ascertain its value. They are generally addressed to the mortgage provider and
you may or may not be issued with a copy.
When there are obvious signs of damp, a valuation/building
surveyor has used a damp-metre to check the internal walls and is concerned
there may be rising damp. It will be necessary to commission a damp report to
determine the full extent of the problem, the cause and the level of work to
rectify the issues. Below are the 3 main damp types that can affect your
- Rising Damp - The most common form of dampness. When
moisture from the ground rises, by capillary action (rising against gravity) up
through the wall or the ground floor slab, sudden action needs to be taken. Dampness may also be caused by condensation, the occurrence
of which is the responsibility of the inhabitants as opposed to an issue with
the property. Lack of ventilation and using radiators for drying clothes is a
common factor for this problem.
- Wood Boring Insects (Woodworm) - Woodworm may manifest
itself in a variety of wood ranging from three millimetres in size to 25
millimetres. Eggs are laid on or in the timber and the larvae that hatch feed
and bore into the timber which consequently results in weakening of timbers and
a risk to the structural integrity of the property.
- Fungal Decay (dry rot and wet rot) - Moist and damp
conditions provide an ideal environment for a fungal attack. In cases where the
moisture content is over 20 per cent this is classified as ‘dry rot’. Fine grey
strands of fungus spread through wood and other materials, developing into
sporophores. The spores expel, which in turn spread the fungus further. Timber
suffering from dry rot becomes dry, brittle and begins to fracture to such an
extent that it can be broken and crumbled by hand.When the moisture content is higher than 30 per cent to 50
per cent this is classified as ‘wet rot’. The presence of wet rot in timber is
recognised by a dark brown staining colour and splitting of longitudinal