When buying a new home, you want to ensure that everything is as it seems. Hidden surprises that will cost you thousands later on are, unfortunately, all too common amongst first-time home buyers. There are several things to look out for, one of which is a damp proof survey. Damp is a common problem in London and UK homes, causing a fair amount of structural damage. To find out if your potential new home is sufficiently damp proof, you’ll often have to carry out a damp and timber survey. Let’s look at what these surveys are, when they need to be done, and why you should get one before buying a new house.
What is a Damp and Timber Survey?
A damp and timber survey is carried out by a damp proof specialist, whose job is to inspect a property for signs of damp. This expert is usually certified to carry out inspections and trained to recognise when a house isn’t properly damp proof. Upon examining the house, the specialist will compile a report with their findings, including steps for further action if required.
As the title of the survey suggests, damp and timber surveyors will examine sources of damp as well as a property’s timber and woodwork. Things that cause damp are often excess condensation or damaged pipes, which the surveyors will check for. They will also inspect the Damp-Proof Course (DPC). The DPC is a layer of waterproof membrane installed in the home’s walls. It’s usually about 150 mm from the ground. The DPC is the best defence against rising damp inside a house. If the DPC is deteriorating or the ground level has risen above it, the examiner might suggest improvements or even replacement.
In addition to signs of damp, the damp and timber specialist will examine the timber and woodwork of a house. The structure, wooden beams holding up floorboards, exposed beams, and areas underneath the roof are all checked for signs of decay. Wet rot, dry rot, and woodworms are the usual culprits. It’s worth mentioning that if the timber in a house is damaged or at risk of damage, the repairs could be costly.
When to Have a Damp and Timber Survey Done
Buying a new house is usually what prompts people to have a damp and timber survey done. It may even be a requirement from your mortgage lender. The event of purchasing a new home shouldn’t be the only time you complete a damp proof survey, though. Generally, there’s never a bad time to have your house checked for damp, especially if you’ve never had it inspected before or feel concerned about damp. It’s smart to get into the habit of checking for signs of damp, so you know when to take action and when to call a London damp proof specialist.
More commonly, damp proof surveys are carried out when buying or selling a house. Buyers like to have the survey done so they know what to expect when the house is handed over to them. Sellers should also consider having a formal damp and timber inspection done. Your house may require repairs before you sell it and having a recent report on file will make your house more competitive on the market.
Why You Need a Damp and Timber Report Before Buying a New Home
A damp and timber survey will cover you should there be costly repairs needed on the house. If the survey is conducted and substantial problems are found, you can factor the cost of the repairs into your offer on the house.
In addition, damp proof surveys are carried out by accredited professionals. The reports they compile are accurate and can be trusted by all parties involved in the sale of the house. Having an expert take a look at the property ensures you can pursue the best solutions to any damp problems with the home. Furthermore, you shouldn’t rely on quick fixes when it comes to preventing damp. You might solve the problem in the short-term, but your speedy solution won’t last. You’ll end up paying more for repairs later on, than if you had done it the right way the first time.
Final Thoughts on Damp Proof Surveys for New Homes
Most damp proof professionals in London would recommend a damp and timber survey when you purchase a new home. Doing so can save you money and hassle later on. As damp specialists in North London, Damp Proof London is qualified to carry out surveys and we always suggest to our customers to have one if they’re buying a new property. Preventive action now can make a huge difference in the future.