If you’re a first-time property buyer, you may be unfamiliar with a damp and timber report. When you apply for a mortgage loan on a home, often the lender may ask you to have a damp and timber survey of the house carried out. Your lender wants to ensure the house is a good investment – and you should want to confirm too!
Even if a damp and timber survey isn’t required by your mortgage lender, having one done anyway before buying a new property is a smart move. At Damp Proof London, our number-one piece of advice to customers when it comes to damp is sooner is always better. Having a survey done can help you catch damp proofing problems early.
What is a Damp and Timber Survey?
A damp and timber survey is an inspection of a property carried out by damp professionals. The damp specialist will examine a house, looking for potential signs of damp. The specialist will then compile a report with details of what they found, including steps to take for further action.
What exactly is a damp professional looking for during one of these surveys? They will inspect the timber or woodwork of the house. They’ll examine the structure, the wooden beams holding up the floorboards, any exposed beams, and the area underneath the roof.
When they inspect timber, damp specialists are looking for signs of decay, like wet rot, dry rot, and woodworms. If the timber in a house is damaged or at risk of damage, repairs could be expensive.
In addition to timber, a survey will include inspection for damp. Their job here is to ensure the walls of the house aren’t deteriorating or are treated properly for damp. This can often pose problems in older homes that may not have protections against damp in place.
Professionals will look for things that cause damp, like sources of condensation or damaged pipes. They’ll also check if the house has a Damp-Proof Course (DPC), which is a layer of waterproof material installed in walls, near the ground, to prevent rising damp. If the existing DPC is deteriorating or the surrounding areas have risen above it, the surveyor will suggest improvements or even replacement.
When Should You Get a Report?
There’s never a bad time to have your property checked for damp. You never know what damp problems could be arising in your home, especially if you’re not in the habit of checking for damp often by yourself.
Most people, though, have damp and timber surveys were done before buying or selling a house. Before buying a new house, it’s smart to have the survey done so you can know if there will be expensive repairs to do on the property later. When it comes to damp-proofing, catching the problem early always saves you money. Some sellers with damp problems might try to cover up the signs, but professional surveyors have methods to guarantee that they find these problems.
If you’re selling your house, you might also consider having a damp and timber survey. Doing so could help ensure the property value and avoid complications that might come up when buyers are interested. Although it might cost you more, improvements to your house’s damp-proofing will pay off in the long run when it comes time to sell.
Why Do You Need a Report Before Buying a New House?
By having a damp and timber survey were done and a report filed by an expert, you can cover yourself should there be problems. As mentioned previously, it’s often required by mortgage lenders before securing a loan. If there are repairs to be made, you can factor this into your offer price on the house.
Furthermore, these surveys are completed by accredited professionals with expert knowledge of damp-proofing. You can, therefore, trust that their reports are accurate and detailed. They’re also able to suggest the best solutions for any damp-related problems.
When it comes to severe damp problems there’s usually no quick-fix solution you can do yourself – at least not one that will last. This often ends up costing you more money to fix later on anyway. By having a professional report done, you can save yourself some trouble in the future.
Any good damp specialist in London would recommend a survey before purchasing a new home. It can save you money and hassle, and ensure your new house is a good investment. Based on our experience damp proofing homes, we always recommend getting a survey done. A few preventive steps now will make all the difference in the future.