Is your property falling down?

posted 18 Aug 2010, 07:35 by Phillip Rushforth   [ updated 5 Jan 2012, 10:22 ]
The TV series on Channel 4 hosted by Sarah Beeny shows what can develop into major problems if you buy an older property without first obtaining a house survey. In the episode screened on Tuesday 17th August, a rear extension was falling away from the main property due to it having been built on a very soft infill material. It should have been built on piles sunk 6 metres into the ground to rest on a firm load bearing material, as the main house had been built.
There was terrible black mould growing in the corners of several bedrooms creating a health hazzard for their children. This was removed using bleach. The cause was then removed by adding insulation to the walls and ceiling, applying some heating to the rooms, and by providing ventilation - simply opening a window for a few hours during the day can be enough ventilation.
A further problem that could have been identified during a survey was the presence of rats in the loft. They were thriving in the garden round an open compost heap and entering the house via an open ended pipe.
The final problem may not have been found during a standard (non invasive) survey, but it was two fold - a badly fitted soil pipe under the floor boards in the cloakroom causing a leak, and a cracked ceramic drain pipe under the property.
When buying any property, buyer beware.
Is it really worth saving a few hundred pounds by not having a house survey carried out on your next property?
FCS House Surveys has even received phone calls asking for advice on newly built homes.