The process of buying and selling property isn’t always straightforward, but is almost always stressful for all parties involved. As a buyer, even if you manage to get through the purchasing process with relatively few problems, you may encounter further stress when you realise that your hew home has a whole host of problems you didn’t know about, such as wall tie corrosion. 

At this point in time, you may wish you had paid for a pre purchase survey, which would likely have highlighted such problems, and enabled you to negotiate over the price, request that the vendor fix the problems before sale, or look for another property in a better condition.

Below are some of the most common property care problems you might expect to turn up in a pre-purchase survey:

  • Damp

Damp is never good news for a building, and if moisture has permeated a property and got into the walls or floors, it can be categorized as follows:

Rising damp – typically the result of a damp proof course that is either broken or doesn’t exist, rising damp is moisture that has been drawn up from the ground around a property, into the walls.

Penetrating damp – if a property has faulty guttering or blocked drains, for example, this will cause water to permeate the building. The issue of the ensuing penetrating damp, however, can only be resolved once what’s causing the problem, has been remedied. 

Condensation – condensing onto the closest cool surface, warm, dense air that has become trapped inside a property can lead to lasting damp over time, which can go on to cause a whole host of serious problems. 

Whatever type of damp a property is suffering from, it needs to be professionally resolved before the building can be declared ‘fit and healthy.’ 

  • Woodworm

Small beetles that have reached maturity and can quickly spread from one piece of timber to another, woodworm burrow into wood and eat it, and if left untreated, can cause serious structural problems for a property. Active only in the warmer months of the year, woodworm can go undetected for a long time, and a property viewed in the winter, may appear to have no problem with woodworm until the warmer weather arrives and the telltale signs can be spotted. 

  • Rot – rot isn’t always visible in a property, and where wet rot in particular is concerned, it may have built up in your walls or beneath your floorboards, where a water source exists. A leaking pipe is a prime example of something that may cause wet rot, but which might not be visible to the naked, or untrained eye. Unfortunately, it may be that wet rot has become a significant problem in a property, and not be known until a pre-purchase survey is carried out. 

While some of these problems might be less common in newer properties, there’s always the risk that something is going on in a building that both sellers and buyers know nothing about. Wall tie replacement could well be needed, for example, but remain an undetected issue until the structural integrity of the property is dangerously compromised, by which time the cost of repair will have risen significantly, too. 

Ultimately, a walk-through of a property might not show anything that would deter you from buying it, or cause you to look elsewhere for somewhere to live, but once you’ve signed the contract and moved in, you might start noticing telltale signs of some of the common problems listed above. Which, it’s worth remembering, can be costly and inconvenient to fix. 

To ensure your new home is structurally safe and sound, simply arrange for a pre-purchase survey to help put your mind at ease.