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Dealing with property damage

While it’s tempting to put off or overlook dealing with property damage, the consequences can be severe. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, don’t get caught out by degradation.  In keeping with our theme on presentation of property in the market, we thought we’d delve a little deeper into those common problem areas that the property-savvy need to look out for the most.  From creeping damp in the cellar to a leak in the roof, there are all too many ways a property might fall in to decline with potentially costly consequences.  When it comes to choosing or maintaining a property, you can’t be too careful.  It’s so important to know what to look out for, so we’ve come up with a short list of some of the weasels that can threaten the integrity of a property:

  • Cracked Ceilings – Elephant in the room. Prospective buyers might be too polite to ask about cracks in a ceiling, but you can be sure they’ll notice them – don’t be fooled by phrases like ‘what lovely alcoves’, they know.  While many cracks are superficial it’s not wise to ignore them.  There might not be a problem but if cracks appear, be sure to do a bit of investigation.  If there is a problem then get it sorted out because further down the road you might end up paying through the nose for it.  If you’re looking to buy, don’t be shy about asking questions.
  • Mould/Damp – Gross.  As well as being unsightly, mould can cause serious health problems when not treated properly.  There’s no excuse to let it linger, with a range of products available in most supermarkets it’s a ten minute job to get rid of it. But it’s also important to consider what’s causing it.  Faulty extractor fans are a likely culprit, as well as dodgy window fittings.  If it’s the latter it’s really worth sorting it out sooner rather than later as it’s not the sort of problem that will diminish over time, quite the opposite, and neither will the cost.
  • Roof Damage – Nightmare. It’s bad luck to open an umbrella in doors and you won’t fancy getting the ladders out in a storm to shakily get on top of the house for a spot of DIY? Make sure you give your roof the attention it deserves as leaks can be severely damaging to ceilings, loft beams and, not to mention, anything electrical. A particular concern for older properties, make sure the roof is in good nick; if the building has a chimney it’s especially important; an insecure chimney-breast could cost a fortune to repair, and it’s dangerous.
  • Floods – Dam!  With increased flooding, year on year, across the UK, you’ve no doubt seen the chaos and damage that flooding inflicts on people as well as their homes.  It’s a costly, messy business to clear up so if you’re in charge of a property in an area that’s known to be at risk, take pre-emptive steps to fortify your home against the worst of flood damage as this will definitely be an advantage when it comes to selling.  If you’re looking to buy, be sure to ask your agent plenty of questions about the flooding history of the area as well as any alterations that have been made or may be required in the future.
  • Quakes/Shakes – Shocking.  Over time vibrations can wear away at your home.  Whether it’s by a busy train line or a local fracking site, when considering/maintaining a property it’s essential to factor in any seismic threats as they can cause real structural damage to your home.  Regular inspections of the property’s foundations and brickworks are advised to maintain structural integrity and to avoid potential disasters.

All buildings have to abide by certain standards to be deemed fit for purpose.  Working with a surveyor is a great way of keeping your home up to scratch and to avoid getting a rough deal if you’re looking to buy.  Property is an investment, take care of your assets.

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