From easy-to-identify issues to problems that are more difficult to spot, we come across a wide range of defects during our surveys. 

Before completing a property purchase, it’s essential to have a survey carried out. Not only will it give you peace of mind but it can save you a small fortune in the long run. In fact, research carried out by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors found that 20% of people who don’t have a survey carried out later found defects that cost around £5, 750 to fix. 

Here are some of the most common issues we come across. 

Damaged drains

Whether it’s a leak or blockage or something else entirely, damaged drains are one of the most common causes of foundation movement. The usual suspects when it comes to damaged drains include: 

On some occasions, drainage issues can be caused by tree roots hitting pipelines. Regardless of the cause, drainage problems can cause some serious issues if left untreated. That said, most problems are minor and can be easily fixed when found early. 

The cost of repairing a broken drain can range from around £200 to over £2000. The best way to avoid a major problem is to have any suspected issues checked by a professional. 

Foundation movement 

Most buildings experience some form of structural movement. The majority of cases are minor and aren’t a huge cause for concern. However, serious movement can occur and can cause severe damage. 

More of the most common causes of foundation movement include:

Settlement is the downward movement of a building as a result of the weight of the structure. While subsidence is the movement of the ground itself. Subsidence can be caused by the condition and quality of the surface the structure was built on or other factors such as tree roots or invasive plants. 

All of these can lead to windows or doors that don’t open or close properly and cracks in interior or exterior walls. RICS has created a handy guide on how to identify structural movement. The important thing to remember is when in doubt, get the professionals in. 

Roof problems 

One of the more difficult defects to spot, roof problems can range from water damage and improper ventilation to overhanging trees or branches and poor installation. 

Because your roof is hard to investigate, it can be difficult to spot any defects and problems can often go unnoticed. That’s until the issue gets worse and starts to cause real damage. It shouldn’t be a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ Proper roof maintenance can save you thousands of pounds and a lot of hassle. 

We’re on hand to help

If you’ve spotted something that’s causing concern on your property, we’re always here to help provide you with the peace of mind you need. Identifying issues early and getting them fixed is the best way to keep your property safe and hazard-free. If you have any questions, speak with us today.

From small and easy-to-fix problems to expensive and time-consuming issues, we see a wide range of defects when carrying out our surveys. Sometimes they're obvious, sometimes they take a little more investigating to find. This is why it’s so important to have a survey carried out before you complete on a property. 

When viewing a house for the first time, you could easily miss some defects. Having a survey carried out by a professional can prevent headaches down the line. 

Let’s look at some common defects and what they mean in the first of our new series of explainers.


We’re starting to see more problems with efflorescence when carrying out surveys. It seems to be a problem that’s gradually becoming more common. Efflorescence is the white salt found on the surface of external and internal walls as a result of issues with damp. The problem is often found on red bricks but can also affect light bricks too. 

Treatment for efflorescence can be as simple as brushing it off with a stiff brush. But the important thing to remember is you need to find what causes the problem in the first place. If there’s an issue with damp elsewhere, it’ll need to be addressed too. 


Damp is something we come across more than almost any other defects. As of 2020, 3.4% of dwellings in the UK have issues with damp. That may not sound like a lot but when you do the maths, it works out at around 800, 000 residential homes with damp issues. 

The severity of the issue when it comes to damp can vary wildly. When damp is found it’s important to deal with the issue quickly and effectively as it can cause further damage as it spreads. 

Dry rot

High humidity and poor ventilation can cause dry rot. Condensation in windows can be an early sign of dry rot. The issue is often found in hidden areas under floorboards or behind walls. It’s caused by fungal spores in timber. This can easily spread when the right amount of moisture is present. 

The sooner dry rot is found the better. It can spread fast and can cause a large amount of damage if it’s left to spread throughout the property. Taking care to properly ventilate your home can prevent the spread of dry rot. 

We’re here to help

Just like anything else in your house, if you’re unsure of something it’s best to seek the advice of a qualified professional. 

A survey from a chartered surveyor can put your mind at ease and give you a clearer picture of the condition of your property. 

We’re always on hand to answer any questions you may have. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you, speak to us today. 

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