Common defects explained - damaged drains, foundation movement and roof problems

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: 

  • Blockages
  • Collapsed pipes
  • Fractures
  • Broken joints 

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
  • Subsidence
  • Poor building and construction 
  • Tree roots 

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.

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