4 All Too Common Problems Found During a Survey

  • September 11, 2018
  • Chiltern
  • Surveys

Ask any surveyor to tell you a few horror stories and they will no doubt regal you with tails of subsidence, blocked drains and all sorts of nasty stories. But apart from the real nightmares they will also be able to rattle off some sadly all too common problems that many home buyers simply are not aware of. This post is all about just some of the common problems surveyors find Suffolk towns as well as across the UK. If you do have a survey that show any of these issues you must seek further professional help from your surveyor and anyone they recommend.


There is certainly no mystery about this material and most people are well aware of how dangerous it can be. For homes built before 2000 there is a risk that asbestos may have been used. Often it is the “shed roof” kind that is mixed with concrete and far less dangerous. This can often be left in place with very little risk of problems. However, if it needs to be removed or disturbed you must consult a professional service. The more dangerous types of asbestos are uses inside buildings and it is critical to act if a survey shows this is present. You surveyor will advise on how to move forward and get it sorted. It may be an additional cost to the property that makes it a bad deal but the existing owner could potentially help with the cost as part of negotiations.

Japanese Knotweed

This rather aggressive plant is becoming more and more of a problem in the UK and many other countries. It was introduced in the 19th Century and has since made the UK a home. It kills other plants and grows very fast, it can even grow into the structure of a building itself. It is illegal to grow or to ignore Japanese Knotweed on your property and as such mortgage lenders take a very dim view of lending against a property with this issue.

If your survey does show this plant is present, once again, seek professional advice on eradication costs and times. Then speak to the seller and see if a deal can be reached to help mitigate the costs; Do Not Ignore It!

Radon Gas

No, it is not a type of weapon from Star Wars it is in fact a very common naturally occurring radioactive gas. Whilst it is common it normally just floats away into the air, however if it leaks up from the ground into a house the levels can reach a point where they can cause lung disease. During a survey and solicitors checks the UK radon maps will be checked. If the home is in a high radon area there should be suitable special ventilation in place. If this is not then once again the property should be seriously reviewed along with the price to include the work needed to make it safe.

Dry Rot

This rather unhelpful fungus is able to weaken timber in a house. This timber could be in the floor, stairs, roof or window frames and can be a very serious issue especially in timber frame buildings. If the survey shows dry rot it is important to get more information about the extent of the issue and be aware it can spread very quickly. In some cases it is only a small amount and can be eliminated but larger levels can mean a great deal of cost, disruption and time to fix and often this means people pull out of a sale.

If you are looking at a property in Suffolk then get in touch for a skilled local surveyor who also specialises in listed and historic buildings.




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