A builder friend noted there may be loose blue asbestos soffit boards in the building in Crewe. Which types of asbestos are a concern?
Asbestos is the general name given to the group of six fibrous materials and it has been mined for hundreds of years. But it was only in the last century that it was found to be so detrimental to health, although it still took until 1999 for there to be an outright ban in the UK.
The most common type found in the UK is white asbestos (chrysotile), which was often used in roofs, floors, ceilings, walls and insulation, thereby appearing in all manner of construction materials.
Of the other types:
- brown asbestos (amosite) was used in in cement sheets, ceiling tiles and pipe insulation
- blue asbestos (crocidolite) was used in spray-on ceilings, insulation, and plastic and cement products
- green asbestos (anthophyllite), although limited, was used in insulation and general construction, and
- tremolite and actinolite were not used commercially
Often considered to be a ‘miracle’ material before its deleterious effects were understood, asbestos was chosen for its resistance to fire and electricity, its tensile strength, and its sound-proofing qualities, coupled with its relative cheapness to produce.
Commonly called asbestosis, the curly or needle-shaped fibres usually caused mesothelioma (attack on the lining of the lungs, causing cancer). However, breathing in a single fibre will not be injurious, nor will it risk death.
During a survey, your chartered surveyor will not be able to confirm the existence of asbestos, since they will not investigate further than visual inspection because of the dangers highlighted above. However, they will be experienced in looking for it and will report their suspicions in the survey, recommending that it be checked out thoroughly.
To discuss your concerns, call Surveyor Local on 0800 022 4428. Once you have chosen your type of survey, they will give you a free quote.
If we are to invest in a poor-condition, Victorian cottage in Crewe, should we get a RICS Level 3 Survey?
The RICS Level 3 Survey is a comprehensive inspection by a chartered surveyor, and it provides:
- An inspection of the building(s) at the property
- A full survey report of the findings, both good and bad
- A property valuation (if specifically requested and carries an additional cost)
The customer can choose this type of survey for any property that they are buying, but the RICS recommends that it is most suitable for:
- Listed buildings and some properties in conservation areas
- Properties that were built more than 50 years ago
- Properties that you want to extend, change significantly, or update in an integral way
- Buildings that have been recently subjected to such change
- Properties of an unusual construction, or built with unusual materials, irrespective of their age
The duration of the assessment of the property depends entirely on the type of construction, its location and its size, but generally, it will take about a day to carry out the inspection and up to two weeks to receive the report, although Surveyor Local works hard to minimise this time where possible without impacting the quality of the service provided.
The RICS Level 3 Survey report itself covers the following details:
- Any defects, their criticality and what they mean (structurally and financially)
- The results of the tests for the presence of radon gas
- Evidence of subsidence or heave
- Proximity of any large trees that might impact the foundations
- Evidence of the presence of any hazardous materials (such as asbestos)
- The impact of any changes to supporting walls
- Specific damage to any masonry (inside and out)
- The results of the tests carried out for damp
- Any renovations, extensions and changes without the requisite planning consents
- Specific damage to the roof and chimney stacks
- Condition of the damp-proof course (DPC) and state of the insulation
- Damage to timbers (particularly in the roof-space)
- Evidence of woodworm, dry or wet rot in timber
- Advice on drainage that hasn’t been tested
- Details of materials and construction methods used at the property
- Recommendations and advice for any further investigations that might be required, in addition recommendations for immediate remedial action
- specific matters in relation to planning and control for the attention of your conveyancing solicitor
The price of the RICS Level 3 Survey is dependent on the location, size and construction of the property, but the cost usually comes in between £500 and £1,300.
If you want to understand the differences between the choice of available surveys, you can click on compare the surveys to take you to Surveyor Local’s comparison page.
If you’re still unsure, or you’d like to get an appointment in the diary with an experienced and thorough chartered surveyor, call Surveyor Local’s waiting team on 0800 022 4428 now! We’re open 7 days a week for your convenience.
What sort of thing will the chartered surveyor look for on a stucco-coated, Victorian house in Crewe that I wish to buy?
Stucco is simply a kind of smooth plaster render that is applied to brick or masonry, where it hardens to form a smooth, flat finish, or it might be used in making decorative mouldings to complement the rendered finish.
Comprising aggregates and binder to harden the mixture and water, stucco is durable, weather-resistant and is applied in thin layers, and is common on some Georgian and Victorian properties.
However, it can be problematic, and Crewe RICS Level 3 Survey focus on issues such as lateral hairline cracking revealing the underlying mortar joints, or where dampness below flashings or where the render has been applied to ground level has resulted in detachment or delamination from the brick or underlying substrate. Problems need to be sorted out as soon as they are identified because they will worsen quickly the longer they are left. Wire mesh is often used, but this is not advised since it can hasten deterioration should the metal rust.
Remedying significant problems with stucco may be expensive as the skills are becoming harder to find, but it is not recommended for the homeowner to attempt repairs themselves. Hairline cracks or other minor issues may be solved by applying another layer of stucco, or even simply a coat of paint.
Our chartered surveyors are familiar with all types of structures and building methods, so why not give us a quick call now on 0800 022 4428 to organise a visit to your planned purchase?
We are buying in Crewe, and think we saw signs of pests in the toilet; is a RICS Level 2 Survey advisable?
The issue of pests in and around the home is often seen as a small or minor, even irrelevant, inconvenience or annoyance that simply needs to be accepted and managed. However, the threat of many pests is very real and, with certain examples, will have a risk to the occupants’ health or destroy the fabric and structure of a building.
In addition, evidence of an infestation of pests is not always easy to find. Some obvious examples of common pests include rodents, cockroaches, woodworm, and carpet beetle larvae, among countless others.
Your chartered surveyor will look out for evidence of the common problems, such as droppings or holes in wood, and make recommendations based on the severity of the problem and how recent the infestation appears to be. Solutions and remedies to eradicate pests may include the use of poisons, insecticides and traps, but more humane ways of removing pests are available. It’s always worth obtaining a number of quotes from companies qualified to handle such issues so that you can request a reduction in the asking price from the seller.
Because there are so many different pests, the chartered surveyor will not be able to test and check for every single type other than the common instances. If you suspect that a specific issue with pests exists, then you should bring it to your surveyor’s attention and they will be able to focus on finding the particular evidence, should it exist.
Speak to a pest control specialist, such as Crown Pest Control & Environmental Services Ltd., Crown House, Thomas Street, Crewe, CW1 2BD on 01270 256444, to discuss potential remedies and cost.
Get your instant and competitively-priced survey quote with Surveyor Local by filling a few simple details in the form at the top of this page. If you want to discuss specific concerns or talk about your needs for the survey, call our helpful team of advisers on 0800 022 4428.
Are Crewe properties at risk from flooding, and does a survey check for flooding damage, or whether flooding has affected nearby homes?
The governmental organisation, the Environment Agency, has estimated that approximately 1 in every 6 homes around the country is at risk from some sort of flooding, with more than half of them being especially susceptible to flooding from surface water alone.
The risk of floods needs to be taken seriously, since ingress of water to a property can threaten safety as well as causing major damage and disruption in the aftermath. It also has an impact on the property’s value and its insurability and the premiums that will be required to be paid. So, it makes sense to get your survey carried out by an experienced firm like Surveyor Local.
Because of the increasing likelihood of flooding in the UK and the problems it causes, it becomes an essential part of looking for a new home to establish its history with flooding and the risk to the local area. There are several steps that can be taken:
- use the Environment Agency’s flood information service for the current situation
- search for your location on the Environment Agency’s flood map for planning service to establish the level of risk of flooding (based on historical and geographical information)
- appoint a specialist search provider to identify the position in more detail (you can talk to your conveyancing solicitor about this option and costs)
- check with the sellers to confirm anecdotal evidence of prior flooding issues
- If practical to do so, it is also worth looking at the house in both wet and dry weather to see if there are any obvious differences.
The chartered surveyor will check the likely impact of any flooding on the property and its contents, providing recommendations to reduce or even eliminate the effects should it occur.
Get your instant survey quote in a few moments by filling in the form at the top of this page. When you’re ready to get an appointment in the diary of one of the best chartered surveyors, call Surveyor Local on 0800 022 4428.
On a RICS Level 2 Survey carried out in Crewe, can you give some examples of ‘condition rating 2’ defects impacting rainwater pipes and gutters?
The RICS Level 2 Survey is specifically designed and laid out so that clients can find what they want easily and, more importantly, understand what the report is saying. In summary, the product provides:
- a clearer layout, so that the information within it is obvious and can be found easily and swiftly
- an energy performance rating, bringing it in line with current legislation
- modern design broken down into the clear areas of the inspection (e.g. about the property, inside, outside, services, etc.)
- colour-coded condition ratings using a traffic-light system for instant visual understanding (1 (green) – no repairs required; 2 (amber) – needs repair or replacement but not immediately urgent; 3 (red) – needs urgent repair, replacement or financial investment)
- performed by a skilled chartered surveyor, such as the thorough and focused surveyors we have available at Surveyor Local
- less comprehensive and detailed (and therefore cheaper) than the RICS Level 3 Survey, but significantly more detailed than the Condition Report
- written in plain English with no technical or jargon terminology for easy understanding of the condition of the building
A ‘condition rating 2’ suggests that the aspect of the house or flat in question will need some work, but that this may not be urgent. Parts of the report that do not apply to the specific house or flat being surveyed will be indicated with a 'NI', or 'not inspected'. The RICS Level 2 Survey has a standard format, which the surveyor will complete according to the nuances of the particular house or flat, omitting sections as necessary.
The rainwater goods are inspected by eye, where access is possible. Section E3 (Rainwater pipes and gutters) does not cover internal parts of the water system, such as defects in the sewer system, but too few downspouts would be reported here.
The RICS Level 2 Survey costs an average of £400, although this is dependent on the size and location of the property. Surveyor Local offers a quality survey product for a very competitive price, so it makes sense to try our online quote calculator (simply fill in a few details in the form at the top of this page) or call us on 0800 022 4428.
I want to buy a terraced house in Crewe (CW1 postcode area), and the vendor is asking £173,000. What will a Crewe surveyor consider when carrying out a professional valuation?
A qualified RICS surveyor will go to the property as well as considering the wealth of area knowledge and factors that have a bearing on the value of property. There are a huge number of issues that could affect house prices (for example, the quality of nearby schools, or whether the garden is overlooked). It can help to benchmark selling-prices recorded for similar properties in the Cheshire East local authority area.
This means the average price of completed transactions for terraced houses in Cheshire East in December 2018 was £165,528, which is £7,472 less than the asking price for the cited property. With regards to other types of property, the averages for the same month in Crewe and the Cheshire East area were:
Information © 2019 HM Land Registry. Retrieved from HM Land Registry website on 15 February 2019
An impartial way to get a formal house valuation is with a RICS Level 2 Survey, which includes a Property Valuation Report (PVR) as a core component. A qualified RICS surveyor will be part of the Valuer Registration Scheme, which reinforces professional standards.
If you need further guidance, why not try our online Crewe home survey quote generator (scroll to the top of the page and fill in a few pieces of information) or call our team on 0800 022 4428?