The seller has mentioned that there could be asbestos boards around radiators concealed in the house in Flintshire. What is asbestos and why is it such a problem?
Asbestos is the general name given to the group of six fibrous materials that are now known to be harmful to organisms, when the dust or fibrils are released into the environment (by any number of processes including abrasion).
Asbestos 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, as part of an EU-wide directive, even though restrictions were placed from 1985.
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. From 1986, it was only white asbestos that remained in use in the UK for construction purposes. The other types are brown (amosite), blue (crocidolite), and green (anthophyllite).
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.
Although you are legally allowed to remove asbestos yourself, this practice is thoroughly resisted by experts because of the danger that amateur removals may incur on yourself and your neighbours. Therefore, it is recommended that you appoint an expert to confirm its presence and to safely remove it.
Our chartered surveyors at Surveyor Local are all trained to look for all types of problems, including ascertaining evidence of the existence of hazardous materials, so why not call us on 0800 038 6667 now to get your survey booked in?
I have heard that clay soil can cause problems for property in Flintshire. Will our Flintshire Property Survey investigate this?
Subsidence is defined as sudden or gradual shrinkage in the soil that surrounds foundations of a building, forcing a downward settling of the building as the weight becomes too much for the subsoil to support as it once did, and it usually occurs with little or no movement along the horizontal.
The primary causes of subsidence are both natural and man-made:
- clay soil is particularly susceptible as it dries out
- dissolution or wearing of underground layers, such as rocks, permafrost or vegetative substances such as peat
- removal of subsoil fluid
- oxidation of soils where they comprise a significant organic construction
- mining and other extractions
- washing away of soils
- location of trees and other vegetation sucking up the moisture from the soil causing shrinkage
- damaged drains washing soil away from the foundations
- vibration from nearby heavy traffic
- nearby construction works
Familiar symptoms of subsidence are:
- the appearance of new cracks more than 3mm wide in the walls; however, not all cracks are an indication of subsidence and may be natural settlement. This is why it’s so important to get a chartered surveyor, like those available from Surveyor Local, involved to check it out and give you their expert opinion and advice
- cracks forming in obvious weak spots, such as the corners of window- and door-frames
- windows and doors beginning to stick where they haven’t before
- new extension parting company with the rest of the property
- sinking of patios and other hard structures in the garden
The Institution of Structural Engineers don’t recommend underpinning for the large majority of subsidence issues; rather this is treated as a last resort, where piles are dug and filled with concrete to support the existing foundations. Since the biggest percentage of subsidence issues are caused by trees and other plants in the vicinity draining the soil, judicious pruning or evening removal may be enough to rectify the problem (but note that such activity may also create other issues, so an expert’s advice should be sought). And, of course, if the drains are broken, then these should be repaired as soon as possible.
Because of the severity of these issues, it is vital that an expert chartered surveyor from Surveyor Local looks at the property in order to report on the condition, the diagnosis and recommendations for any immediate action to be taken to resolve the situation.
Get your free, instant survey quote by filling in a few details in the form at the top of this page. Or talk to our waiting team at Surveyor Local on 0800 038 6667 to discuss what we can do to meet your surveying needs.
Mould brings up bad memories for us, so what does the surveyor look into during the survey at our Caerwys cottage?
If the roof at a property you are buying has a major issue that needs to be resolved, your Surveyor Local chartered surveyor will easily identify it and its cause, providing recommendations for remedial courses of actions.
The types of material used in their construction can be a source of problems, whether it is the familiar shingles or slate, shaped or flat, metals like zinc, aluminium, stainless steel, lead or copper, or other coverings such as bituminous felt, plastic, resin or fibreglass.
Because of the structure of the roof (especially if it’s not flat), the walls of the property need to be able to take the load of what will be a heavy structure, and the surveyor will look for signs of either the roof bowing (indicating that the material covering the roof is too heavy for the supports) or the walls billowing (showing that the roof is too heavy for the wall to support it).
The importance of the roof to the long life of the property means your surveyor will thoroughly inspect all aspects of the construction (assuming they are readily and safely accessible): from soffits to barge boards, cladding to guttering, fascias to flashings.
The surveyor may find, during the inspection, a number of relatively minor issues that, without remedial work, may become a more serious – and expensive – problem to resolve. These include:
- missing, loose or cracked tiles
- worn felting
- blocked gullies and gutters
- worn or cracked flashing
- leaking skylights
- mould and rot (internally and externally)
- weathered materials
- timber pests and rot
- blocked drainage
- roof sag
- ponding or pooling
Most roofing work, unless you are planning a major extension, won’t require planning permission, but may require building regulations certification. Your surveyor will be happy to advise. Since most roofing work, other than simple maintenance tasks, will likely cost a lot of money to resolve, obtaining a number of quotes for any work might be a useful bargaining tool to renegotiate the agreed price with the seller.
Can property in Mold partially constructed with stone cause issues for owners? What should we look in to?
The sturdy appearance of stone walls may hide serious concerns, such as delaminated render. Irregular stone often has a more rustic appearance, but the mortar used may be susceptible to a higher rate of decay. Buyers should consider that stone can have a great effect on the long-term viability of a property or extension, resulting in higher repair costs in future, like exposure to the elements (especially in areas of higher pollution) which will cause many limestones to rapidly degrade. Advice for better upkeep will vary according to the needs of individual property, such as monitoring of natural wear, or watching out for signs of sudden or severe change.
The sheer breadth of varying stone materials can make it difficult for purchasers to correctly identify the particular stone used in the building of a home. Quarries in Hinckley should be able to supply local stone.
If, in the course of carrying out maintenance, you need further advice, contact a Flintshire expert, such as Lloyds Spar Quarries Ltd., Cefn Mine, Cilcain, Mold, CH7 5HR (Tel: 01352 741258).
Time to get your survey sorted out and your chartered surveyor assigned to inspect the property you’re planning to buy. Fill in a few simple details in the form at the top of this page to receive your instant survey quote. Then call our friendly advisers on 0800 038 6667 to set up one of the best surveyors to check over the property.
As well as reporting on condition, will I get a valuation and reinstatement cost estimate (including costs for rebuilding permanent outbuildings) on my Flintshire purchase, and how is it calculated?
A Property Valuation Report is not a survey per se, although it is an associated product that chartered surveyors can offer, on the proviso that they are also a registered valuer. This is something that Surveyor Local can add to your choice of survey, and, if required, you only need to pick up the phone to us on 0800 038 6667 to discuss your particular needs and we’ll get the right service set up for you with the minimum of fuss.
A Property Valuation Report is requested when a definitive answer on the value of a property is required. Note that it’s not the same as a market appraisal, which is a guide or estimate to the property price that has absolutely no legal standing.
The price of a Property Valuation Report starts from £249, which includes VAT and is fixed), dependent on the size of the property being valued. If you would like a Property Valuation Report added to either your Building Survey or HomeBuyer Report, please contact one of our team of friendly advisers on 0800 038 6667 and they will be happy to get things set up for you so that you are ready to get going today!
When intending to buy in Flintshire, should we be worried about the flood-risk, and will the HomeBuyer Report check water damage?
The Environment Agency has estimated that around 1 in every 6 homes around the country is at risk from some sort of flooding, with more than half of those susceptible 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.
There are many causes of flooding, and, even if your home is not anywhere near a body of water, this is no reason for complacency. The sources of flooding include:
- surface water from prolonged and heavy downpours, exacerbated in areas where the water can’t drain away such as tarmac and paving slabs
- groundwater from heavy and prolonged rain and the water levels rise
- rivers which can’t contain higher levels of water flow
- coastal areas where high tides meet with low pressure storms
- burst water main where the run-off water enters your property
- burst water tank, radiators and other plumbing issues
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
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. So, to get one of the best lined up to inspect your planned purchase, call our team of friendly advisers on 0800 038 6667 now.
For the Flintshire HomeBuyer Report, can you give some examples of any red-light-rated defects impacting 'E6 - Outside the property'?
The HomeBuyer Report 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 Building 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
External doors are checked, assuming keys are available to do so. Generally, the thresholds of doorways are also surveyed, checking that access is level, water is excluded from leaking into the property, etc. A damaged external doorframe, for example, is included in Section E of the report.
‘Condition rating three’ is used to highlight very serious issues. Defects marked in red may also need further inspection by an expert, such as where asbestos is suspected to have been used in the residence's construction. In some cases, an element covered under Section E may be marked as ‘NI’ (or 'Not inspected'), and this is where the surveyor is unable to gain access to some areas, e.g. the roof of a block of flats.
The HomeBuyer Report 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 038 6667.
A local warned us about bugs in the Mold area, but what can we do?
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, death-watch beetle, woodworm, carpet beetle larvae, and woodlice.
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 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.
Get your instant survey quote with Surveyor Local by filling in a few short, simple details in the form at the head of this page. When you’re ready to be assigned a conscientious and thorough chartered surveyor, call our waiting team of advisers on 0800 038 6667.
There is a property in Flintshire. What factors will qualified surveyor consider when valuing house prices in Flintshire ?
Any number of issues that can add to or subtract from the price of property such as the homes proximity to contaminated land or the likelihood of development occurring nearby. .
The best way for you to get an impartial property valuation is to commission a Homebuyer Report in Flintshire which includes a formal valuation as a core component.