3 Common House Defects You Need To Look Out For
Get the issues sorted ...
Everyone knows how difficult it is to find that perfect home. It requires a lot of research, visits and then the dreaded process of actually selling a property and/or buying a new one as a first-time buyer.
Sometimes the process is made a whole lot easier by the problems a property has. A professional survey will always reveal the problems in detail, but if you spot any of the following house defects while hunting for a property, it’s probably best to back out of a purchase as fast as you can.
Everything degrades in time, but a homeowner should always take reasonable steps to rectify these problems before they try to sell. Sometimes they don’t though. And one of those problems could well be the state of the wood in the property.
We’re talking exterior primarily, because this is the part of the building that is constantly exposed to the elements.
|What to look for||What it looks like|
|Rotten window sills||Cracking and peeling|
|Moisture traps (parts of a property that will always take in rain)||Rain will find somewhere to settle on the property. Flat roofs are notorious for rotting timber. The wood could be wet to the touch, or ‘stained’ by water,|
|Rotten wood at the base||This should be quite easy to spot, mainly because it’s unsightly.|
While everyone does their best to look after the environment, some structures and processes could cause major problems for you if you’re not careful. Again, some of these house defect aspects will be picked up by a survey. But knowing what to look for is important.
For perhaps rather obvious reasons, older properties have more significant problems compared to newer properties. These properties often contain (for no other reason that they reflect older processes, harmful substances like asbestos. And sticking with that idea of older processes, some of the walls in older homes had lead-lined paint as part of the decoration.
You can see signs of mould, but you can’t necessarily ‘spot’ lead paint. So it’s worthwhile arranging a full survey of your prospective new home as soon as possible.
The UK government has made its position on lead paint clear, and created guidance to help buyers be aware of the problem. The guide confirms that older properties will most likely contain lead:
The age of your home is a good guide. If it was built before the 1960s and still has original coats of paint, there could be some lead around.
Gutters and the mess in them
If you’ve ever walked down a street and seen some houses that have less than attractive gutters, you’ll know just how important these things are for drainage. Messy, clogged gutters looks like the sellers are just not making the effort to look after the property, these type of house defects have the possibility to turn buyers off.
There is also a more catastrophic possibility though. If gutters are diverting rainwater it will settle. And directly beneath a roof that is full of water is the ceiling of one of your living spaces.
The water builds up and you end up with damp.
If you see any part of the interior with damp on the ceiling, you need to know what’s going on. Most of the time (unless it’s an otherwise perfect home, for example) you should just leave the viewing.