Common Issues Surveyors Find With Properties

When it comes to surveying a property there can be a huge number of potential problems that a thorough survey will detect. If you are a homeowner looking to sell a property, having a surveyor come in and tell you any manner of things that may be wrong with your property can be a huge setback for homeowners looking to sell their property. Nobody wants to be told that their home has problems, particularly when you are trying to sell it on for a profit.

However there are a number of common problems that surveyors often find when conducting a Building Survey and if you know what to look out for with careful maintenance you can avoid these when it comes to selling your property. Although regular maintenance checks are essential it is good to know potential extreme problem areas so that you can plan accordingly when you start thinking about selling your house.

Damp and Mould

Often the result of poor ventilation and humidity, damp and mould can be devastating to homes, particularly for older homes that have a wooden support structure. Mould is less of a dangerous occurrence however it does need to be monitored and dealt with straight away as it can lead to greater problems.

There are three main types of damp: rising damp, condensation and penetrating damp. Rising damp is caused by moving water running up a wall, condensation is made by moist air condensing on walls and is more common in the winter than in the summer and penetrating damp is as a result of water leaking through walls. All can be extremely serious if not taken care of.

Penetrating damp is more common in older buildings and can lead to sagging, flaking walls and ceilings. Rising damp results in damaged skirting boards and floorboards as well as peeling wallpaper. Condensation leads to damage to paint, plaster and window frames and the growth of mould.

Improving ventilation and installing a dehumidifier helps to reduce condensation if you know it may be a potential problem. Rising damp and penetrating damp can become problematic for coastal properties and properties near rivers. Damp proof coursing is recommended for preventing damp and it is also useful to search for any leaks or cracks which can lead to penetration damp.


Used in construction from the 1950’s to the late 1990’s asbestos was used as an insulation and fire proofing solution in ceiling tiles, pipe insulation, sprayed coatings, boilers and more. Recently it has come to light that inhaling loose fibres of asbestos can lead to a number of serious and fatal lung diseases.

Different types of asbestos need to be handled in different ways so it is absolutely imperative to call in a professional if you suspect your home contains asbestos. Asbestos is a serious issue when it comes to viewing and surveying properties so a surveyor will always flag it up if they suspect a house contains asbestos, particularly for properties built in the 1950’s and 60’s.


People do not often think that they have to maintain a roof; after all how often do we clean our own ceilings? However it is incredibly important particularly if you live in an area that is subject to harsh weather conditions, or you have a roof that is bowed or unnaturally shaped.

If a leak in your roof is found, take steps to fix it straight away as it will only get worse if left untreated. Properties that have a leaking roof are subject to damp and mould; and leaking roofs can even damage and warp the structural integrity of the whole house so a faulty roof is no laughing matter.

When it comes to replacement often it is found that it is better to replace the whole roof rather than search for a leak and this can be a costly process. First time buyers may be willing to spend a little bit extra to replace the roof however if you are selling to buy-to-let investors they will be far less likely to enter negotiations if they find there is a leak or another problem with the roof.

Although selling your home can be a harrowing experience, all in all if you spend the effort now into making it as tidy and well presented as possible, you will avoid potential setbacks when you try to sell it later with surveyors finding issues with the property.

Article provided by Mike James  on behalf of RMA Surveyors.

Caroline Engstrom

Caroline Engstrom has a passion to help landlords and tenants by providing helpful tips and advice regarding real estates.

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