When buying a new home you will normally have a checklist of the types of facilities and features that are important to you and your family. Things like the view, a large kitchen and private garden usually top the list but you could save yourself money and time by digging a little deeper to see if your dream house is in fact a potential new home nightmare.
Here are some common home problems you should definitely try to avoid or at least plan for when picking your perfect pad.
Rising damp – rising damp refers to excess groundwater that rises through the walls of your home causing structural weaknesses and unpleasant damp smells. You can spot it fairly easily by looking for discolouration of the walls and the presence of mould. You can also feel the damp by placing the back of your hand against the plaster. Depending on the severity of the case it can be quite costly and fiddly to fix. It can also have a number of causes such as poor soil drainage that can cause other structural problems – so this is one to avoid unless you want rising repair bills.
Infestations – whether it’s rodents or termites, pest infestations are a pain. Unlike rising damp being forewarned is forearmed and the presence of pests doesn’t have to prevent a sale. Check for signs of pests like droppings, rotting wood or even termite tubes, mud like structures that cling to the outside of the house, so that you can put plans in place to evict the unwanted residents before you move in. There is plenty of information and advice available on the internet and you can also find control and prevention solutions like Terminix.
A good foundation – without a good foundation your new home could be at serious risk. The obvious problem that springs to mind is subsidence, which you can check by looking for cracks, usually by windows and doors. Foundations can also be compromised by root systems from large nearby trees which can grow up through the foundations threatening its integrity.
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A hard hat – if you have a solid bottom, make sure you top it off with a good roof. The roof is often the most neglected and expensive area of the house if damage occurs. There are five common roof problems that are bad news for potential home buyers – caused by leaking gutters, nesting animals, missing or damaged tiles and shingles and water damage. You can check for these problems by asking to see the attic or taking a pair of binoculars with you to house viewings and simply looking up. Check fascias, tiles, gutters, flashings and soffits for signs of discolouration and damage. If you are unsure of the consequences of any damage seek professional advice.
A home survey should throw all of these problems up so don’t worry if you miss the signs. If you can spot them before the survey though it will save you time and energy that you can be better spent planning your new home move.