Do you ever tap on a wall? We do it all the time. Tapping on a wall can tell you a lot. It can help tell you if the wall is structural or just a partition. We also measure the thickness of the wall to gain an understanding of the structure.

It’s good to look for any bulges or signs of cracking and movement. Cracks and movement can be related to other problem signs such as warped floors and ceilings. We have excellent experience in spotting related issues.

Water Ingress

Walls should be checked for signs of damp or blistering plaster or paint. A moisture meter is the tool for showing the percentage of moisture present (if any).

A moisture meter should only serve as a guide. Many readings are taken across walls to build up a picture of what is going on.

It’s All About The Detail

We want to give you complete peace of mind. Our comprehensive building surveys will check your entire property for any issues that could threaten your investment. Unfortunately some people have previously been caught out by buying property with hidden problems. Never rely solely on the mortgage report / survey. It is extremely inadequate.

Want to know more? Call Philip on 07702 332 333 and we will be happy to assist you.

We check your entire property thoroughly, Learn more about our detailed surveys here.

Alternatively visit our contact page.

Trees are a very important part of any garden. Trust us, even the tiniest of gardens can accommodate a tree if designed correctly. But can you just plant a tree anywhere?

You don’t need to get permission to plant trees but you should be careful as to where you plant one. Not only that, you should choose the species wisely. Planting a large growing oak tree beside your house might be asking for trouble.

Whats The Big Deal Anyway?

It’s true most trees reside near buildings causing absolutely no problem at all. In other cases there can be pretty serious subsidence and structural issues caused by the roots of trees. Planting a tree around 5m away from buildings is better than planting one beside your front door.

For more information on where to plant trees, you can visit the Woodland Trust’s blog post here.

What About The Clay?

Northern Ireland is full of clay soil. Tree roots suck the moisture out of clay and this can lead to subsidence in certain instances. Chalky type soil tends to be more stable.

If in doubt or in the event you have limited space then you can always plant trees in containers. If done right they will thrive very well. Check out this post from the Royal Horticultural Society guide here.

Need A Building Surveyor?

Worried about tree roots, subsidence or drainage issues? Contact Philip on 07702 332 333 today to book a property survey. We don’t just cover one item. Our survey will look at all the potential threats to your building. You don’t need to put your financial investment at risk, let us help you prove that the property is safe and fit for purpose. The peace of mind is worth it.

Northern Ireland is a great place to live. It’s not surprising that property prices are on the rise. Across the country there is a mix of beautiful historic buildings and indeed modern homes with all the mod cons. After a quick look on Property Pal you may well be overwhelmed with choice.

But how do you know what you are buying? That’s where we come in. Many dream of buying an Edwardian property by the sea. But could your hard earned money be falling into a big black hole?

Our Surveyors Look Out For You

We will look after your interests when you book one of our comprehensive surveys. Our team will make sure you know exactly what you are buying and most importantly, it’s condition. Whether it be rot, damp or drainage issues, we have you covered. See what our extensive property survey covers here.

We are a small independent team of respected surveyors working right across Northern Ireland. We work to the highest standards to provide surveys that are easy to understand and comprehensive. We endeavor to leave no stone unturned.

Book a survey today on 07702 332 333 or contact Philip to discuss your needs.

Flooding is happening more often these days. Many state that climate change is a contributing factor so (in theory) the problem is only going to get worse. But does a building survey help reduce flooding?

The most serious cases of flooding appear to be in the north of England. With a months worth of rain falling in just a 24 hour period last November it is plain to see why this devastating flooding occurs.

In Northern Ireland we get our fair share of rain and flooding. According to the BBC it cost around £30 million to cleanup damage from floods in the North West in August 2018. £12.5m was spent in Counties Londonderry and Tyrone by the DFI (Department for Infrastructure). And the Damage extended across the border into the Republic of Ireland costing the Irish Government €20m.

Spiraling Cleanup Costs

Businesses and domestic households face huge costs and inconvenience from flooding when it occurs. Many insurance policy premiums shoot up after cases and remain high. When purchasing a new home it is a good idea to ask your solicitor to conduct a flood search to discover any previous flooding history.

A building survey can also help by checking for a wide range of defects that could threaten your investment. Flooding is not the only issue you should consider. For complete peace of mind, give our friendly team a call to discuss a property survey in Northern Ireland. Call Philip on 07702 332 333 or contact us. Checkout what we offer here.

Drains, gutters and damp can be related. Buildings that have signs of internal damp are often caused by unmaintained guttering or drainage.

A building can suffer issues from rising damp, penetrating damp and condensation from inside the home.

Can I Fix Damp Myself?

Absolutely! If you are competent and know what exactly is causing it. However if you are unsure about anything, it may not be a good idea to attempt DIY repairs. A blocked gutter that is causing issues for example is a simple matter of clearing the blockage and allowing rainwater to drain away as it should.

What Does Penetrating Damp Look Like?

Penetrating damp usually has a certain appearance. We carry out building surveys across Northern Ireland and often see blotchy wet patches on walls, crumbling plaster, drips and circles of damp on walls or ceilings. There may also be spores or mildew present.

This particular type of damp can spread and cause a lot of damage to the building fabric. Penetrating damp can be more difficult to repair and is usually carried out by a builder or specialist.

What About Condensation?

Condensation is a common issue. Buildings are now so air tight that moist air gets trapped inside. This moisture condenses on cold surfaces and causes damp. This is easy to remedy by simply creating ventilation and using extractor fans when showering or bathing. Extractor fans should also be used when cooking. Cold ceilings and walls should be properly insulated.

Rising Damp

Rising damp can look like a dark wave along the bottom of the walls or just above the skirting boards. This can be caused by a burst domestic water or heating pipe under the floor. It can also be caused by other factors such as a damaged damp proof course or other building issue. Again a specialist is best to look into this form of damp due to the (sometimes) complicated cause.

Building Surveys NI

We carry out detailed building surveys in Northern Ireland. We look for a whole range of problems, see our page here for more information. If you would like to call us contact Philip on 07702 332 333 and we will be happy to help.

We survey property across Northern Ireland. People often ask how we “know” that a building is in a good state of repair whenever we can’t see all places such as within cavities and under floors.

Qualified Building Surveyors

We are fully qualified building surveyors. But that’s only part of it. It’s our extensive experience and interest in building technology that helps ensure we can properly identify all defects with precision.

Knowledge and Experience

Our surveyors use their knowledge and experience as well as all the modern tools to locate property defects. It can take a multitude of information to properly diagnose serious issues such as subsidence. Many surveyors know that certain sizes of cracks in walls can indicate possible subsidence.
We know from experience that it isn’t as simple as that. For example cracks that appear suddenly or over a short period may need to be taken seriously even if they are not larger than 5mm.

This is one of the many reasons why an experienced building surveyor pays off!

Northern Ireland Property Surveys

We carry out extensive building surveys in Northern Ireland. Our skill and experience will ensure that you have the full detail about the property. We use our judgement on the extent of any issues found and offer advice on remedial steps. This can enable you to renegotiate a purchase price or make repairs sooner rather than later.

Call Philip on: 07702 332 333 to book a property survey.

If you want to know how to protect your home this winter, we can help in this article. We have compiled pointers from our surveyors on essential tasks you can carry out.

Protecting Pipes From Freezing

Water expands as it freezes. This is what causes many burst pipes each winter. Pressure can also build up if water is blocked by pockets of ice. Some insurance companies recommend leaving a tap dripping in very cold weather although this is wasteful and can be avoided if pipes are insulated correctly.

You should aim to insulate all pipes where temperatures could reach freezing temperatures. Any outdoor hoses should be emptied and taps protected with insulation. Pipes running along the attic, garage or other cold outbuildings should also be insulated.

Always know where you stop cock is located. This should be turned off if you are away on a winter holiday or in the event of a burst pipe.

Should I Leave my Heating on?

For the sake of your energy bills and the environment we would say no. Leaving your heating on 24 hours a day is wasteful. It is always better insulating your home or business premises properly. That way, the heating doesn’t need to work as hard.

We recommend the use of a timer so that the heating comes on for a set time. You can also fit a frost stat so that the heating comes on automatically in the event of freezing temperatures.

Cleaning Your Gutters

This job is often overlooked. We have all seen the plants and weeds growing out of guttering that has not been maintained. This causes numerous issues including blockages. If ice forms in freezing temperatures then any melting snow cannot drain properly. This can cause water to leak into your roof at the eaves.

It is very important to keep gutters clean. You should also seal any holes in the ceiling that allow moist damp air to seep into the attic from habitable rooms. Finally ensure that all attic ventilation is clear and working.

Other Maintenance

Insulation is key to a warmer home. Double check you have the recommended UK minimum of loft insulation (currently 270mm) at the time of publication.

Did you know that in many properties, the cavity wall insulation can be topped up. You can check the details with an insulation specialist. You can check more details on NI Direct here.

Northern Ireland Property Surveys

If you need a property survey, call out experts who will try and get to you as soon as possible. We offer building surveys across Northern Ireland. We have Belfast and Coleraine offices. Call Philip on 07702 332 333 to discuss! We are always happy to help.

Did you know that a building survey can spot botched work? We take great care to uncover any D.I.Y that could end up costing you a fortune. See our building surveys page for more information. You will find we cover a large range of potential defects during a property survey.

D.I.Y & Youtube

Building Survey Can Spot Botched Work

Youtube is full of tutorials on how to carry out various tasks in the home? Anything from how to plumb in a new bathroom to how to extend high voltage electrics.

During a building survey we check the property interior and exterior including the electrics and plumbing for signs of potential issues. We like a bit of D.I.Y too, but as long as it has been carried out to the latest standards.

When buying a property from a keen D.I.Y enthusiast, you should be equipped with the best information available. Our surveys give you that peace of mind so you can confidently purchase your dream home.

Calling in The Trades

It is refreshing when a seller has documentation including building control certificates. Some jobs are best done by qualified tradesmen and women. Plumbing, electrics and heating installations should be installed by professionally qualified and competent trades. All gas work must be carried out by a gas safe registered installer.

It is always worth remembering that any botched D.I.Y may not be covered by home insurance should the worst happen. It is always good to ensure work is carried out to the highest standard and more importantly, safe!

Property Surveyors Northern Ireland

Our local property surveyors work for you! We thoroughly check any building you want to purchase. This ensures that you have confidence in the standard or the property. Making a property purchase can be one of the biggest financial decisions in a lifetime. By conducting a full survey before your purchase, we aim to protect your interests.

Contact Us or call Philip on 07702 332 333 to book a survey!

Good question! We certainly endeavor to check as much as we can during a property survey.

As described on our building surveys page, we will survey the interior, exterior, roof structure, services, grounds and check for asbestos.

What’s Covered During a Survey?

As standard we check as much as possible. We believe it sets you in good stead if you have responsibility for a building. We generally cover:

  • Building Condition and Defects
  • Structural Movements and Subsidence
  • Damp problems: Rising damp; Penetrating damp;
  • Condensation; mould growth
  • Wet-rot, Dry-rot
  • Woodworm, Insect infestation
  • Heating, Plumbing and Electrical services
  • Drainage
  • External elements: Driveway and parking areas, Paths and paved areas, Fencing, Planting
  • Asbestos

This list is not exhaustive. You will be presented with a professional written report with all findings. This helps give you the confidence in purchasing your new property.

What About Asbestos?

Did you know we are fully qualified asbestos surveyors. We work across Northern Ireland. For more information about asbestos surveys you can visit our asbestos page here.

If you would like to know more about our building surveys, call us on 07702 332 333 or visit our contact us page.

If you want to know how to check for drainage problems, we will help you in this post.

Northern Ireland gets it’s fair share of rain and stormy weather. It is important that the rain ends up in the gutter. Rain can cause a multitude of problems to a property and causes many damp issues.

So what are the signs of drainage problems?

Check Your Guttering

You should clean gutters at least once annually. A build up of moss or other debris will cause gutters to block and overflow. This can lead to water entry to the soffits and exterior walls. Damp may appear on the inside of the property.

Gathering Water or Puddles

Water gathering in the garden can be a sign of drainage problems. Any surface water should drain relatively quickly after any rain.

Any paving should slope away from the property. Sometime older paving can move and encourage pooling at the base of the home.

Cracks in the Foundations

Foundation problems and subsidence can be caused by poor drainage. Excess water can damage foundations which may be structural or non-structural. Excess water should be dealt with as soon as possible to limit any damage.

Stains & Efflorescence

Efflorescence occurs when water evaporates and leave salt deposits behind. It indicates the presence of water and can sometime mean poor drainage.

Stains are another indication of drainage issues. If you notice stains externally or internally especially where you have a blocked drain, you should have it resolves as soon as possible.

Building Surveyors Northern Ireland

We are local Northern Ireland building surveyors. An independent team working for you. We aim to check for a large range of problems. It is important to us to provide value for money but a detailed report to give you the confidence in your building.

We conduct detailed full property surveys across the country. Contact us today to book. Call Philip on 07702 332 333.