What is a building survey?
A building survey is an in depth inspection of a property and will provide a detailed evaluation of a property’s condition. A building survey is typically carried out when moving house to make the buying party aware of any potential issues. Some issues can be incredibly costly and time consuming to repair so it is ideal to be aware of these problems prior to committing to a purchase.
Traditionally household insurers will offer surveys as part of the insurance policy and free of charge. This can either be done in person or via a desktop analysis. Once surveyed, most insurers will then provide additional cover called ‘Extended Replacement’. This means your insurer pays for your home to be rebuilt or repaired to its current condition even if the loss amount is above your policy coverage.

What types of issues can a building survey spot?
A building survey can uncover all manner of issues including common problems you would expect in any house through to more serious, and costly, complications. Examples of some potential issues include:
– Damp (rising or penetrating)
– Dry rot
– Wood worm
– Subsidence
– Lack of insulation
– Breach of building regulations
– Asbestos
– Electrical issues
Whilst your building surveyor may identify some of these issues, they will often recommend that you speak to a specialist in that particular area to establish the potential extent of damage and repair costs. Don’t do guess work!
In some cases, house buyers try to estimate the problems with a property before buying to save costs. This is never a good idea as more often than not, you will end up paying more for various repairs to the building over time. The results of a building survey may massively impact your decision in buying your next home so we would always recommend you have a survey carried out.
For a free review of your existing policy or a free quotation please call us on 0207 691 2409

Don’t Be Caught Out This Winter!

With winter fast approaching it is time to start thinking about safeguarding our homes so that we are fully prepared and equipped for the cold winter months. It is very easy to ignore potential risks that may occur due to the change in weather but it is always worth checking on a few vital things before it’s too late.

Check your water pipes
If you can physically see the water pipes, be sure to check there are no leaks or cracks which cold atmospheric temperatures can find their way into and possibly lead to bursting a pipe causing a huge escape of water. Also check the lagging and insulation around the pipes, if it is thin or perished look to replace with a denser material particularly to any outside pipes or taps.

Familiarise yourself with the location of the stop cock
Escape of water claims are costly and can quickly cause rapid damage to your property. If you are unfortunate to suffer a burst pipe then it is essential you already know the location of your stop cock to ensure you can switch off the water as soon as possible and help minimise the damage to your property and possessions. They are usually found within the kitchen and underneath the sink.

Check drains and gutters
As well as escape of water claims at this time of the year we tend to see a lot of ingress of water claims, these are usually caused by gutters or drains being blocked and so it is a good idea to check these areas and remove any debris. It may be worth speaking to a local contractor to come out and do this as it may involve the use of ladders. This is also a chance to inspect the roof ensuring PVC or lead fascia and flashings are intact along with not having any missing or cracked tiles, again this will help protect against ingress of water.

Arrange a boiler inspection
If you haven’t had your boiler checked in the last 12 months then now would be a good time to do it. The last thing you need is a boiler failure with the winter weather predicted!

For a free review of your existing policy or a free quotation please call us on 0207 691 2409.

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