Common Property Defects

When purchasing a property, it is always a good idea to undertake a survey, where you allow a professional to ensure you are making a good investment. A HomeBuyer Report or Building Survey are invaluable and both identify important defects prior to committing to the purchase. If significant defects are identified you will have an opportunity to renegotiate the price, over the years we have saved our clients millions of pounds, in negotiated cost.

Below, I will discuss and highlight three of the common issues we find whilst undertaking Homebuyer Surveys, hopefully, this will identify the importance of a pre-purchase survey, and why you should always listen to your Building Surveyor’s recommendations.


One of the most common defects we identify when undertaking Surveys is damp. There are two sources of damp, water inside trying to get out and water outside trying to get in. Older homes usually experience ‘damp issues’ without the required attention these issues will lead to a larger issue, i.e., timber decay. Damp struck properties will usually experience a notable smell as well as damp patches on walls or peeling plaster. In severe cases, internal joineries begin to rot and mould kicks in, in turn causing unhealthy living conditions, these tend to lead to costly repairs.

Damp is commonly misdiagnosed, you tend to find Rising Damp is blamed for various causes i.e. plaster contamination, condensation, or even water seeping under windowsills. The results are costly and can be pointless. You will find rogue damp specialist companies, offering injected Damp-Proof Courses. It is vital to have an experienced and qualified Surveyor on board, this will give you an independent conclusion to both the issue and cause.

Roof Issues

The part of a house that tends to be overlooked is the roof, out of sight, out of mind! Or not, The Roofs leaking in adverse weather conditions, can cause a host of issues within the property. As experienced Surveyors, we always ensure the roof is one of the first areas when inspecting a property.

Common roof issues are often overlooked or unknown to a property owner. I.e., Lead Flashing inadequately sealed, roof sagging caused by weakened timbers or overloading, slipped, broken or end of useful life tiles.

Roof maintenance can cost property owners several thousand pounds, dependent on the extent of damage, without regular roof maintenance, wood rot within the loft of the property can quickly take hold.

Structural Movement

Structural movement is another common sight for our team here at Icon Surveyors, particularly period properties, identifiable by decorative features i.e., cornices, string courses, brick arches, lintels and bay windows.

Structural movement appears in various forms i.e., thermal movement cracks in a wall, initial settlement, heave, subsidence, and expansion of building components. Solutions vary from wall plates, brick stitching with steel rods, underpinning and in the worse cases a rebuild. Identifying the origin of cracks can be a challenge as there are multiple causes. However, this is something Icon Surveyors can help with, our qualified Surveyors can diagnose the toughest defects.

It is inevitable that all properties will face some form of defect during their life, this could be due to a structural problem or poor workmanship. Here at Icon Surveyors, we specialise in both identifying and diagnosing Property Defects, we are happy to assist you in making the correct property purchase.

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Icon Surveyors

We are a team of party wall surveying experts based throughout London and the surrounding areas. Here, we share informative property survey blogs created by industry experts.



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