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Buying a house with damp after survey

Postby Louk » Fri Oct 15, 2021 2:48 pm

Hi
New to the forum
We are buying a house and had a Damp survey which has confirmed damp in floors and under/above windows
House is Victorian so due to its age we expected some damp. My question is based on the report and how much it would take to repair etc, are we reasonable in asking seller to reduce house price by the amount ?
It’s quite a significant amount but we haven’t had the full report back yet only verbal from the surveyor who has been today
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Postby stoneyboy » Sat Oct 16, 2021 9:50 pm

Hi louk
Suggest you wait for the full report - it should give some guidance on the remedial work needed. Presumably the house has solid walls so there will always be some degree of damp.
Regards S
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Postby DIY_Guy » Sat Oct 30, 2021 10:39 am

Hi,

Who carried out your survey? Normal RICS surveyor or a Heritage specialist ROICS surveyor. If it's the former nothing they tell you will be any use whatsoever for a period property like yours. A normal RICS surveyor generally knows nothing of period properties. If there is a damp issue it will normally be straightforward to fix and 9 times out of 10 it will be poor ventilation. I like in a Georgian cottage built in 1802 and it had 'damp issues' flagged on our building survey. After extensive reading about older properties I decided to go for another survey by a heritage specialist and all the 'damp issues' were not really issues. Most of them were poor ventilation and one of them was because a wall in the cellar had a cement render so was trapping moisture. I chiselled it off myself and it has never been damp since. So glad I went for such a survey and I urge anyone buying a period property to do so. I only went for a damp and timber survey and the report was over twice the number of pages as the original full building survey.

Period properties are absolutely stunning and a joy to live in but you must ensure you read up about how to care for them. You can end up ruining a house if you don't. An example of someone in my village where previous owners cement rendered the entire property (a huge no no for a period house). Cement traps moisture and degrades the delicate brickwork. He has now had to fork out 100k to get it rendered with the correct materials (lime render). I am happy to give you advice if you want. For damp issues I firstly recommend buying a humidistat off amazon. You want to ensure all your rooms are maintained at 50-55% RH and the temperature doesn't ever fall below 15 degrees. If you do this you won't have any damp issues. My house is over 200 years old, has no damp proof course, has a cellar below ground level and we have no damp issues in any room. Whole house dehumidifiers are excellent (we have three!) and ensuring you have good quality extractor fans installed (kitchen, bathrooms etc) and that they are not clogged behind in the vent space.

Good luck with your new house!
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