Readers Digest
Magazine subscription Podcast
HomeLifestyleHome & Garden

Home Survey: How to Assess the State of Your Property

BY READERS DIGEST

1st Jan 2015 Home & Garden

Home Survey: How to Assess the State of Your Property

In order to maintain the value and comfort of your house, here's what needs to be checked on a regular basis.

1. Get your priorities right 

Carry out a survey to make sure your home is weathertight, safe and theft-proof.

 

2. Take it from the top 

Start your home survey with the roof. A pair of binoculars is useful for inspecting it without having to climb a ladder. If you can’t see the whole roof surface from the garden or the street, ask to view it from a neighbour’s property.

 

3. Check the controls 

Before you start any DIY, make sure you know where the water and gas stoptaps and main electricity supply switch are located. Locate all the drains and make sure you can access them easily if a drain becomes blocked.

 

4. Inspect the loft 

Go into the loft to inspect the underside of the roof. Look for water stains on the timbers and for signs of rain getting in. Examine the roof timbers for woodrot. Lastly, check the eaves for ventilators—a badly ventilated roof space can be liable to dry rot, which often sets in along the eaves.

 

5. Look for overflows 

Check the gutters and downpipes for blockages. Stains on the house walls can reveal where previous overflows have occurred. The next time it rains, check where gutters are overflowing or where water is leaking from downpipe joints.

 

6. Is the woodwork sound?

Prod the external woodwork with a bradawl to detect rot under the paintwork and look round the edges of doors and windows for gaps where rainwater could penetrate—especially on north and west-facing walls, which are most exposed to the weather.

 

7. That sinking feeling 

Subsidence is the most serious problem you might detect. It occurs most commonly on clay soil, which expands when wet and then contracts as it dries out. Look at the corners of your house, are they vertical and square? Zigzag cracks running down the walls from the corners of doors and window frames are signs of possible subsidence.   

Loading up next...
Stories by email|Subscription
Readers Digest

Launched in 1922, Reader's Digest has built 100 years of trust with a loyal audience and has become the largest circulating magazine in the world

Readers Digest
Reader’s Digest is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (which regulates the UK’s magazine and newspaper industry). We abide by the Editors’ Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think that we have not met those standards, please contact 0203 289 0940. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you would like more information about IPSO or the Editors’ Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit ipso.co.uk