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How Damp can Stop you from Selling Your Property


If you do currently have your house on the market and are looking to sell then there is one hidden danger that may halt the selling process. Obviously if you are lucky enough to find a buyer for your property then you would like the purchase to go through as smoothly as possible, however if your buyers see the words rising damp and dry rot in any building survey then they are  sure to spark into a panic. Not only that but the buyers mortgage lender will also require any problems to be rectified before they are prepared to lend and the selling process will have to temporarily stop.

Heres the Process if the Surveyor Identifies Damp in your Home

  1. Buyer makes an offer
  2. Surveyor values the house and Inspects for structural issues
  3. Surveyor Identifies Damp and reports this to the Buyers Mortgage Lender
  4. The lender will make an offer in principal as long as the damp is rectified
  5. You get the damp treated and fixed
  6. The Surveyor will visit your property again and finally approve that it is structurally sound
  7. The lender will release the funds to your buyer and the sale can complete.

Identify Damp before you Choose to Sell Your House

If you wish to sell your house quickly then you need to identify any damp first. As you can see from the list above, if damp is identified then it could halt the sale of your property and typically due to the time that it takes to get builders in to carry out any repairs and to then reorganise the surveyor it could add a couple of months to the selling process. At the same time your buyer may unfortunately choose to buy elsewhere.

What causes Damp and How Can you Remove It

The building industry is currently embroiled in a huge debate about the cause and treatment of these problems. Both are prevalent in moist, chilly climates so the UK has had more than its fair share of problems with them. But while one half of the building trade is intent on treating the problem with poisonous and expensive chemicals, the other half argues that it’s simply a matter of ventilation.

Ironically, because ventilation or a lack of it is one of the causes of rising damp and dry rot, it’s believed that central heating and double glazing amongst all their benefits have actually contributed to the rising damp and dry not problem. Modem houses are kept warm and sealed up more efficiently, generating more condensation and less circulation of air In most cases, older draughty houses actually have fewer damp problems.

The general population’s confusion over the causes of damp and dry rot has led to a prosperous arm of the building trade doing a healthy business in treating dry rot and damp with fungicides and insecticides. A trade that other builders say is based on customers’ ignorance. Opponents say that treating damp with fungicide doesn’t solve the problem, it merely gets rid of the fungus. Worse still, in some cases they believe it has only led to stronger strains of fungus evolving.

To encourage greater regulation, many companies and independent traders have joined the Property Care Association, an organisation that monitors the financial practices and damp-proofing methods of its members Like most trade organisations, the Property Care Association provides details of qualified practitioners and also offers a complaint arbitration procedure. The Wood Protection Association can also help with advice for home owners with structural wood problems.

Overall, experts advise homeowners to take a ‘holistic’ view to eradicating damp. Find out where the damp is coming from and fix the cause, not the effect Leaky roofs and damp cellars will cause more problems to the integrity of a building than just the visible one of a fungal invasion. Take preventative measures by making sure that your house (especially the cellar and attic) is well ventilated. If problems occur or persist you should consult an expert and preferably one whose main priority and skill isn’t the sale of fungicidal chemicals.

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