Building Survey reveals common problems in opulent Victorian flat

A Home Buyers Survey in London on  a sumptuous Victorian flat has confirmed that even well-cared for properties will succumb to the rigours of time.

The apartment was located in on a long row of similar buildings – luxury flats being a hallmark of this highly sought-after area.

The Surveyor reported that the Bayswater property was in good condition for its age. The Home Buyers Survey emphasised that there were none of the usual signs of wood-boring insect infestation or timber rot.

Common defects noted in Home Buyers Survey in London

Apartments built during the 19th Century tend to suffer from similar ailments; this can be due to age or to the out-moded building practices of the era.

Things to look out for when buying a Victorian flat:

  • Nail Sickness – corrosion of fasteners due to age and moisture.
  • Drainage problems – drains were commonly butt-jointed in the 1800s and would often leak. This can cause subsidence, particularly with properties in London (such as the subject of this HomeBuyer Report) which are mostly built on non-absorbent clay.
  • Spalled brickwork – years of redecoration produce layer upon layer of paintwork. This can stop walls breathing. This causes moisture to build up in bricks and then freeze during winter. The expansion of the water causes the bricks to crumble.
  • Lathe and plaster ceilings – the binding between these two materials deteriorates with age. This can cause chunks of the ceiling to fall. In this West London Home Buyers Survey, the Surveyor said that damaged areas should be removed immediately as “their sheer weight can cause considerable danger to the occupants”.

This Home Buyers Survey in London was a useful reminder that regardless of the postal code, an old home is still an old home and requires appropriate care.