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Property Record

Wet walls and soggy soffits in London

Our client Mr S was made aware of repair and maintenance work that needed to be carried out on a late-Victorian property.  

The Property Survey in London reported issues with the fasciae and soffits around the roof, as well on-going maintenance to stop damp penetrating the main walls of the house.  

Old walls susceptible to damp, says Surveyor

The HomeBuyer Report stated that although the walls were in good condition, they had been re-pointed at some stage in the past and continuous repairs would be necessary.

The Property Survey reported that: “These types of walls are structurally robust but can be prone to problems of rain penetration and condensation, compared with modern cavity walls. ”

Modern cavity walls usually consist of two rows of bricks with: 

  • One outside wall 
  • An inside wall 
  • And an air gap between them 

However, as the Clapham flat was located in a building that was more than 100 years old, the structure of the 280 mm thick walls was different.  The walls lacked the protective cavity that would act as a defence against damp.

Rain penetration is also known as “penetrating damp” and can occur through both roofs and walls.  

Dampness tends to cause secondary damage to a building. It may lead to mould and stains on surfaces. Mould can grow on practically any flat surface and may lead to asthma and other health related issues.  

Survey raises concerns over soggy soffits

Another potential cost, according to the Property Survey in London, involved replacing the perishing fasciae and soffits around the roof. These appeared to be made from softwood.  

An inspection should be carried out, checking the timbers for rot and decay and affected timbers should be replaced.  

As contractors would require equipment like scaffolding to do this work safely, this could increase the costs of work.

The Property Surveyor stated that the market value of the house was reasonable if Mr S was prepared to pay the costs of future repairs.  

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