Dan Townsend
Senior Operations Manager
May 13, 2021
5
min read

Home Buyers Drain Survey


There’s no doubt about it, buying a home is expensive, It’s the single biggest investment most of us ever make. By the time you’ve added all the associated expenses like stamp duty, legal fees and surveys, the amount you pay for your home is probably the most you will spend on a single purchase in your lifetime.


Home Buyers’ surveys

Surveys used to be fairly straightforward. A chartered surveyor would turn up and carry out an agreed level of inspection, ranging from ‘basic’ up to the dreaded ‘structural’, with an appropriately sliding scale of charges. Most people would opt for the least expensive their mortgage lender would accept. These days, against a backdrop of compensation culture and litigation, it seems there are more exclusions than inclusions on any official paperwork. So a surveyor is likely to add disclaimers about anything he or she can’t actually see or inspect properly — Usually meaning the drains are not surveyed!. Hence the need for a proper Home Buyers’ drainage survey.

Actually, given that legislation has changed the rules on who is responsible for which part of a drain or sewer, it’s no bad thing to have a survey which clearly shows what is what and which belongs to whom. Also, knowing about the general condition of the drainage system you’re about to invest in is vital when making your purchase. You certainly don’t want any nasty surprises like major remedial work because sewage has backed up into your new home!

Forewarned is forearmed.

Having a CCTV survey isn't’ just relevant for older properties either. New houses may have badly laid drainage, especially if the drains haven’t yet been adopted by the local utility company. Meaning the cost of any repair or remedial work could be down to you unless you have some sort of NHBC guarantee.


Drainage in older properties may be more susceptible to tree root ingress and that can cause a whole heap of trouble for the owner. Tree roots can cause drainage blockages, because once a root finds its way into a pipe, tiny hair roots grow and multiply and before you know it you've got a real problem. A survey will, of course, forewarn you of any likely problems so that you can take action.


If your property has been subject to extreme weather conditions, such as droughts and floods, there is an increased risk of subsidence, and here again, a CCTV survey will show up if the drains have moved and caused fractures in the pipe or any joints to ‘open’.


Whilst we’re on the subject of drainage surveys, it’s a good opportunity to make sure that all your drains are connected up correctly. Extensions, adding new appliances and DIY plumbing are all potential causes of illegal drainage connections. Often we find washing machines discharging to the wrong sewer, simply because people have been unaware of the difference between surface (also known as ‘storm/rain’) water drains and foul waste drains.


RGW are members of NADC (National Association of Drainage Contractors) Please take time to view their information video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMG_kMf4GWU

Contact us on 0800 0235996 or email info@rgwgroup.co.uk to book your Home Buyers Drain survey.

Our team of fully certified drainage surveyors are here to help.


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