Real Estate

Things to Bear in Mind when Buying an Old Property

If you are living in the British Isles, particularly in Scotland, there are many things to consider when buying a property. If the building is more than a few years old, there is a high risk of damage from damp or other decaying conditions that can destroy the internal timber supports. While it is always prudent to have the building surveyed for structural integrity, there are other concerns, and if you are looking to buy an older home, here are some things to take into consideration.

Damp Proofing

Older homes were built in the days before we had very much technology, and the way they dealt with damp was to place a layer of bitumen between the lower level courses of bricks, which prevents damp from creeping up the building. This layer can easily break or crack, and once it does, your line of defence against damp has been breached, and it will begin to work its way up the external walls, damaging timber and plaster as it goes. If the property has a basement, you really should have it inspected for damp issues, as anything underground level is prone to dampness. There is affordable basement waterproofing in Scotland, as it is a common occurrence and needs to be remedied before it can do too much damage. Warmer climates tend not to suffer with damp problems, as any moisture quickly evaporates, yet Scotland is a place where it can take a week to dry your clothes, and that’s in the summer!

Wet Rot

This is a fungus that thrives in damp conditions and it destroys timber as it multiplies. If left untreated for any amount of time, it soon becomes a major issue and the repairs will be costly. Preventative treatment is much more effective, and for what it costs, a thorough inspection and report on any damp or decay that is affecting the property is well worth it. If, for example, you were thinking of buying that quaint cottage in the Scottish highlands, and you discovered it suffered from wet rot, you could insist that the current owner make the necessary repairs prior to acceptance.

Dry Rot

Similar to its dry cousin, wet rot is equally, if not more destructive and it can often be difficult to spot. For this reason, if you are thinking of buying an older property, call in the property preservation experts for a thorough inspection, as it is better to be safe than sorry. Bad guttering or dislodged or broken roof tiles can see the onset of dry rot, as it needs dampness to grow, so any breach that allows the weather to reach the interior, can be a cause of dry rot.

Buying property comes with risks, and by doing what we can to minimise those risks, we are likely to make a sound investment and enjoy many years of comfortable living.

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