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How to identify and resolve structural problems in older properties Fri, 18 Jul 2014 14:31

Subsidence and other structural issues can be alarming to discover in a period home or other older property. The problem may deteriorate to the point that you decide to find a quick buyer for your property, but you can avoid this by identifying and repairing issues in good time. Keep an eye out for missing roof tiles, out of control trees and shrubs, leaking rainwater goods and cracked drains, as leaving them unaddressed can lead to structural problems in your property.


To some extent, movement is inevitable in an older building, with formerly popular building materials like lime likely to mean some degree of structural shifting. However, you should still pay close attention to any cracks that arise, given the maintenance issues that can accompany them. Movement may also occur due to poorly considered alterations or a failed structural element.


Seeking advice from a structural engineer specialising in buildings of the same type and age as yours can help you to determine the cause of any problem. Especially serious problems may make it necessary to prop the building temporarily, which should again be done by experts. Rot is the cause of many structural issues in traditional buildings. It is vital to deal with damp problems before they deteriorate, given how they can lead to weakening roof rafters and even the frames of timber-framed structures.


You can address damp through the repair and cleaning of gutters and downpipes, the replacement of missing tiles or slates and simply by keeping a lookout for areas where the penetration of moisture may lead to damage to your building's structural elements. Shrubs and trees can also cause structural problems in traditional properties, their roots potentially sucking moisture from the soil and causing downward movement of the ground supporting a building.


If you do suspect structural problems, you should promptly get in touch with your insurance company, so that they can undertake investigations. You are likely to see heightened insurance premiums and may struggle to find a new insurer in the future. Although various means exist of fixing structural damage, careful repairs to try to retain the structure's integrity are better than rebuilding.


If structural problems have rendered your period house extremely difficult or impossible to sell on the open market, contact Dream House Buyer. Our hassle-free and efficient service is ideal for those wishing to find a quick buyer for their property, whatever its condition. 

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