As a new homeowner, it is essential to check through the property for any major issues and be aware of the main issues that new homeowners face. This allows you to catch any problems early and resolve them before it gets worse. This can save you a lot of time and money in the future too. Below we look at how to identify and handle major issues in your new property if you are a homeowner.
Finding The Right Insurance
You should not be left to deal with the stress of finding the money to pay for things that were not your fault. When moving into a new-build property, you should consider getting Latent Defects Insurance. This can protect you against the costs of fixing your roof or other issues that come about because of faulty design or construction and aren’t covered by your guarantee, or aren’t being dealt with properly by your developer.
The insurance lasts around 10 years, so if anything happens during this time, you can rest easy knowing you have cover. You can find out about latent defects insurance here. If you plan to do any major reconstruction to the house, this insurance can also keep you covered in case the contractors make a mistake that becomes apparent a few years down the line.
Look Out For Roof Problems
Identifying problems with your roof isn’t always easy, but there are some tell-tale signs to look out for. If you notice stains on the ceiling or mould growth on the external walls, this is usually caused by a leaky roof. Check your roof (or get a contractor to do this for you) and look for any signs of rusting, especially if you have a brick chimney. The flashing around your chimney is essential to prevent water from getting into your home and keep the roof structure solid. When this becomes rusty, it will need to be replaced ASAP.
There may be some issues with the roof that are easy to fix on your own or through a local handyman, such as tile replacement. If you notice any structural damage, this is something that should not be ignored and could set you back thousands. This can be frustrating when moving into a new property, especially if it seems to be caused by the actual structure of the house whilst it was being built. This is where latent defects insurance comes in handy.
Be Aware Of Subsidence
Subsidence occurs when the earth under your property begins to move downwards, due to a shift in the soil water content. This is often caused by tree roots, as they begin to grow and remove the water from the soil underneath your home. It may also be caused by a faulty or damaged water pipe or drain. This is a major issue that could affect the stability of your property, meaning insurance providers will not accept your claims for home insurance. It is also a danger to the people in the property.
The main signs of subsidence are cracks on the walls, but this can happen for other reasons too. You may also notice that your doors no longer fit in the door frame and become stuck, as the frames begin to warp due to the structural changes underneath. Subsidence can be treated by finding the cause and fixing it, such as removing any trees or vegetation growing underneath the house. Failing to spot this early could mean getting the foundations of your home underpinned, which is time-consuming and costly.
Check Regularly For Damp
Every homeowner has to deal with damp at one time or another but failure to treat this early could cause damage to your ceilings and walls, which can be expensive to fix. Damp is most common in an older property, but this doesn’t mean you cannot get it in a new build, so you should always be on the lookout for tell-tale signs. Damp is also unhealthy, causing mould which can affect existing respiratory problems for anyone that lives in the home.
If you believe you have damp in the property and have noticed crumbling plaster, cracks in the walls, wet patches on the ceilings, or peeling wallpaper, you should get a damp surveyor to view the property. They can let you know where the damp is coming from and what steps to take next. You may need to improve the ventilation in your property by installing an extractor fan in bathrooms and the kitchen if you don’t already have one. Learn about how to identify and treat rising damp, as this is a specific type of damp that can cause serious issues if not dealt with promptly.
Keep An Eye Out For Japanese Knotweed
Japanese knotweed is a fast-growing weed that is extremely hard to eradicate. As the species currently has no predators in the UK, it is left to grow and fester unless the homeowner steps in. Left to its own devices, knotweed can grow up to 3m in length, breaking through drains, cavity walls, concrete, and asphalt, to find the sunlight and water it needs to survive and grow. Don’t worry too much though, as there are ways to overcome this pesky plant.
Certain weed killers are known to stop the weed in its tracks, but check the bottle to make sure it works for Japanese Knotweed before purchasing. The best time to use weed killer is in late summer, during the flowering stage. It might be best to hire a professional if you want to be rid of it for good though, as it can be a lengthy process. You should know what Japanese knotweed looks like, so you can check your property for it.
Being able to identify major issues in your home such as damp, Japanese knotweed, subsidence, and roof problems will enable you to fix the problem before it worsens. You may also want to get a home survey, as these can identify issues that may need corrected later down the line or are not visible to the untrained eye. Following this guide can help you to identify and handle major issues in your new property.