You experience a range of emotions when buying a new home. Usually these range from happiness to extreme tiredness. Not to mention the feeling of freedom that you finally have a space to call your own.
With time, the euphoria of buying a new house or the thought of the freedom that comes with it will fade away. The emotion that may remain is the tiredness. Especially when you have so many physical inspections to do before you can finally arrive at a choice.
An often forgotten consideration when looking at new houses is the state of the drainage system. You don’t want any nasty surprises when you’re moving into a new home. Whether it’s tree root ingress, backed up sewage or collapsed pipes, undiagnosed problems with your drainage system will quickly rear their head when you move into your new place.
So what can you do to avoid this? A pre-purchase drain survey, also known as a home buyers drain survey, is a sure fire way to avoid any nasty drainage surprises. Read on to find out more about how this can save you time, money and headaches in the long term.
What Is A Pre-Purchase Drain Survey?
A pre-purchase drain survey will identify any issues within the drainage system, including blockages, fractures, collapsed pipes, displaced joints, root intrusions and leaks.
While a building surveyor will only lift the drain covers to inspect the condition of the manhole, a pre-purchase drain surveyor will use specialist equipment, alongside their drainage expertise, to identify any defects quickly and efficiently.
As part of the survey, you will usually receive a CCTV drain survey, drain mapping and a full report, complete with DVD and recommendations. You should also receive information about who is responsible for the different parts of the drain or sewer.
Recent legislation changes have affected the rules on who is responsible for which bit of drain or sewer. So having a survey which clearly shows what belongs to whom is definitely a benefit.
Why Do I Need a Pre-Purchase Drain Survey?
Knowing about the general condition of the drainage system you’re about to invest in is vital when making your purchase. You definitely don’t want any nasty surprises like major remedial work because you’ve got sewage backing up into your new home.
Due to the costs involved with repairing a damaged or completely collapsed drain, many mortgage providers require buyers to perform a home buyer drain survey before they will be given the funds to purchase a home.
Even if you can get a mortgage without a survey, having an expert checking the drainage system for faults could save you a great deal of time and money in the immediate and long run.
Problems that are discovered after you bought the property may result in you having difficulty finding an insurer that will pay for the remedial work. You may also have to go back to the vendor to negotiate the price for the repairs. A home buyers survey will remove these problems.
If there are any repairs found in the homebuyers drainage survey report, it may be possible to take the cost of repair off the property purchase price.
Having a 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.
If your property has been subject to extreme of weather conditions, such as droughts or flooding, there is an increased risk of subsidence. This can cause your drains to move. A CCTV survey will show if the drains have moved and caused fractures in the pipe or any joints to open.
What Does the Survey Involve?
A specially trained engineer will visit your property to carry out a full drainage survey. This type of survey involves the use of a closed-circuit television camera being inserted into the relevant drain. By doing this, any evidence of a blockage, cracks or other types of damage can be quickly and easily discovered.
As part of the home buyers survey by Drain 247, you will receive:
- Domestic CCTV drain survey
- A full written report & DVD
- Manhole location & pipework depths
- CAD mapping of the drainage system
- Commercial CCTV drain survey inspection
- Drain mapping, location GPS charting
- Recommendations and costs for remedial work
How Long Does a Drain Survey Take?
The length of time taken to conduct a CCTV drain survey on a home can vary. It usually depends on the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and washing rooms. The more drains your home has will also increase the time required to survey the entire system.
A typical drain survey should take around two hours for a standard 2 bedroomed home, providing the camera can travel around the system with no issues.
If the cam crawler cannot travel around the drainage system, the drainage engineers will have to use high pressure water jetting to push the debris out of the way. This will make it possible for the cam crawler to continue its journey of mapping your drainage system. Should any type of blockage be found, it can normally be removed on the first visit. Most blocked drains can be cleared within an hour of the problem being identified, saving you time and money.
There is no good reason not to have a home buyers drainage survey carried out. Drain surveys remain valid for 5 years and can be kept as historical record. They can also help you avoid any unforeseen problems and potentially save you thousands of pounds in the process.