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Home buyers Survey Photographs of a 1930 Birmingham Detached House by our Independent RICS Chartered Surveyors
Front view. 1930's detached property. Having the conservtory at the front is unusual but the property has a very secluded front garden and a much smaller garden at the rear
The short bricks (headers) are likely to cross the wall suggesting that the property has solid walls but only measurement can confirm. The walls will be cold and prone to condensation.
The roof is covered with clay tiles. Two of these have snapped making the gaps between the tiles below that they covered vulnerable to water penetration. Normally such top of such tiles can be pushed back into the roof void and another easily inserted.
Replacing tiles in this roof is not so easy due to the spay foam insulation. The foam can potentialy trap any water that may enter the tiles against timbers causing them to decay or prevent ventilation increasing the risk of condensation.
The render on this gable end is bulging in places and at risk of falling on to somebody.
The air brick above the plant pot is important as it provides ventilation to the suspended timber floor in the reception room behind. Good ventialtion helps prevent damp and decay. Note how the slabs are partialy bridging the blue engineering bricks which act as a damp proof course. It would be preferable if they were entielry clear of the external groud level.
Note the thickness of the wall to the right of this extension window
The same window from inside. The plaster between the window and left wall tells us that the wall must be of half brick constuction or the side wall would be flush with the window. Half brick walls are cold, prone to water penetation if nt maintained and unstable if not supported or restraiend at frequent intevals.
This hole in the boundary appears to be a right of way for a cat or similar
The raised strawberry bed will encourage damp in the garage.
Salts and loss of pointing are consistent with the wall being damp.
The stepped repointing of some mortar joints is consistent with the wall haveing moved due to thermal movement on hot days. The wall has moved at the weakest point where the there are short sctions of brick above below and inbetween the two windows
Corresponding evidece of movement on the interior fac of the wall. It might be possible to stitch the fracture with stainless steel ties set into the mortar joins that cross it but the movement may then manifest elsewhere.
The angled ceiling is unlikely to be insulated and likely to be hard to insulate retrospectively. Note how the roof structure bares above the window opening. Hopefully there is a good sized lintel above the window opening.
The use of the timbers to secure this ceiling may be indicative that it contains asbestos as asbstos cement sheets are hard and difficult to nail. Such sheets usualy make a ringing noise if tapped. The asbstos is usualy well encapsulated and unlikely to be a problem in situ.
The white patchs on the wall were dry suggesting that they were casued by condensation.
The damaged plaster is also probaly due to persistent condensation but the raised exterior ground level and plaster touching the juncture of the wall and floor could be contributors.
The gap in the skirtings is where a fireplace has been removed. The stai to the right is probaly due to condensation in the flue of the firepalce in the room below. It should be swept and as apparently still active lined with a steel liner. The stain will need a special sealing paint to stop it comming through new decorations.
Decay of a lounge floor probably due to a leaking plant pot.
The light switch is from the 1960's and the small fuse box from the 1980's Old fuses have been repcled with circuit breakers but there is no evidece of any RCD protection in the event of a serious fault.
This damaged window frame may be hard to repair without replacing the opener.
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