The client had provided a list of items that they had requested to make comment on during the inspection of the property I was surveying at. All the items that the client had requested feedback upon were provided within our report plus all other items were highlighted in line with the RICS Homebuyer Report (Valuation & Survey) Professional Statement, 5th edition. I highlighted to the client that there was some diagonal cracking to the left elevation wall that was somewhat disguised by some repointing that had recently been carried out. Although the drainage inspection chamber was clear, I suspected that the cracks were being caused from a collapsed drain. I recommended that a drain survey should be carried out due to the likelihood of collapse due to the brittle clay pipes.
Following the submission of the report, the client was concerned with the cracking to the left elevation wall and requested a follow up conversation. I was able to provide some reassurance to the client, who was a first time buyer, by explaining the issues that were raised within the report. Due to the cracking to the left elevation wall, I expressed to the client, the need for a drain survey. The client arranged for the drain survey to be carried out and telephoned our surveyor to express their thanks because the drain had indeed collapsed and had been repaired. Going forward, I recommended to the client that the cracks should be raked out and repointed with a lime mortar to allow the stone work to breathe and if the cracks were to reopen, further advice should be taken from a structural engineer.
By John Hayward – FRICS