Should I get a drain survey when buying a house?
When you’re buying a house, or investing in a property, there are many factors you need to consider before deciding whether to proceed or not.
A list of questions to answer should include: what is the state of the drains?
It is sometimes overlooked.
After all, there are lots of things competing for attention; perhaps there is a kitchen to renovate or a choice to make on who to use a spare bedroom.
However, it shouldn’t be forgotten that drains are an essential component of any property.
A drain survey, carried out by a professional company, can identify blockages, breakages, or problems before you invest.
Identifying problems at this stage can save you a lot of time, hassle and money.
What is a home drain survey?
A home drain survey is a detailed examination of a property’s drains and drainage system.
The inspection should be carried out by professionals with an appropriate qualification.
On your behalf as a prospective buyer, they will identify any faults, or potential ones, within the system.
We recommend as well that it should be completed before you commit to a deal as part of your due diligence.
Indeed, most mortgage providers and solicitors insist on a homebuyer’s survey before a contract is signed.
However, frustratingly, that piece of work doesn’t always include checking the drains.
With that in mind, make sure you arrange for somebody to do so – it really is worth the additional time and money!
What does a drain survey look for?
So, what sort does a drain survey consist of? In short, it does more than you might realise.
It is designed to ucover problems, such as blockages or leaks.
As a guide, here is a flavour of the questions that will be asked by a surveyor:
- Is there a blockage in the pipes?
- Or a breakage?
- Does the drainage system have any leaks?
- Is there damage caused by tree roots?
- What about subsidence caused by drainage problems?
- How old are the drains?
- When was maintenance last carried out?
- Has there been problems in the past with the drainage system or local sewer connections?
- Is there off-mains drainage, such as septic tanks?
Why is a drain survey important?
A pre-purchase drain survey has several major benefits to you as a buyer.
The main one is a detailed analysis by a professional surveyor.
As outlined above, it identifies existing drains and maps out the network.
That allows you to see whether the system is efficient, or if there are any faults inside.
Any broken drains or blockages will be identified before you buy, which means you can ask a seller to fix them.
Any hidden problems will be discovered by qualified individual, as will any hard-to-spot subsidence or problems with a sewer connection.
A drain survey will provide peace of mind, examining the condition of a drainage system before identifying whether anything needs to be addressed.
It can also reveal any vulnerability to problems in the future.
To summarise, the major benefits of a drain survey are:
- Preventing serious drainage problems (collapses or worse)
- Identifying existing problems that the current homeowner, or seller, can fix
- Specifying which areas of the drainage system are your responsibility
- Looking for any major structural problems (or their potential in the future)
- Taking out appropriate insurance cover for your new home
- Saving time and money in the long term
A drain survey can save you money
Ultimately, the main benefit to you as a homebuyer is the fact that a pre-purchase drain survey could potentially save you money.
It will identify areas that need to be repaired before you buy, and bring to light any potential costs for future repairs or maintenance.
You’ll be better prepared, and more informed when it comes to preparing a budget.
Not only that, problems can be identified – and resolved – before they become serious.
You’ll also be able to arrange appropriate insurance cover if you know there are existing problems, or potential ones, that you may need protection from in the future.
Considering the price of a new property, together with other mandatory surveys and legal requirements, the comparatively low cost of a drain survey is a worthy investment.
What about septic tanks?
If a drainage system involves a septic tank or sewage treatment plant, then you’ll want assurance they were running effectively before completing a deal.
If you don’t check, and a problem emerges after you buy the house, it could be expensive to repair or replace.
OMDI can assist your drainage problems, including septic tanks and sewage treatment plants.
You should consider having a comprehensive inspection of either as part of your research before agreeing to invest in a property.
Contact OMDI today for your free quote
At OMDI, our expert team has plenty of experience when it comes to carrying out a detailed and drain surveys.
One of our engineers will uncover any problems, blockages or defects, and advise you on the overall condition of the drains before you commit to a purchase.
If you are unsure of the quality, or state of repair, of the drains or drainage systems of a home you’re contemplating whether to buy, then give us a call to find out how we can help.Contact OMDI today for a free, no-obligation quote.