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Defect Diagnostic Inspection - Residential

Regular price £300.00 GBP
Regular price Sale price £300.00 GBP
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Please note, final prices may be subject to change

Elvet Chartered Surveyors is an RICS chartered building surveying practice able to demonstrate a wealth of knowledge and experience in the application of building pathology and defects diagnosis. We adopt a robust and holistic approach during every survey ensuring that defects are accurately identified and appropriate remedial works prescribed.

Incorrect diagnosis can be a costly in terms of both time and money, where abortive works are specified in error, and it is therefore critical that you receive expert advice from professional consultancy with a proven track record.

We rely on a hands-on approach to eliminate vague and ambiguous text from our reports; ensuring that you receive clear and concise information which addresses all pertinent issues.

Where invasive works or specialist testing is required to provide unequivocal evidence of a defect’s origin, provide a detailed brief outlining the extent of the works and any associated fees.

Our surveyors have experience and expert knowledge of resolving a vast array of building defects including but not limited to:


  • Rising Damp
  • Penetrating Damp
  • Condensation
  • Dry Rot
  • Wet Rot
  • Flood Damage

Building Movement

  • Wall Tie Failure
  • Crack Monitoring and Assessment
  • Settlement
  • Subsidence
  • Sulphate Attack


  • Insect infestation
  • Fire Damage


What are the common symptoms of Rising Damp?

Where Rising Damp has occurred, the occupant may observe some or all of the following common symptoms within the ground floor accommodation:

• A visible tidemark measuring up to 1.5m above the internal floor level.
• Rotting or decay of timber skirting boards affixed to the affected wall(s).
• Black mould growth and water staining above the skirting board.
• Delamination or peeling of wallpaper and decorative finishes at low level.
• Salts contained within the building fabric (e.g. bricks) can migrate to the surface of the wall forming blisters and leaving white ‘fluffy’ deposits on the plaster.
• Saturation of external brick or stonework at low-level.
• Bridging of the damp-proof-course (dpc) e.g. where footpaths have been raised retrospectively.

To determine an accurate diagnosis our surveyors are equipped with a range of diagnostic tools.

What are the common symptoms of Wall Tie Failure?

Wall Tie Failure can display the following visual characteristics:

• Horizontal cracks running through the mortar bed, which typically manifest in defined bands which mirror the formation of the underlying ties e.g. approximately every sixth course.
• Cracking is typically most prominent at high level (e.g. below the eaves) as there is less weight imposed than at lower level to restrain the wall from moving.
• Bulging of the external leaf is not uncommon where the tie has corroded and severed

Where you suspect Wall Tie Failure has occurred our team of professional surveyors are on hand to provide you with an accurate diagnosis.

What are the common symptoms of Subsidence?

Subsidence can occur for a number of reasons including but not limited to leaking drains, tree removal, undermining foundations and ground vibration etc. Evidence of Subsidence can manifest as:

• Cracks in the external walls measuring ≥3mm, which run in a diagonal pattern, and are typically widest and the bottom, tapering toward the top.
• The cracks are usually visible both internally and externally.
• Cracks will appear between weak routes e.g. between window openings at ground and first floor level.
• The cracks will tend to originate from below the damp proof course (dpc).
• Door and window frames may warp and stick.
• More common in clay soils.

If you see the symptoms associated with Subsidence in your property, we highly recommend you get in touch with our Chartered Building Surveyors to receive expert advice.

What is Wet Rot?

Wet Rot is a type of timber decay that can occur when an area of a building is persistently or regularly damp. Timber decay in buildings is either described as wet or dry rot, to which there are varying kinds and differing methods used for its eradication. Typical characteristics of wet rot are:

• The presence of thread-like fungal growth covering the affected area, which is amassing in the area affected by persistent or regular dampness.
• The appearance of cracking along and across the grain of the timber or the fibrous deterioration of the timber in the affected area.
• Timber decay occurs for a number of reasons, though is typically associated with areas that have been exposed to excessive moisture, from the presence of a leak, from a tap or waste pipe, or ingress of water, through the roof, flooding or ground moisture.

What is Dry Rot?

Dry Rot is a type of timber decay that can develop out of sight, with the presence of dry rot being indicated by the softening, distortion or shrinkage of affected timber. Timber decay in buildings is either described as wet or dry rot, to which there are varying kinds and differing methods used for its eradication. Typical characteristics of dry rot are:

• Deep longitudinal and cross grain cracking into cubic pieces within the affected timber, which is light in weight and crumbles under your fingers.
• Loss of the distinctive timber and resinous smell of fresh or healthy timber, potentially being replaced by a distinctive ‘mushroom-like’ odour.
• Distinctive stands of fungal growth that are 2-8 mm thick, from an overall mass which appears to be mainly grey or white, with possible tinges of a lilac or yellow.
• Indicative rust coloured dust can be found in thick layers, though is light in weight.