Insurance Reinstatement Repair

Damp floorWe recently undertook an insurance reinstatement repair contract in Compton, Berkshire.

The semi-detached property had suffered a central heating leak within the floor screed. It could not be determined how long the leak had been established but the whole ground floor screed was saturated. The client appointed us to liaise with the insurance company and their appointed loss adjuster.

We visited the site, assessed the damage and advised the loss adjuster of the works required. We drew together a schedule of works, which we issued for competitive tender. We ensured a contractor was appointed to undertake the works and attended regular site meetings to ensure works were completed within the four week contract period. Our role included liaising regularly with the client to ensure that decisions regarding finishes were made in good time to prevent any delay to the contract and to enable the client to move back from their alternative accommodation as quickly as possible.

Overall, the issue was dealt with within a four month period, from the date the loss was discovered to completion. Our involvement in this project reduced the cost of the claim to the insurer, ensured that the property was sufficiently restored to its pre-loss condition, and enabled the client to be satisfied that works had been undertaken and specified properly.

During the contract period, we were also able to incorporate some amendments and alterations to the ground floor space that the client desired and we were able to clearly separate and demonstrate to the Insurer which works were part of the insured loss and which were undertaken privately for the client.

On completion we certified all works and valued them and made sure the contractor was duly paid. We are pleased to have been able to provide our services and without our involvement it is highly likely that works would not have been completed in the time and to the quality to which they were.

If you’re in need of a Chartered Surveyor to help oversee some insurance reinstatement works, contact RMA Surveyors Ltd on 01635 579208 or complete the enquiry form and we’ll get in touch.

Homebuyers Survey finds damp

HBR dampWhilst undertaking a homebuyers survey in Newbury, our surveyor discovered damp to the base of internal and external walls and damp also to the ground floor throughout the property.

The exact cause of damp could not be determined, although our suspicions were that the damp was caused by a damaged or failed damp proof membrane to the floor. Other possibilities included buried service pipes within the floor screed, which could be leaking.

It is very common for service pipes buried in screed prior to the 1970’s to not be properly protected. Copper pipes can react with the cement within floor screeds causing corrosion; this process is accelerated where moisture is present. In some cases, where we have found similar problems and pipes have been exposed, the copper pipes are extremely thin due to this corrosive process and prone to leaking.

If you have any concerns regarding damp or are experience any similar problems please contact us on 01635 579208 or use the form below.

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Discovering Dry Rot

Dry RotWhilst undertaking a refurbishment of some flats in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, RMA Surveyors Ltd noted in the ground floor shop, beneath the flat, a large yellow fruiting body.

On closer inspection and pulling back the floor covering, we discovered an extensive and well established infestation of dry rot (Serpula lacrymans).

Although not part of our original instruction, we were able to inform our client of the presence of rot, and were duly instructed to oversee strip-out treatment and reinstatement of the shop.

The rot was associated with a long term damp problem. The affected floor was a timber parquet floor, we provided advice to the client as to how the damp was ingressing into the property and delivered a solution to deal with the damp.

Although there was additional cost in dealing with the rot and damp, we managed to save our client a considerable amount of future repair. If a dry rot infestation is left unnoticed, it can spread to other parts of the building, potentially creating a far greater remediation bill.

If you have a problem with rot or damp please contact us for the appropriate advice. Call us on 01635 579208 or complete the form below.

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Building Surveys Provide Value for Money

Damp Meter ReadingWe recently undertook a building survey in Newbury to a basement flat.

The property was subject to quite a bit of internal damp, which would be the responsibility of any incoming purchaser to resolve, incurring all associated costs.

Living in a property while damp treatments are being undertaken is sometimes not practical, particularly in a small space, such as a flat. So there are logistical implications, as well as financial ones, to be taken into consideration.

The property in question was a converted town house, which had various defects externally indicating that no recent maintenance works had been undertaken, and there was unlikely to have been a maintenance management plan in place.

Potentially, the client was taking on a considerable financial outlay with this property purchase. By instructing us to carry out the building survey prior to purchase, we were able to highlight the potential of these costs, providing our client with value for money and peace of mind in undertaking the purchase. In similar past cases, clients have walked away from taking on such a liability.

If you’re looking to purchase a property, call us for some advice on whether a building survey or Homebuyers Report would be most suited to your potential purchase. Or simply call for a quote. Contact us using the form below or on 01635 579208.

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Lack of Ventilation leads to Mildew

Lack of ventilationRecently we undertook an RICS Homebuyer’s Survey in Reading and found mildew staining to the underside of felt and roof timbers. It indicated that the roof ventilation was not adequate, causing moist air to condense on the cold surface on the underside of the roof covering.
This defect is more and more common as building owners are taking advantage of government incentives to improve energy performance in properties, adding additional insulation in their roof spaces. However, if insulation installers are not careful they can block up gaps between rafters at the eaves and prevent the cross flow of ventilation through the roof void.
Ventilation in the roof space is important as it is required to ensure roof timbers are protected from such moisture and the resulting consequences.
A defect like this is not costly to remedy but needs immediate attention to prevent damage to the timber roof structure. Potentially we saved our clients thousands of pounds in future repairs were this defect left unnoticed.
If you’re in need of some advice on a property defect, a Homebuyer survey or building survey, contact us on 01635 579 208.

When Flood Water Recedes

Flood waters in residential BerkshireRMA Surveyors Ltd have visited many properties over the last few months to assess flood water damage and work with home owners to reinstate their property.

About 6,500 homes have been flooded in the UK since December, according to this interesting BBC article, which takes a look at what happens after the flood water recedes.

If you are concerned about any damage to your property, then enlist the services of a Chartered Building Surveyor.

The reinstatement process can be long and involved. Many factors can come into play that delay or frustrate the process, particularly where there are so many claims being processed concurrently.

In our experience it is better to have an experienced Chartered Building Surveyor appointed to steer you through this lengthy and sometimes frustrating process.

If you need the assistance of a qualified and experienced Chartered Building Surveyor please call on 01635 579 208 or contact us via our contact page.

For further information read Five Steps to Flood Reinstatement.

Problem with your Property? RMA Surveyors can help!

Impact damge to houseProperty investment is expensive. Remedial works for untreated defects can be costly and can affect the saleability of the property. Therefore, it’s important to keep your property in good condition.

If you notice a potential problem, don’t leave it, get a professional to make an assessment on your behalf. The cost of a Chartered Building Surveyor’s fee may save you thousands of pounds.

If you’re unsure how serious a building defect may be, seek advice from a Chartered Building Surveyor who can visit, inspect, report and advice you, provide remedial advice and put your mind at ease.

Recently RMA Surveyors Ltd has undertaken Defect Inspections to assess a variety of defects from damp, condensation, dry rot, flooding, cracking in walls, potential subsidence and concerns over construction works to extensions.

When you instruct the services of RMA Surveyors Ltd, a surveyor will attend the property and make a full assessment of the problem. Following this inspection a Defect Report will be written, detailing the specific materials, construction, implications and other associated issues regarding the building defect or defects.

If further advice regarding reinstatement is required we will also be pleased to assist.

For more information, visit the Surveys page or call 01635 579 208.

Flooding Insurance Reinstatement

If you’ve recently put a call into your insurance company regarding a claim re flooding or water damage, then now is the time to take a closer read through your policy.

Often your insurance policy usually allows you to appoint your own Chartered Building Surveyor to project manage reinstatement works – on your behalf.

For example; a typical Aviva policy wording states “…If we accept a claim under The Buildings we will also pay for the following: a. Architects’ and surveyors’ fees to repair the buildings. These fees must not be more than those recommended by the relevant professional institutes…

In our experience, victims of flood damage are often further stressed-out by the reinstatement process; having to deal with overworked, under resourced insurance loss adjusters and their equally overstretched (sometimes less qualified) in-house surveyors.  At a time when many properties are affected, often these individuals are difficult to contact and do not have adequate time to devote to their clients.

RMA Surveyors Ltd are professionally qualified, RICS Regulated and experienced in flood reinstatement works. We never take on more work than we can manage. We will provide you with peace of mind and ensure your property is returned back to normal as swiftly as possible. We will liaise directly with your loss adjuster, so you don’t have to.

If you are unfortunate enough to have suffered from flooding and feel a little overwhelmed as to how you will get your property back to normal please contact us.

Is your property affected by flood damage?

If so, get advice from a Chartered Building Surveyor.

A chartered building surveyor is an expert in buildings. Their professional knowledge and expertise as to how buildings are constructed, and how they perform, can assist you in a swift and satisfactory reinstatement of your flood damaged premises.

If you have water entering your building then RMA Chartered Building Surveyors can undertake an initial assessment, report the damage to your insurance loss adjuster, specify, tender and oversee works to their conclusion. At all times we can be your first point of contact and liaise with your loss adjuster directly in the reinstatement of your building.

Call RMA Surveyors Ltd on 01635 579 208 for advice regarding flood or water damage and we’ll be happy to help.

Protect your home against flooding

IMG_0810This is the advise being given to residents across Berkshire.

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning for rain in the district today (Wednesday), with 15-25mm of rain expected to fall within the yellow zone between 9am and 9pm.

There is also a yellow warning for wind in place between 10am today and 3am on Thursday. For more information visit: http://www.newburytoday.co.uk/2014/more-rain-to-fall-in-west-berkshire-tomorrow

If your home has been affected by the floods or water damage, call RMA Surveyors Ltd for advice.