Don't get your feet wet

Hypostle Architects talk about the importance of maintaining your property

As part of our Ask The Experts service, we welcome guest blogger Jo Parry from Hypostle Architects.

Water ingress can potentially be very serious. Most often water penetrates at roof level either through a defective flat felt roof, slipped or broken slates, deteriorating chimneys, poorly maintained flashings or blocked pipes.  Ignoring a small watermark on your ceiling is, of course, the easy option and we often encounter owners who repeatedly decorate over these hoping the defect will magically disappear.  However, turning a blind eye to this initial sign can have disastrous consequences.  Over the years we have regularly had calls from owners who have suffered from collapsed ceilings and floods, only to discover they had been aware of a defect for many months. When signs of water ingress in your property become evident, concurrent hidden defects may also be occurring.  

Over time and through many months or years of ingress, dry and wet rot outbreaks are common.  It is only when exposure behind window panels or underneath floor coverings unveils this rot, which has destroyed not only structural timbers but also the finishes to a property, that an owner becomes aware that major remedial works are required. We have been involved in repairs where severe water ingress has damaged ceilings, cornices, walls and floors to 4 levels of flats as the water travels from roof down to ground level affecting the structural integrity of the building on its way.

Fixing problems at this stage is costly and disruptive. Where ceilings have collapsed and rot outbreaks are intense, some rooms become uninhabitable until both the external and internal defects are remedied.  The value of your property can also significantly reduce, sometimes to the point of becoming unsaleable.

To prevent this happening to you, make sure you maintain your property regularly and arrange for your roof/slates/gutters to be checked annually.  Knowing the condition of your property may prevent large, unexpected bills at a later date.  

If you have any questions on this topic or anything around the maintenance of your property, Hypostyle will be available in the ESPC showroom every Thursday in November 12-2pm. Please drop in for a chat, or alternatively contact Jo Parry at Hypostyle Architects on 0131 555 0688 or joanna@hypostyle.co.uk.