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‘Where’s the drainage report from the surveyor?'

| Gerry Rowe

This is a photo of an open manhole just like the one found under the bedroom carpet!
This is a photo of an open manhole just like the one found under the bedroom carpet!

You would think that a standard house purchase survey would include the drainage plans, wouldn't you? Unfortunately, many people wouldn't think to ask what is included in a house purchase survey. Many more wouldn't consider asking for an extra survey to be done. Why? Because until something goes wrong, these things are not on our radar. 

In a recent news article, a Mum and her partner discovered a manhole cover under their bedroom carpet! You never know what is under your property unless you actually look – or at least get someone else to do it for you. Although legally we are all required to get planning permission for extensions and building works, not everybody does, resulting in maintenance holes being covered up rather than being re-routed properly. Building works could hide all kinds of additions and adaptions under your property, and you would never know unless you had it checked out. 

So how do we find out what drainage we have under our houses?

A CCTV survey and house purchase drain mapping service could remove the mystery of what is under your house before you agree on a sale price. So when you are having your house purchase survey carried out, you could ask for a drainage survey as well.

A house purchase drainage survey from ASL Limited would give you a full picture of your drainage system and where the pipes run under your house. It could reveal any horrors that might be waiting for you once your house purchase has been completed and it's too late to do anything about it in price negotiations.

An example drain mapping schematic diagram created from a drainage survey carried out by ASL Limited
An example drains mapping schematic diagram created from a drainage survey carried out by ASL Limited.

Drainage advice

At the very least, we would advise you to ask the right questions of the house seller, such as: 'is the property's drainage connected to the main sewer or does it have a private sewage system?' You would be less likely to think of asking such a question if you were moving from an urban area to a rural one. Some properties that are out of reach of the main sewer system have their own sewage system, and you really need to be aware of this. It is the seller's responsibility to reveal this information, but the seller isn't always the owner and, therefore, may not be aware of the setup. 

If the property has a private sewage system, you really will benefit from getting it checked out before you buy the house because, under the binding rules that govern private sewage systems, you as the owner and operator of that system would be responsible for making sure it complies. If it's an old property, the sewage system could well need repair. 

 

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