Sussex Surveyors carried out a HomeBuyer Report on a timber frame property built in 1997 with part brick and wood effect external cladding beneath a pitch tiled roof. The property was situated on Seaford seafront and, on first appearance, was considered to be presented and maintained to a high standard.
Due to the coastal location, however, the property was exposed to periods of horizontal, wind driven rain which often contains salt. As a result of these conditions, a common issue is that the double-glazing units fail (misting between the panes); the metal moving parts corrode thus meaning the windows do not open or shut. This makes the mastic/edge detail around door and window frames crack and split allowing water penetration to occur. On inspection, these issues were present to some windows and to the balcony door frame.
However, the main issue we noted in the report was that most of the metal lintel supports were corroded, deflecting very slightly and starting to cause cracking to the brickwork. Most of the lintel detail is of course concealed from view, so we recommended the client ask a known contractor to check the lintels before purchase.
As a result of their more detailed inspection it was apparent that all the lintels required immediate replacement with estimated costs of around £11,000 and the property was only just over twenty years old!
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