One of the things building surveyors will look for are abnormalities in ceilings and walls. If the ceilings are made of older lath-and-plaster, the life of these materials depends on quality of the original work that has been done but also exposure of dampness from the roof or any leakages that occurred over the years. All these factors significantly weaken ceilings and client will be advised to replace the plasterboard.
Ceilings made of fibreboard materials are often found in older buildings. This material is not fire-resistant and its high absorbency can course problems if chemical treatment of the roof timber is used as stains on the ceiling will appear.
Building surveyor will check the plastering of the walls, normally by tapping it. Shelling problems of the wall plaster can arise if walls are plastered while containing significant amount of water or if the plaster is almost impervious when set. In some occasions the complete replastering is necessary. Shelling problems usually appear about 6 to 9 months after completion.
Wall plasters that are well set after one year from completion usually proof very durable but wall plastering in older houses often become defected by dampness of the walls.
There are many other finishes that can be applied to the walls and ceilings. Plasterboard ceilings may have a textured coat and scrimmed joints. These types of ceilings would have slight movements that would cause a hairline cracks to the joint line. These textured coating can also be found on the walls over plaster skim.
While surveying the building, all walls should be checked for any hollow or loose areas. Special attention should be given to recently decorated and covered walls for any soft or loose plaster beneath.
Surveyor will also look for any signs of excessive condensation in the building. Condensation problem normally rises with a poor level of external wall insulation.
To achieve a finish that would meet the standards, any problems of dampness and condensation must be dealt with at the source and not trying to cover up the problem areas that will eventually reappear again.
The areas that are usually most affected by condensation or dampness in the house, are kitchens and bathrooms. To reduce dampness in the house, we should ensure that the doors are closed when these rooms are in use and ventilation is provided. Even small changes to our life style and heating methods can make huge difference to amount of water vapour generated in the building and in the survey the client should be advised accordingly.
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