Issues such as damp, dry rot or mould can cause a lot of damage to a property; from health problems for anyone living there to serious structural damage. In most cases, it’s the responsibility of the landlord or property owner to deal with any internal or external damage and luckily, there are plenty of services that can help.
Everything You Need to Know About Property Preservation
Property preservation is the business of ensuring a building remains fit to live in and doesn’t fall into disrepair (often during a foreclosure period), and some people make a career out of maintaining the interior and exterior of buildings. If you want to know more about property preservation, how you can get into the business, and the types of services it involves, see our handy guide below.
What is property preservation?
Property preservation is the name given to the process of maintaining the interior and exterior of a building. All property preservation services are designed to prevent the building from falling into disrepair and ensure it’s suitable to live in – whether currently occupied or not.
Property preservation includes booking inspections to identify any potential structural issues, as well as a number of services. These include treating existing conditions such as dry rot or damp, repairing plumbing systems, unclogging gutters, strengthening foundations and more. We will look at individual methods of property preservation in more detail later on.
How can I get into the business?
There are three main areas you can specialise in when it comes to property preservation; inspection services, working as a repair contractor or a maintenance contractor. A degree is not necessary if you want to get into this area of work, although it can be advantageous. There are many courses and programmes available which teach the basics of residential maintenance work, as well as health and safety and government guidelines.
While there are cases where you’ll need to call a specialist like a plumber or electrician, property preservation managers should still have some basic skills such as changing locks, boarding up windows and basic garden maintenance.
A combination of certification courses and building experience is usually the best way to break into this industry, or you could build upon an existing trade like plastering or plumbing. Property preservation workers will also need to be self-motivated, organised and have good written communication skills for writing up reports.
Property preservation services
There are several common issues which a property preservation company will deal with, such as damp, dry rot or woodworm. In each case, a specialist team will be able to remedy the problem and ensure the property stays in a habitable state. We will look at some of the most common issues a property preservation company faces and the services they provide in more detail below.
Dry rot is a type of wood decay caused by a specific type of fungus which digests the elements that give wood its strength and stiffness. Left untreated, dry rot can severely weaken any timber in your home and encourage the spread of damp.
Luckily, property preservation services have a range of dry rot treatments available which can remove the moisture sources, eliminate fungus growth and repair any damaged timber. This will ensure the property is free from damp and safe from any collapsing structures.
Re-plastering is essential for repairing damage caused by damp, dry rot or any other issue, and re-plastering both interior and exterior walls is a big part of property preservation. Plastering services also include waterproof plastering, which can protect a property from the spread of dry rot or rising damp.
Rising damp is a specific type of damp caused by moisture in the ground, which rises up and brings damp to the walls of a house. Rising damp can cause serious damage if it isn’t dealt with, but there are treatments available. Damp proofing treatments and preventative measures include basement waterproofing, mortar injections and general repairs for any structures affected by damp.
Condensation might seem like a minor problem compared to the ones above, but if too much condensation enters a property it can lead to more serious issues such as mould, damp or fungal problems. Again, property preservation services can remove condensation and also take preventative steps to damp proof the property and decrease the chances of condensation returning.
Wet rot is similar to dry rot in that it’s caused by a type of fungus, but it presents itself differently. Dry rot tends to leave deep cracks running through the timber, but wet rot will cause the wood to feel soft and spongy to the touch. It may also leave a black mould residue and cause the timber to crumble easily.
Treatment for wet rot is also similar to dry rot; the damaged timber will be removed and replaced and the surrounding area is treated with wood hardener and preservative to prevent wet rot returning.
Many people dread the thought of a woodworm infestation, and if you notice the tell-tale tiny holes in any wooden panels it’s a sign that there may be woodworm present. Woodworm needs to be treated as quickly as possible, which is why it’s important for property preservation workers to carry out regular surveys of any buildings under their care.
Woodworm can be treated using chemical insecticide, and property preservation specialists can also repair or replace any damaged wood.
Roofs and gutters
The roof is an area which can get overlooked, but it’s important to stay on top of roof repairs, even if a property isn’t currently occupied. A property preservation inspection can check for missing roof shingles, loose tiles or any other general disrepair which needs work. It’s also important to keep an eye on gutters and clear away any dead leaves or debris every few months; this reduces the risk of flooding or other structural damage.
Many property preservation services fall under the umbrella of general maintenance and include things like clearing rubbish from inside and outside of the property, cleaning windows, fixing locks or repairing window and door frames. General maintenance ensures a property looks aesthetically pleasing and keeps it safe and secure well not in use.
General maintenance services may also include some more aesthetic jobs, such as repainting, adding new carpets or replacing interior or exterior doors.
Damaged pipes, leaks or any other plumbing issues can cause significant damage to a property, especially if they’re left unattended. Property preservation services can take care of any plumbing issues a property may have; from leaking taps to more serious issues like a burst pipe or faulty shower. Plumbing services can also include heating jobs to make sure a property is fit to live in, such as installing a new boiler, bleeding the radiators or general heating maintenance.
If you’re looking for comprehensive property preservation services, get in touch with the team at London Property Preservation Ltd. Our experts offer a full range of professional services and treatments to ensure your properties stay in the best condition possible. Whether you need help with wood rot treatment, dry rot, cellar conversions, rising damp and more, we’ve got the expertise you need. Our treatments are suitable for both domestic and commercial buildings, so if you want to find out more or make an appointment, give us a call today or visit our website.