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What does 'Drainage Survey' mean?

Drainage Survey

With so much of the UK's housing stock over 100 years old it stands to reason that much of the drainage is also the same age, or older! The conditions of drains is not covered in any standard survey and yet a collapsed drain may be expensive.

In older properties (Victorian, Georgian, etc.) the drains were usually constructed using ceramic sections which slotted into each other. While this works perfectly well it does allow roots to infiltrate and where excessive pressure is applied (say the roots of trees) they can crack and collapse.

For those purchasing period freehold properties a drainage survey can be a prudent move to assess the condition, and likelihood of failure.

Drain surveys work by moving cameras down and along the drain taking periodic images or video and highlighting faults (such as cracking or excessive scaling) and possible issues such as large roots.

Note that at present there is no restriction as to who can set up a drainage survey company which has lead to a large number of cowboy firms who either last very short periods of time or produce poor quality reports which will not provide a clear picture of the pipe's condition.


Visit the Property Resources page for more information on the National Association of Drainage Contractors that maintains a list of companies that have been vetted for this work.

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"... beyond the normal amount expected and that none of the walls are bulging. drainage - a specialist company that can place CCTV probes in the drains and create video footage that shows the condition of the pipes. As a buyer it is generally expected that you will organise any further..."
"... drainage Search - this is again provided by the local council and confirms that your property is entitled to be connected to the local sewerage and drainage systems of the area. It is really aimed at properties in more rural areas that may have their own septic tanks and in major towns and cities it is almost always no more than a..."

"... changes made to a good standard? The Local Searches Is anything being planned for the area that would affect the value of the property and does your property have the right to be connected to the mains drainage system? Further Enquires Are there any works planned for the..."

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Author of How to Really Buy a Property

I'm Tim Hill, Author of How to Really Buy a Property. I'm a property buyer, seller, landlord, tenant and I've been an agent in hundreds of transactions. I own a property portfolio across Europe but that doesn't mean I think you should to!

This book is my collective knowledge and experience that I have gained working within the property market of England and Wales for over a decade. I've written it so that you can benefit from what I have learnt whether you are a first time buyer or a budding buy-to-let investor.

There are no gimmicks here and no get rich quick schemes - just practical no nonsense advice so you can buy the property you want at the best price with the least stress.

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