When you’re looking to purchase a property with a timber floor, the lender will often request that a ‘PCA registered damp and timber specialist to undertake an inspection of the subfloor.’ Surveyors conducting a Homebuyers report have extremely restricted access to subfloor voids themselves, so need the help of professionals like us, an expert team of damp and timber specialists with the tools for the job. A subfloor inspection requires opening up works of the floor in the property, which is a long-standing problem amongst the owners of said properties – an understandable concern, to be fair!
To remove the need of ripping up flooring to enter sub-floor areas, we’ve been working closely with The Machine Lab and we’re very proud to announce our brand new, bespoke robotic camera system. As one of just two businesses in the UK with this technology, we are pleased to have increased access to previously inaccessible subfloor and roof voids. The system allows for swift recording of all findings for both parties involved (the client and the current property owner), to share the findings and avoid any potential dispute. The state-of-the-art inspection robot has high-powered LED lighting, multiple HD cameras and video systems installed. The savvy piece of kit cleverly uses these elements to investigate subfloors as shallow as 200mm and both laminated and tile flooring providing there is sufficient access.
Sub-floor health and safety
A huge advantage of this technology is its benefit to our health and safety. We can now functionally inspect restricted voids, allowing us to establish the risk of, or locate existing fungal decay, insect infestations and defective subfloor ventilation. In many cases of sub-floor inspections, it is practically impossible to identify any dangers lurking in investigated voids; live and exposed electrical wires, asbestos, and sharp objects to name but a few.
Furthermore, when investigating a roof void for decay or insects, similar health and safety risks may be lurking, with the added risk of the timbers having been weakened by decay or insect infestation, there is always a risk of the ceiling spars flexing, causing cracks or in the worst-case scenario the timbers suddenly failing. The latter can ultimately result in the surveyor falling through and experiencing severe injury or death.
Sub-floor voids, damp and corrosion
Numerous poor-quality repairs within the subfloor voids would not have been found without a sub-floor inspection, and it is vital you use a PCA certified surveyor for all works. See our first and second YouTube videos demonstrating our recent use of our new techy team member and what it can find! The robot identified numerous defects, dampness on the underside of the floorboard, condensation droplets, wet rot, corrosion to supporting steel and more.