Alex French Associates
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Alex French Associates Services


AFA is able to undertake full defects analysis of buildings and their component parts, for both commercial and residential buildings.

As Building Surveyors we are often instructed to carry out inspections, provide reports and recommendations on what works are required. Also we are often instructed to inspect building works where it has been alleged that the works are of a poor standard or where the works have been carried out incorrectly, these reports often form part of legal proceedings against builders.

Properties often suffer from such defects as damp, cracks, subsidence and rot. A Building Surveyor can determine what works will be necessary to rectify the problem.

At AFA we understand buildings and we also understand building defects and we are here to enable you to get these works rectified in a professional manner ensuring that you get value for money.

If we feel that there is a specific problem you have that needs to have specialist investigation, we are able to assist you in the appointment of the correct specialist.

Some Common Defects

  1. Dry Rot: The fungus is often concealed behind panelling or flooring. It can spread at a rate of 1.5 metres per year and can destroy the internal fabric and structure of a property within a few years if left unchecked.
  2. Wet Rot: This type of rot tends to occur outside the property, in particular to doors, door frames, window frames and eaves joinery which are constantly exposed to the elements. However, if the damp proof course has failed or an element is allowing moisture penetration it can also occur inside as well.
  3. Rising damp: This is the movement of water through the structure of your house by capillary attraction. The surface tension of the water will pull itself up through the wall unless it is physically stopped. It is very common in older properties where the damp proof course or damp proof membrane has failed or is non-existent.
  4. Structural movement: This covers settlement and subsidence of properties with the causes being many and varied.
  5. Woodworm: This building defect is caused by the larva of a wood boring beetle eating its way through timber. If left unchecked it can destroy timbers yet it can be quite easy to treat if you know of it’s presence.
  6. Asbestos: This has been used in construction for over 75 years. It was common in most house types and was incorporated into many things from boiler houses and ceilings to balconies and walkways. Asbestos cement products include sheeting on walls and roofs, roof and floor tiles, cold water tanks, gutters, pipes and in decorative plaster finishes, to name just a few.
  7. Radon gas: This is a colourless, odourless, radioactive gas which comes from the earth's crust and may enter a home through cracks in the foundation or drains in the floor. In sufficient concentrations Radon gas can cause health problems.
  8. Lead pipes: In older properties lead pipe work can be unseen in the wall cavities. It needs to be identified as it can cause lead poisoning and can be expensive to remove.
  9. Faulty electrics: A faulty electrical installation can present a significant risk not only to you, from electrocution but also to your home from fire.
  10. Cavity Wall Tie Corrosion: The British Research Establishment estimate that over 2 million dwellings in the UK are affected by cavity wall tie corrosion. In extreme cases, where it has been left unchecked, it can cause the collapse of entire walls.


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