What Is A Pre-Purchase Drain Survey? What Does It Cover?

Although often remaining outside of a prospective homeowner’s immediate attention, properly functioning drains are essential for maintaining a safe and healthy residence.

Identifying Drain Problems Before Purchase

Dislodged drain identified by CCTV SurveySome common problems within drains and pipes include fractures, leaks, blockages, root intrusions and general collapses when underground. This being said, those seeking to purchase a home are often required to perform what is known as a pre-purchase drainage survey. Due to the costs involved with repairing a damaged or completely collapsed drain, many mortgage providers are now requiring buyers to perform these surveys before they will be granted the finances necessary to purchase a home.

This type of survey involves the use of a closed-circuit television camera being inserted into the relevant drain. In this manner, any evidence of a blockage, cracks or other types of damage can be easily discovered. This is important, for if a specific area of a drain or irrigation system is identified as having a problem, the issue can be discreetly targeted as opposed to having to go through a massive amount of physical exploratory work. Such work can run into the thousands and a pre-purchase drain survey can frequently help alleviate many of these unwanted costs.

The CCTV Survey

CCTV drain survey reveals ingrowing rootsThe survey itself is performed rather quickly with the aid of a drainage schematic and should any type of blockage be found, it can normally be removed on the first visit, thus saving the potential homeowner time and money. In fact, a good portion of blocked drains are cleared within an hour after a problem is identified.

Using modern and proprietary technology, CCTV surveys are able to uncover a number of potential hazards within a drainage system. While the most common instance is a simple blockage due to soap scum, hair or food residue, these investigations can also detect cracks in a pipe, a joint deformation, a compromise of water flow due to roots or a collapse of the pipe itself. This technique is relatively non-invasive, so there is little chance of more damage being done to the system as the survey is being performed.

What Are The Advantages?

The advantages of this type of drain survey are two-fold. First and foremost, the evidence found is frequently mandatory when presenting any type of homeowner’s insurance claim.

Secondly, identifying the exact location will make it quicker and easier for engineers, architects or local authorities to identify and rectify the problem without causing ancillary damage.

Another benefit of obtaining a pre-purchase survey is the fact that, should a problem be found before one moves into a home, any costs involved can often be covered by an existing homeowner’s insurance policy. On the other hand, if a blockage is found after you take up residence, it is rare for the costs to be covered by an insurance policy. Therefore, the one-time price of a survey can far outweigh the potential damages incurred by not having one performed.

Accompanying DVD of the Drain Survey

All such surveys are concluded with a clear and concise explanation of the problem that is accompanied by a DVD of the process. Not only can this save on insurance costs, but the actual price of the house may be further negotiated by subtracting the costs of the work that may need to be performed.

These are a few of the primary reasons why potential homeowners opt to have a pre-purchase drain survey performed on a property before any legal contracts are signed.


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EDS unblocked and repaired over 20,000 drains last year for the residents and businesses of London.

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Category: Drainage


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