If you’re shopping around to buy a house or even to rent, you’ve no doubt got 101 things to think about.
Sometimes the essentials like water, gas and electricity are taken as a given when you go to view a property. You’re busy thinking about whether the kitchen or bedrooms are big enough or whether there’s a good parking space outside.
However, there are some important things to bear in mind when it comes to the plumbing. So we’ve put together a list of things to look out for when you go house hunting so that you’re not caught off guard when you eventually put in an offer.
Look out for mould and damp
This is such a common problem, particularly in older houses. The walls might look clean now but after a few weeks those little black spots will start appearing and stain your wallpaper.
Some cases of damp or mould might be a simple fix, others that are related to structural problems like issues with the roof could end up being expensive.
This is why it’s important to get a surveyor to take a look at the property to assess any damage that will need to be fixed.
Flush the toilet
It might seem a bit awkward to start flushing toilets during a viewing but a toilet can tell you a lot about the condition of the plumbing. If it’s a weak flush or if there are weird noises, it could highlight a problem that may need fixing or show that the toilet to be replaced.
Test out sinks and drains
Take a look at how the sinks drain. If they look like they’re draining slowly, this could signify a larger problem with underground sewage pipes or blockages that someone will need to take a look at.
In this case, a plumber or drainage company will be able diagnose any problems and advise you on how best to fix them.
Check water pressure
The best way to see what the water pressure is like is to simply turn the shower on and see for yourself. Again you’ll be able to see whether it drains quickly and if not whether there’s a potential problem lurking in the drains.
Inspect for leaks
The last thing you want is to fork out for a repair bill to fix leaks as soon as you move in. Tell-tale signs of leaks include rust or water stains on carpets and mould on ceilings or walls.
If you can get a professional in to assess the plumbing and check for pipe or roof leaks, you won’t be in for any nasty surprises.
Take a look at the boiler
Knowing how old your boiler is before you get the keys is important so you’re not hit with a huge expense because the boiler should have been replaced years ago. That way you can either plan for the costs or make other arrangements.
Look for signs of corrosion, rust or a build-up that could turn into a bigger, more expensive problem down the line.
If possible you should also ask to see the boiler’s service history as this will give you a clearer picture about any concerns an engineer has had in the past.
Get a local plumber on speed dial
If all goes to plan and you move in, a plumber should be on your list of contacts. Even if you don’t see any problems when you move in, anything can go wrong with your pipes or boiler so it’s always worth having a number to hand.