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When will it fail

It's a question we are asked time and time again. Understandably when something's going wrong with your property it can come as a shock, you might not know something's wrong until water gets in or you see something fall down. Most people aren't ready for the expense it brings and we don't all have thousands of pounds in a rainy day fund for when our roof fails or chimney collapses. Accordingly, when we identify a fault, be it failing render, cracked leadwork, or rotting timbers, clients often ask us, when will it fail? What they are understandably trying to assess, is ‘do I have to do it now, or can it wait?'. We've always found this very tricky to answer, buildings can actually cope with huge portions of neglect before they physically fall down but much less before they leak, get damp or create a problem that will be more expensive to deal with in the future. This comes to the nub of it, almost without exception, something that is failing now will be cheaper to repair today than it will be in six months or a year, so can you afford not to fix it? Take the example on the left, this happened this winter just 200 yards from our office, I like many others had noticed the cracks in the render months before it failed, but the excessively wet winter was the last straw. You can see from the damage to the St John's Ambulance vehicle that it's really quite serious when something falls off a building. Tiles, slates, render, bricks, none of them are lightweight and when they fall from height people do get seriously hurt or worse. So my advice is don't put it off; look at your building carefully from time to time, you might not want the expense, but you'll save yourself money in the long run and avoid any nasty surprises like this one. A good builder can always tell you what your priorities should be so you can budget for the most urgent things first, so don't be overwhelmed by what may appear like a myriad of issues. If you want any help or a free safety inspection, call us and we will be glad to help.

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