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Property Survey in France – the Approach 

Our approach when undertaking a Property Survey in France is to firstly identify any defects / needs of repair, and clearly report them to you in the Survey Report. Our focus is to then look for solutions as to how such matters may be successfully resolved taking account of the age and construction of the property, thus facilitating your acquisition of your chosen property.

Many of the houses in France are of traditional construction, often including beautiful solid stone walls, and stone floors. Traditionally constructed properties never included modern techniques and materials, such as damp proof courses and cavity walls (to exclude damp), for 2 key reasons:

  1. Such materials and techniques didn’t exist at the time of construction;
  2. There was no need for such techniques, as the inhabitants knew how to run and maintain the property adopting simple and vital traditional approaches, such as ventilation, and the avoidance of modern ‘non breathable’ materials.

Accordingly with the correct traditional approach and materials, many traditionally built houses have lasted for 100’s of years and will continue to do so, unaffected by woodworm and wood rot, and yet the timbers within these buildings have never been treated with modern insecticides / timber treatments. Furthermore, assuming that the correct traditional approach and management of these properties is continued, they will never need such timber treatments.

Property Survey in France.

Ventilation to the timber within roof voids is critical to prevent wood rot and insect attack.

Conversely if the modern approach is adopted to traditional buildings, (for example the eradication of drafts, or the use of some modern ‘non breathable’ paint or cement based mortars), this will result in increasing levels of damp, higher energy consumption and the creation of the ideal damp environment for wood rot and wood boring insects.

When undertaking a Property Survey in France we provide a detailed Survey Report. This includes simple care plans for the effective maintenance of the property.  This includes techniques and materials to keep the house structure dry, including solid walls and floors, (even where there is no damp proof course nor cavity walls within the construction). This approach creates the dry microclimate that is preferred by humans, and is a very hostile and unattractive microclimate for woodworm and wood rot. This approach is centuries old in the making, and will continue for centuries to come.

This approach is crucial for traditionally built homes, especially if they are used as holiday homes that may be locked up over those cold and damp winter months. The last thing you want to do is to create an attractive environment for unwanted guests in the form of wood boring insects!