Home Buyers Drainage Surveys – On the rise and here’s why !

Always use NADC
Certified Drainage Surveyors


In recent times Home Buyers Drainage Surveys have become common place across the UK and Ireland. Building surveyors now recognise the true importance of these surveys and advise clients buying domestic homes and commercial buildings to ensure that they have a drain survey carried out by a fully certified drainage surveyor.

The National Association of Drainage Contractors have been working in partnership with the Environment Agency and Water Research Centre to develop the very latest certification course based on the Manual of Sewer Condition Classification 5th Edition.

A growing number of drainage contractors, most of which are NADC members now hold this certification. We advise anyone who requires a drain survey to only use a certified surveyor. This will ensure that you are getting value for money and expert advice.

Details of NADC certified drainage surveyors can be found on the search directory on the front page of this web site – http://www.nadc.org.uk with most of the country having drainage surveyors listed.

Here are some of the reasons to have a drain survey carried out by a certified drainage surveyor on a property you are buying or selling.

AN NADC C-D-S (Certified Drainage Surveyor) will provide you with easy to read and understand reports which will include:

1. Structural Condition Reporting/analysis

2. Mis-connections identification and reporting

3. Drainage system ownership – Private / Water Company

4. Mapping – drawing to show drainage system locations and components

5. Mortgage lenders may/will request a drain survey, Insurance company may/will request a drain survey. These reports will satisfy all parties including solicitors for CON29DW’s (Water Searches)

6. Home buyers may not be aware that a survey could provide all of the above information which is extremely important.

7. Water company could be for-warned about defects on there asset, saving time and money on repairs and preventing the buyer from inheriting problems

8. Most RICS building surveyors do not carry the equipment to carry out an in-depth survey to a critical part of the structure, everything else can be properly inspected apart from the drainage system.

9. Buyers are often left in the dark about the condition of drains which are often out of sight, out of mind and can often be in a very poor condition.

10. Insurance companies are often covering defective drainage as they are unaware of the true condition, a growing number now request a drain survey before offering cover.

11. Detection of Vermin / Rat Infestation within the drainage system


Question:  Who stands to benefit from a drainage survey ?

Answer:    Everybody Concerned !

Question:  When should these surveys take place ?

Answer:    Prior to exchange of contract or asap to prevent slow down of
the sale if defects are found

Question:  How do I find a certified surveyor ?

Answer:    http://www.nadc.org.uk
Simply visit the NADC web site and use the
search box on the front page.

Question:  How can I be sure they are fully certified ?

Answer:    Always ask to see certification certificate and ID cards issued by the
NADC to every certified drainage surveyor.
Non certified companies will not have access to these and will not
carry the certified contractor logo on their listing.

Question:  Who is responsible for ensuring this information is collated ?

Answer:    The building surveyor should ensure that their clients have a survey
carried out but it is ultimately up to the buyer,
never buy a property without a full drain survey.

There is no good reason not to have a drainage survey carried out – drain surveys remain valid for 5 years and should be kept as historical record. Survey reports can be re-used within a five year period as part of a sellers pack meaning they retain their value. Commercial / Industrial  properties should also be considered for all of the above mentioned reasons

Drain surveys should never be considered an additional expense, it is now considered to be one of the most valuable parts of the surveying process and is not to be over looked. Defective drainage systems are responsible for major structural defects in buildings, subsidence and can be avoided if located and corrected in time.

Cost of Drain Surveys?

A drain survey on a standard 3 bedroom property would normally take two hours to complete, however, in most cases the drains will need to be cleaned using high pressure water jetting, this would typically take one hour. Rule of thumb is to add on additional hour per extra bedroom, for example, a five bedroom property can take up to 5 hours to jet clean and survey.

Larger properties and commercial and industrial buildings will take longer to clean and survey and this will be reflected in the cost. These are also subject to full drainage surveys.

Most drainage companies will charge between £85-£95 per hour.

Please see the example report in the attachment at the very bottom of this page, this is what is typically provided by NADC certified drainage surveyors:

Martin Beattie

Vice Chairman


Alex Evans

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