When a property suffers from an outbreak of timber decay, a woodworm infestation, or dampness, an owner's paramount concern is that the value of the property should not be diminished. However, knowing which company to carry out the work can seem a minefield. Thankfully there are a few simple rules which a property owner can apply to reduce the uncertainty they face in this situation.
Over and above the usual issues involved in any purchase decision such as quality of service, quality of workmanship, and value for money, there are two important areas to which a property owner should pay attention when selecting a preservation company; association membership and guarantees.
Property Care Association
The Property Care Association, formally known as the British Wood Preserving and Damp Proofing Association (BWPDA), is the nationally recognised trade association for the preservation industry and is the largest of its type in Europe. The Property Care Association stipulates standards of workmanship, ethics and codes of practise and provides guidance on training, legibility and standard specifications. In order to become a Property Care Association accredited remedial installer a company must train all surveyors to CSRT standard. The Certified Surveyor in Remedial Treatment (CSRT) qualification thoroughly examines surveyor's knowledge of timber and damp problems and solutions, as well as of health and safety issues.
When an owner encounters a preservation problem with their home they should always select a company which is fully registered with the Property Care Association to ensure their contractor has a certain level of training both in terms of health and safety and technical expertise. The Property Care Association will also act as arbiter in disputes between a member company and a client giving a property owner an avenue of appeal if a dispute should arrive.
Types of gaurantee
A crucial element of any preservation contract is the guarantee which both proves to potential property purchasers that the work has been carried out and provides fallback if the work has not dealt completely with the problem. Since the guarantee is therefore important to the resale value of a property it is important to note that all guarantees are not equally reliable: Most timber preservation companies offer a 20 year guarantee on works carried out but how sound is that guarantee? It depends on the type of guarantee offered.
Insurance backed gaurantee
Along with a property repair guarantee most reputable preservation companies will offer the option of an insurance backed guarantee provided by an autonomous organisation such as the Guarantee Protection Insurance (GPI). In order to qualify for this type of guarantee the preservation company must meet certain financial stability and trading history requirements and are monitored regularly by the Property Care Association. Surveyors must also posses the necessary CRST certification and technicians will also be trained in safe and proper use of the latest techniques and materials. Insurance companies like the GPI exist solely to validate preservation guarantees and should the preservation company concerned cease to trade the GPI would appoint another PCA registered company to undertake the works in response to a claim. The insurance backed guarantee requires a standard one-off payment (usually around £60 for works under £10,000) and the cost is therefore clearly seen and understood by the client.
Reducing uncertainty with the PCA and guarantees
Overall, in order to reduce uncertainty and protect the future value of a property when having preservation work carried out, a property owner should look for a Property Care Association member and should look carefully at the guarantee options offered by the prospective companies. In addition, as with any other concerns regarding the work to be carried out by a preservation company, ask as many questions as you feel necessary to provide you with peace of mind - a competent surveyor should be happy to discuss any concerns you have before the contract begins.
For more information on the guarantees that Wise offer
For more information on the guarantees that Wise Property Care offer on the work that we carry out then visit the following web pages:
- Property repair guarantee
- Guarantee validation
- Property experience and qualifications
- Approved property care contractor
Alternatively you can speak to one of our highly trained members of staff about the guarantees we offer by using the contact us web page or by calling 0800 65 22 678.