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Commercial Surveyor Services

Bradley-Mason LLP is a Chartered Building Surveying practice who offer the full range of Surveying, Building Consultancy and Project Management Services throughout the UK.

Our senior level team provide expert advice, with a focus on a quick turnaround service to maximise value and to fully understand our client’s businesses and property requirements. Ranging from investment funds and private Landlord’s to High Street retailers and commercial Tenant’s, we offer advice on the whole life cycle of their property interest from acquisition to disposal. Our aim is to predict your needs and ensure your expectations are exceeded. We question your requirements to ensure that our services are tailored to your current and future needs.

What is Dry Rot?

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What is Dry Rot?

 Serpula Lacrymans, otherwise known as Dry Rot is a type of fungi that grows on timber.  There are six groups of fungi that are generally recognised to grow on timber, which include Brown Rots, White Rots, Soft Rots, Stains, Moulds and Plaster Fungi.  Only brown and white rot breaks down timber hence leading to serious damage, with Dry Rot being classified as a type of Brown Rot.

The Dry Rot feeds off the cellulose in the timber which allows it to spread, leaving the timber dry and brittle.  A usual tell-tale sign that Dry Rot has attacked timber is the distinct cuboidal cracking across and with the grain of the timber. Other visible signs include darkening of the timber, the timber becoming brittle and a distinctive ‘mushroom’ odour.

Dry Rot requires specific conditions in order to grow and spread.  Key requirements include damp or wet wood (moisture content above 20%), a suitable temperature of around 15-22°C and the presence of oxygen.  The most common situation Dry Rot is identified is where Timber is in contact with wet brickwork.

The life cycle of Dry Rot is typically described in four main stages;

  1. The life cycle begins when collections of dry rot spores come into contact with the timber in the correct conditions. Although individual spores cannot be seen with the naked eye, collections of spores form a reddish dust.
  1. Once in contact with the timber, the spores will germinate, producing Hyphae, which is a tube like thread and resembles fine strands or roots. A mass of Hyphae eventually form,  known as Mycelium.  As the Hyphae multiply and feed on sugars within the timber known as cellulose, the timber gradually decomposes and loses strength.
  1. Mycelium looks like a cotton wool type mass and spreads from timber through other building materials such as bricks and mortar to find new timber to feed on.
  1. The fungus also produces sporophores which is a self-reproduction organ. The sporophore sheds orange-coloured spores into the      atmosphere, which can then land on timber and if the environment is right, the life cycle of the rot begins again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are the differences between Dry and Wet Rot?

 It is a common question we get asked as building surveyors; what the difference between dry and wet rot is.  Both forms of rot are caused by fungal spores in timber which develop when the conditions are optimal.  The main difference between the two is, Wet Rot, as the name suggests requires a much higher moisture content (50%) in the timber than Dry Rot (20%).  This means that Wet Rot is more likely to form on timber that has been exposed to a persistent source of water such as leaking pipes etc.

There are also visible differences between Dry and Wet rots.  Wood rotted by Dry rot is light in weight, crumbles under touch and the wood often cracks in a cuboidal pattern.  Dry Rot Mycelium has the appearance of white turning grey silky sheets.  If the appearance is light in colour, this is known as a White Rot.  As all White Rots are types of Wet Rot, this can be used to distinguish Wet from Dry Rots.  Strands of Dry Rot Mycelium can become brittle if dried overnight, which can be used to distinguish between similar coloured Wet rot Strands.

 How to treat Dry Rot?

 As Dry Rot will only effect damp timber, removing the source of water ingress must be the first priority to eradicating an outbreak of Dry Rot.  Common causes of water ingress include leaking pipes, shower trays and baths, condensation, leaking roofs or penetrating damp through walls.

Once the source of water ingress has been removed, the affected area of the building should be left to fully dry out, ensuring the moisture content of the timber is below 20% to stop the growth of the fungus.  This can be a very time-consuming process, depending on the level of dampness, however specialist drying methods could be adopted to reduce drying times.

It is not always possible or practicable to wait long periods of time for the area to dry out completely. The use of secondary measures will therefore need to be relied upon, however in cases where these measures are required or damage is extensive, the cost of treatment will be high. The full extent of the outbreak should be determined, before removing all rotten wood, cutting away 300 – 400mm beyond the last indications of rot.  Remaining sound timbers may need treating with chemicals and replaced sections of timber should be preservative treated.

If you believe you may have a Dry or Wet Rot which is affecting your property, our experienced, chartered surveyors can help.  We will diagnose the cause of the Rot and provide expert advise on how to deal with it.

 

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DILAPIDATIONS AND VAT UPDATE

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As many are aware, the HMRC has revised their approach surrounding the treatment of VAT on payments relating to damages and compensation i.e. dilapidations. The new approach we understood will come into effect from 1st March 2021, after the HMRC have advised a push back from the initial date of 1st February 2021.

Following recent rulings in the European Courts of Justice, compensation and damages payments for exiting a contract early have been considered as a payment which is envisaged under the contract, hence should be consider for VAT. Previously, HMRC classified such payments as outside the scope of VAT because they were not paid under the contract.

Whilst there is still uncertainty regarding the impacts to dilapidations settlements, it is considered that such payments of damages, will fall within the scope of VAT. Landlords and Tenants therefore need to plan for this and consider the implications of VAT at an early stage, including making allowances from a cash flow perspective.

We appreciate dilapidations can be a mind-field, never mind the complexities surrounding VAT and here at Bradley Mason, we are well placed to advise how best to exit your property. Please do not hesitate to contact the team for further assistance.

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TJX Comic Relief Walk

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Julian joined the team at TK Maxx for their 2019 Comic Relief Property Thames Bridges Walk.  The walk started at Putney Bridge to Tower Bridge and included walking across every bridge in between, a total of 20km.  Julian then managed to slot in a couple of surveys, and walking a total of 32miles in the day.

The walk raised a fabulous £15,510 for Comic Relief.

 

 

 

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British Super Bikes Championship for Jake

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In 2019 Jake will be competing in the British Super Bikes Championship in the British Junior SuperSport class which is aired live on Eurosport then repeated on a week evening on ITV4 viewed my millions of fans as well as the thousands viewing trackside over the weekend.

This is a massive Championship and a huge opportunity for Jake to be a part of it at such a young age. Bradley-Mason LLP are delighted to be one of the 3 main sponsors to enable this dream to come true.

 

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