“Look after the pennies, and the pounds will look after themselves” goes the saying. The idea is that by managing the little costs, you will accumulate capital. Nowhere is this more important than in small business, where companies can often exist right on the edge of cash flow management. Large unexpected costs can, and will, sink companies and with them, dreams.
One common surprise cost comes from premise maintenance. Water damage, wet and dry rots, and woodworm treatment are all examples of easy-to-avoid issues that, if left unchecked, could require large amounts of money to fix. When it comes to water damage and damp proofing, Scotland and the other countries in the UK are in dire need of protecting their properties due to the level of precipitation.
There is actually no such thing as “woodworm”. It is a blanked term which covers a variety of different insect species. They do, however, have one thing in common: they cause, over time, severe damage to the timber elements of a premise. The typical adult beetle will lay eggs on, or just under the surface of, a wooden item. The grubs then feed on the wooden item, causing both structural and cosmetic damage, before pupating and hatching as beetles. These beetles then repeat the cycle, further damaging the wood.
Treatment is expensive and can be time consuming, with the average house (offices vary far more in size) blanket treatment costing between £500 – £1000. Prevention, however, is fairly simple: look for signs of damp/humidity. As the insects involved eating dead wood in forests, they require a higher moisture content in the wood than is usually found in homes. This means that often where there is woodworm, so there is likely to be damp.
Cost of prevention – Varies from case to case. Can be done with as little at £115 with a dehumidifier.
Cost of treatment – £500 – £1000 for blanket treatments.
Damp Specialists Glasgow, Richardson and Starling say that “damp is the biggest day to day risk to the deterioration of your property.” If you are unfamiliar with the term “rising damp”, it can seem unthreatening, almost jovial. In reality, rising damp is a serious issue that can cause serious structural and cosmetic damage to your house and its furnishings and fittings.
“Rising damp” describes the slow upward movement of water in the lower sections of walls and other ground-supported structures by capillary action. The worst cases of rising damp have been reported at up to 5 metres in height, although most cases are much lower, typically up to 1.5 metres in height. Rising damp, like most forms of damp, is often misdiagnosed. Those unfamiliar with the symptoms can mistake it for something as simple as a wall stain, which is why hiring a damp proofing specialist is particularly important.
Cost of prevention – Average price per medium sized property for damp proofing can come in at £2500
Cost of treatment – Costs will compound, as several different tasks will need to be achieved. Full rendering for a medium sized property is £4250 average. Full wall plastering per wall costs around £225. Repainting of a room costs £450.
Water damage can be a very serious problem; it can weaken structural integrity, destroy furniture and belongings, and cause damp, wet rot, and a variety of other issues. More often than not, water damage is a result of leaks in the building allowing water access to the structural components and rooms in the house.
The damage caused by water is often serious is nature, and can even end up in requiring a premise to have a lengthy and high cost improvements to maintain the structural integrity. It can be avoided, however, by having a property management business regularly review the property for problems with the roof, windows, or any basements, the most common areas to supply issues.
Cost of prevention – Gaps in the building structure can be fixed for as little as £200.
Cost of treatment – This is another varied cost area. Costs can mount to tens of thousands of pounds, depending on the extent of the damage.