The issue of climate change is never far from the news headlines, and the impact this could have on housing is one of the biggest concerns Britons may have about it.
Many experts believe we are already seeing the impact of climate change through increases in both the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, such as storms and floods. This view has been supported by environment minister Alok Sharma.
That means any new build snagging checks should check the robustness of any flood resilience or protection measures your property has. Often this threat comes not from rising river or sea levels, but ground and surface water.
In some cases, this can be collective issues for a whole development. This week, Wales Online reported on the granting of planning permission for up to 202 new homes in Llanelli. The site is on a hillside and one of the issues raised was that many of the slopes were, in the words of Camarthenshire Council planning officer John Thomas, “quite wet”.
In this case, the solution will be an attenuation pond to provide a means of water run-off, thus reducing moisture at ground level.
Your own home may face similar potential issues, especially if it is on a slope down which groundwater may run during a flood. This is where it is important to check what provisions are in place to provide better drainage.
Sometimes homes can also face problems from the ground being too dry instead of too wet. This can occur if your property is too near a tree with extensive roots, as this can suck so much moisture from the ground that it shrinks and makes the ground unstable. This in turn can lead to subsidence, which can damage a home’s foundations.
In the latter case, it is important to note this is distinct from settlement, which is a normal process that occurs with a new build following construction as it finds its level within the surrounding ground.