When conducting a property survey, most homeowners ask the question as to why do surveyors check for Japanese knotweed as part of the process. And more importantly what effect this has on the outcome of the survey.

Have you ever thought about why mortgage surveyors, land managers, surveyors general and even estate agents ask their clients to do a survey of the property they are buying to find out if the property has any Japanese Knotweed?

Most people would just laugh in response to such a question. After all, how could they know where the weed is growing or how much of it is there?

Besides, this particular weed is not that common in the United States or any other part of the world. However, Japanese knotweed is becoming an increasingly common problem in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe.

How does it affect properties?

Japanese knotweed can cause a lot of harm to properties and a property owner needs to know about this invasive plant in order to do a proper job of valuation.

Japanese knotweed causes no damage to the structure of a building, it just invades and damages the soil beneath the building which can lead to subsidence and a host of other problems.

Its reputation for causing devastating buildings means surveyors, land managers and builders are on high alert about it. Japanese knotweed spreads quickly during warm, dry summer months when its underground stem rhizomes emerge from the ground.

Checklist for surveyor inspecting a property for Japanese knotweed
Checklist for surveyor inspecting a property of Japanese knotweed

What should a new homeowner do?

If you are a property owner who has just moved into a newly built property, you need to make sure that you do a soil quality assessment before you do a survey or re-tender for your mortgage.

When you do a soil test, you will find out whether your neighbour’s property has Japanese knotweed. With this knowledge, you can make appropriate amendments to your property so that your neighbour’s soil does not contain this invasive plant.

A qualified assessor will be able to identify the main types of weeds that invade a property and determine if your neighbour’s garden is invaded by knotweed.

Knotweed can form huge masses that can exceed six feet in diameter. It can be found growing in every state in the US, the UK and many other countries around the world and has been responsible for widespread property damage in some areas.

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Do surveyors check for Japanese knotweed infestation as part of their inspection of your property?

How to tackle this problem?

The best method to deal with a Japanese weed is to not allow it to spread. If it is allowed to spread, it will destroy the delicate ecosystem that exists below the surface of the soil.

It will destroy existing grass and shrubs and will quickly destroy any existing garden plant that may have been growing below the level of the invasive plant. Japanese knotweed is very difficult to detect during the dormant periods between frosts because it grows below the surface.

Surveyors will visit your property and inspect it for the presence of Japanese knotweed infestation. The assessor may choose to visually inspect the property using a metal rod or he or she may utilize a specialized camera for the purpose.

The surveyors will write down the observations they make during their inspection and send them to the offices of your property insurance company. The office of property insurance will conduct its own investigation to verify the findings and ensure that your claims are valid.

What next?

Once you have received your confirmation of infestation the knotweeds will need to be removed. You can either choose to have the infested area excavated and graded so that it can be physically removed or you can opt for soil fumigation.

Both methods will result in the removal of the invasive plant, however, the graded excavations may take more time. If you choose to have your soil fumigated you will need to apply a soil fumigation management plan to the property.

Part of the surveyor’s process

When choosing a method of dealing with the knotweed issue it is important to remember that it is a perennial plant that grows up to two meters in height. Its flowers look like those of bamboo but their stems are smooth and thin which makes them difficult to identify without magnification.

They do grow up to eight meters tall and their brown-black flowers feature four-pointed tips. Its leaves appear to be pear-shaped and are highly overlapping.

To best manage this invasive plant it is best to address the issues that create it in the first place – that is, inadequate soil, inappropriate water, wind and human habitat.

In conclusion

Why Do Surveyors Check For Japanese Knotweed?

Ultimately, using a surveyor to ascertain the extent of the infestation will provide some reassurance of whether you have a problem or not and then more importantly, what plan of action you will need to put together to resolve it.

Once you have this professional advice you will be able to tackle the problem and more importantly be able to communicate with your lender if you are buying or selling the property.

Want to know more about whether surveyors check for Japanese Knotweed?

Knotweed Removal aims to provide the most up-to-date information, help and advice for YOU to make informed decisions. If you are unsure or uncertain about how to proceed, please reach out to us and we will gladly come back and advise you as best we can.

Governmental advice can be found here and the UK law covering the removal of Japanese Knotweed as stated under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 can be found here.

The best means to contact us is via our email – hello@knotweedremoval.tips

Do not forget we have a library of blogs covering many areas relevant to Japanese Knotweed, our free downloadable How-to Guides and Product Reviews on the latest methods being employed to eradicate or remove Japanese Knotweed.

Knotweed Removal, UK

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