Japanese Knotweed: An Overview

Perjkiodically certain issues emerge in the property and building industry, for example electromagnetic fields, asbestos, radon and contaminated land. Japanese Knotweed is one such issue which has had increased public exposure over recent years and become the scourge of local authorities, developers, homeowners and potential purchasers to name but a few.

What is it? Japanese Knotweed is a perennial and hardy, bamboo like plant, with large green leaves and red stems and whilst not unattractive has extremely strong and vigorous growth. It was introduced in the mid—19th Century but It was not until it was included in the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 that the government took action.

The presence of Japanese Knotweed can impact upon mortgage lending, with many High Street institutions refusing residential lending if the plant is suspected or known to have been within the locality. This can be seen as an overreaction as the most commonly affected areas are generally drains and buried services, hard landscaping and garden structures such as conservatories, outbuildings and boundary walls. The plant is not easy to identify in the winter months, generally between October to February as it will tend to shed its leaves and die back. Once identified however, there are several methods of removal including biological control, excavation of the plant and burial or encapsulation with membranes. In most residential situations however, chemical control is the most economical form of treatment and this can cost between £2,000-£5,000 for an average semi-detached house. The process can also be protracted and take several years to be fully effective.

Whilst The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 does not make explicit reference to Japanese Knotweed, community protection notices can be used against individuals or businesses to prevent invasive plants and weeds spreading from their premises into the wild or other properties. If you are aware, or believe there is Japanese Knotweed on your premises, you therefore have a responsibility to stop or control its growth. Further information can be found on: http://www.nonnativespecies.org/downloadDocument.cfm?id=1176

Meridian Surveyors have experience in identifying and arranging treatment of Japanese Knotweed. If you suspect you have this plant, or any other invasive plant or weed, on your property, or indeed spreading from another premises, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Defects Investigations and Diagnosis

“We have extensive experience in the investigation, diagnosis and rectification of all types of building defects”

Identifying a potential problem in a property, whether you are about to purchase it, or have lived there for a long time, can be a real concern to most property owners.  Meridian Surveyors have the considerable experience of investigating and diagnosing a variety of building issues and defects.  We aim to help remove your anxieties and either put your mind at rest or provide professional advice on how the issue can be rectified.  We are able to assist with full diagnosis and help with organising and managing remedial repairs, including preparing schedules of works/specifications and obtaining Contractors estimates, if required.

Obtaining the right specialist professional advice will often save you time and money and prevent having to undertake works more than once if initial repairs are unsuccessful.  By instructing Meridian Surveyors we can provide effective diagnosis using specialist equipment and survey tools.  

endoscope-wirelessOften it will be necessary to undertake more detailed investigations and opening up of a building’s structure to correctly identify causes. We will often attend equipped with both the man power and tools to undertake the intrusive investigations ensuring the correct cause and remedy can be identified as quickly as possible ant at the least cost.

Our in house experts can, if necessary call on many further associated specialist consultants, allowing us to successfully diagnose and rectify most building related defects.

Defects commonly identified include:

  • Dampness and water ingress
  • Timber decay including Wet & Dry Rot
  • Cracking and structural movement – subsidence & heave
  • Condensation and ventilation problems
  • Identification of Japanese Knotweed
  • Identification of hazardous materials such as asbestos

Meridian Surveyors can assist you in all stages from the initial investigation, identification of remedial works and the preparation of specifications, through to organising and final implementation of repairs and remedial measures using local contractors and specialists.

Fees for an on-site consultation and initial advise, start from as little as £350.00 plus VAT and disbursements.  Please feel free to contact us for and initial telephone call so we can fully understand your requirements and provide you with a suitable fee quote tailored to your individual circumstances.  We look forward to hearing from you to help resolve any concerns you have.