Britain’s countryside to be blighted by 300 miles of Electricity Pylons

300 miles of pylons planned to link nuclear power stations and sprawling wind farms into the national grid threaten the peace and tranquillity of the English countryside.

The revised National Policy Statement issued by the Department for Energy and Climate Change in October 2010 did not take a strong stand on over-ground energy pylons. Consequently, countryside areas all over the UK are now faced with the prospect of over 300 new miles of high-voltage power lines and the 150ft metal frames that accompany them.

Read the full article here

How the snow can help you keep your house warm

It can seem a contradiction but the snow can help you keep your house warm.  This can happen in two ways.

Firstly, a covering of snow can help reduce the wind chill factor from extracting the heat from surfaces that are covered with snow.  For instance if your roof is covered with 4 inches of snow and say that the temperature is -3 degrees and there is a 20 mile an hour wind.  The wind chill factor will make the temperature have a cooling affect of about -13 degrees.  Your roof though thinks that it is only -3 and therefore the level of heat loss is reduced because the differential is reduced. 

Secondly, when the temperature rises above freezing, go and have a look at your roof covered with snow.  See where the snow melts first.  Compare this with any neighbours nearby and see which parts of the roofs lose their snow covering first.  (You have to consider exposure, aspect and other factors too.)  These weak points may be due to thermal weak points and show which parts of which roofs need insulating most urgently.  

To read other interesting articles on property matters go to the propertysurveying.co.uk website and click on the link to the Article Archive and Newsletter

Chartered Surveyor Help ?

An interesting article explaining some of the ways an Independent Chartered Surveyor may be able to help you has been written by a member of the propertysurveying.co.uk team.  This lists the work undertaken from building surveys to valuation work as well as the less common party wall, expert witness, retrospective valuations and other related work undertaken by multi discipline professional independent chartered surveyors. Read more here

Concrete Defects

Between 1900 and the early 1950s (mid 1960s in certain areas) many properties in Cornwall and parts of Devon were built with concrete constructed of poor quality aggregate from mining waste.

This aggregate was readily available at a minimal cost from the waste tips of old mines throughout the South West.

Unfortunately it has now been established that the minerals contained in the aggregate material can cause a chemical reaction which results in deterioration of the strength and composition of the concrete.

Not all buildings of that era are suspect. Many of the concrete blocks were made from good quality materials such as the course waste product from china clay workings, but as a result mortgage lenders now insist that properties built of mass concrete or block construction are tested if constructed prior to or around the early/mid 1950’s.

Inspections are carried out in accordance with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Guidelines (amended 1997) in order to ascertain that the property is not structurally affected by concrete degradation.

read more