A Dog is a Building Surveyors Best Friend

Building Surveying Dogs nose

Building Surveying dogs

Our surveyors are often followed around a property by the owner’s dog(s) when carrying out a building survey. Most are just keen to see what’s going on and keep an eye on ‘their’ house! We recently posted a few ‘surveying dog’ pictures on Twitter, a couple of which are re-posted below.

We had also written an article on Identifying Damp in Your Property  and during our searching, we came across a company called Enviro-Dogs. They offer a dry rot detection dog service for building surveys around the UK, so we have pulled together some information on their service below.

A dog has up to 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, compared to about 6 million in ours. And the part of a dog’s brain that is devoted to analyzing smells is, proportionally speaking, 40 times greater than ours. How can this incredible smelling ability help your building survey? Enviro-Dogs  explain their dry rot detection dog service for building surveys.

How does it work?

The building surveying dogs work in the same way as a police search dog; they search purely for the odor or dry rot (Serpula lacrymans) in all its stages of growth. This means they are able to assist on building surveys by effectively searching the areas that can’t be seen, as we mentioned in a recent post titled Identifying Damp in Your Property. They can detect the earliest stages of dry rot and potentially save an expensive repair bill.

The dog’s work is completely non-destructive, there’s no need to drill holes or used other destructive surveying methods. When the dogs make a find they get as close as possible to the source of the scent and then stop, stare and point with their nose at the source of the scent. Once the discovery has been marked by the dog handler, the dog gets a game with a ball as a reward.

What are the benefits of using a dog to assist on a survey?

• Dogs can find dry rot without any visible presence.
• Furniture and floor coverings are not a barrier to the scent the dogs detect.
• Dogs can cover rooms accurately and quickly; the average room will take just a couple of minutes to search.
• The earlier dry rot is found the better the result for the client.
• The dogs can distinguish between dry rot and other less damaging fungus which may grow in buildings.
• The dog’s search gives the customers extra piece of mind about buying a property.

When are building surveying dogs useful?

• Pre-purchase building surveys
• Larger and older properties where the risk of damp is higher.
• Properties in a state of disrepair.
• Buildings where the contents make accessing areas difficult.
• After flooding or other water related damage.
• Dilapidation surveys.
• In building with known dry rot. The dogs can help identify the extent and any other areas that are yet to become visible.

Using a building surveying dog might just be a useful addition to our Perfect Surveyor tool kit?


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