In most pre-war built properties the ground floor was constructed as a suspended floor with timber joists. Air bricks were installed in the surrounding brickwork to ensure that a good circulation of air was created under the timber floors.
In many houses (surveyed by Mike and his team at Chauntry Surveying) the flower beds have been built up covering original air bricks which causes internal problems to the property. Dampness is allowed to bridge over the damp course and penetrate the inner walls and timber floor structure.
Because of the lack of ventilation, the dampness is trapped and in time causes rotting and decay within the timbers.
It is not always visible from above internally, however, if the timbers need to be taken out and replaced the exercise can be very expensive.
A full building survey will help to identify the likelihood of problems of damp in pre-war built houses.