FAST AND RELIABLE MUNDIC TESTING

If you are buying a property in Cornwall or Devon that was built between 1900 and 1960, it is likely that your mortgage lender has requested a Mundic Test. This may sound a little daunting but it will provide the lender with assurance that there is no mundic present in any of the concrete and that the property is structurally sound.

We understand the urgency of these tests and are proud to offer the fastest and most reliable mundic tests in Cornwall and Devon, coupled with excellent customer service.

To enquire now please fill in our form below and one of our friendly team will be in touch.

What is 'Mundic?'

 

sulphidess

Mundic is a Cornish mining term for the sulphide mineral Pyrite, or Fool’s Gold, it is a phrase used to describe concrete blocks that contain waste mining materials and aggregates which were produced en-masse between 1900 and 1960. These blocks were frequently used in construction throughout the south-west of England but more pre-dominantly in Devon and Cornwall.

Why can the presence of Mundic be a problem?

Progressive degredation

The presence of mundic in a property makes it more susceptible to deterioration. When exposed to moisture, the mundic ‘attacks’ the cement causing the concrete to weaken, crumble and – in the worst cases – completely fall apart. Naturally, this can cause major structural issues and even cash-buyers should take caution to ensure that there are no further problems when it comes to selling the property or passing it on as inheritance.

 

Why does my mortgage provider want me to have a Mundic test?

Over the last few years, mortgage lenders have become increasingly cautious of the Mundic problem and tests are often instructed to prove the type of construction materials used rather than solely testing for the presence of Mundic and concrete degredation.

 

In addition, lenders may now ask for more extensive testing of buildings containing leasehold flats and apartments, some insisting on the repeat of formerly ‘clear’ tests in circumstances where the original surveyor is no longer available to re-assign the report.

 

Prior to application for a Mundic test, seek advice form your mortgage lender on their specific requirements as these will enable us to tailor our work to suit you. Please be assured that our staff are highly experienced in all aspects of Mundic testing work and remain on hand throughout to support and guide you through this procedure.

What is a mundic test?

Whilst intrusive, a mundic test is fairly straightforward and involves drilling into the property’s walls to take core samples. One of our mundic surveyors will visit the property with a driller, they will then direct where to take samples from to best represent the property’s construction.

 

These samples are sent to a local laboratory where they are analysed for the presence of mundic. Lastly, our surveyor writes a detailed report, clearly stating the result and any implications this may have.

Mundic testing

 

 

Can I find out if the property been tested for mundic before?

samples

If the property has been tested previously by Cornwall Consultants then you can contact us check, however, we are not able to provide you with the outcome of any previous tests due to confidentiality agreements with previous clients.

We appreciate this can be frustrating and, as an alternative, advise checking on the Mundic Property Search Tool, offered by our friends Petrolab, which may provide more information.

It is important to note that mortgage lenders will want to see the buyers name, and occasionally their own, on the mundic report. If your name is not present then you are not able to legally rely on it.

Existing mundic reports can be transferred to a new client by the original attending surveyor however in most cases, that individual has ceased trading or no longer offers this service and a transfer is not possible. In addition, new Mundic Testing regulations mean that many reports older than 6-10 years are not able to be re-assigned regardless.  

Does the Mundic report have to be in my name or can I use an old one?
Your mortgage lender will always want to see your name and sometimes theirs, on the Mundic report. If it doesn’t have your name on it, then you can’t legally rely on it even if the result is correct.

Reports can be re-assigned (transferred) to a new client by the original attending surveyor, but many surveyors who previously provided this service have ceased trading or no longer offer the service and therefore re-assignment is not possible.

Changes to the rules governing Mundic testing mean that many reports older than 6-10 years are not re-assigned.

How long does a Mundic test report last?
There is no fixed rule on this (see the answer to the previous question). If you have sight of an old report then give us a call to discuss it on 01209 313511.

A new Mundic test with us will last longer than those historic ones. Cornwall Consultants Ltd no longer relies on external independent surveyors but undertakes this work in house, meaning that we retain the power to transfer reports in the future.

How much does a Mundic Test cost?

A standard Stage 1 Mundic test costs from £435 excluding VAT and this applies to a typical residential dwelling in mid or west Cornwall. Please be advised, higher fees apply to larger properties, commercial sites and those in the east Cornwall and west Devon areas.

How long does it take to get mundic test results?

We understand that for many speed is key when requesting a mundic test and are proud of being the fastest provider of Mundic Tests in the region.

The sampling is often taken within eight days of applying – often quicker – and the laboratory analysis takes between 24 and 48 hours during which time we are frequently able to provide verbal results and advice.

Our final surveyors report is completed as soon as the written laboratory results are received so as an example time frame, if you placed a Mundic Test order today you would likely have the final report in your hands in two weeks.

If you need an urgent Mundic Test let us know on application and we will do everything we can to meet your deadline. Order now using our form below.

Who sets the regulations for Mundic tests?

Guidelines on mundic test requirements are provided by The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Cornwall Consultants Limited are proud to have a dedicated and RICS qualified chartered surveyor on our team – link to team page. He brings numerous years of mundic assessment experience to our mundic test offering and has formed a strong relationship with our local laboratory.

All our findings are detailed in a combined report which has been specially designed to meet the requirements of all major mortgage lenders and comply with the RICS Mundic Guidance Note 3rd Edition.

What do my Mundic test results mean?

The initial Stage 1 Mundic screening test will classify the concrete in the following:

  • Class A1
  • Class C1 or C2
  • Unclassified

Stage 2 analysis can then be undertaken to further classify the samples in to:

  • Class A2
  • Class B

If further investigation is required, a Stage 3 test can give the classification:

  • Class A3
  • Class B

Anything with ‘A’ in it is good news and this is the ideal scenario but whilst the others might be a problem, several of these can be rectified by the removal of affected concrete.

 

For more detailed information about what each of these classifications mean, please refer to our Mundic Classifications Guide below/below right.

I also need a Homebuyer's Survey - can you help?

We don’t undertake Homebuyer’s; Valuation or Building Surveys directly, however we can recommend the following professionals to assist:

R H Benwell & Associates

M Mullaly Chartered Surveyor

To initiate a Mundic Test or just find out more please fill out the form below and we’ll contact you shortly. If you’ve already had a test and want to know what the result means, just click the tabs on the right……>>>>>>>>>>>

  • We will email you with a quotation as soon as possible after you submit this enquiry. Sometimes, we might contact you for more information before confirming the final price.
  • Please add your phone number if prefer to receive a phone call about your enquiry.
    Knowing the size of the building helps us to provide the lowest appropriate price.
    All extensions and outbuildings will need to be considered irrespective of building material unless evidence of 'safe' age can be provided.
  • Mortgage lenders typically wish to be included on the report. Please include the name of the bank/building society if there is one.

Class A1 – PASS – MORTGAGEABLE

Class A1 means that no mundic has been found in the concrete; it is not affected now, nor can it become affected in the future*.

This is determined by a normal STAGE1 screening test, the most common test undertaken and always the starting point. About 80% of Stage1 tests achieve Class A1.

*Although ClassA1 samples cannot change, samples are only taken at certain points. Mundic can occur in a property Classed A1, if a mixture of concrete was used and no sample of the affected area was taken. It is the role of the surveyor to design a representative sampling regime in accordance with the RICS guidance.

UNCLASSIFIED

(needs further testing to determine mortgageability)

‘Unclassified’ means that some mundic has been identified in the concrete but we can’t tell how much from the Stage 1 screening test.

This is determined by Stage 1 testing, but no specific classification can be assigned without doing more detailed testing by one of the Stage 2 methods. Many ‘unclassified’ concrete samples go on to pass at Stage 2 testing by achieving a Class A2 classification. Some will pass at Stage 3 to achieve Class A3. Some will fail and achieve Class B.

Class C1 – FAIL – UNMORTGAGEABLE

Class C1 means that the concrete contains mundic and this is already attacking the cement, weakening the concrete. These samples are considered ‘unsound’ meaning they are fractured, broken, voided, or crumbly.

This is determined from either Stage 1 or 2 testing. If found to be localised within a building, Class C1 concrete can sometimes be physically removed and replaced.

Class C2 – FAIL – UNMORTGAGEABLE

Class C2 means that the concrete does not actually contain large proportions of mundic, but it is weak, broken or crumbly (unsound) for another reason.

Class C2 is determined by Stage 1 or Stage 2 testing. If found to be localised within a building, Class C2 concrete can be due to a range of building issues (other concrete quality problems); water infiltration or attack from flue gasses in chimneys are typical. Class C2 concrete can sometimes be physically removed and replaced.

Class A2 – PASS – MORTGEAGABLE

Class A2 means that the concrete contains some mundic but not a large proportion and there is no sign of degradation.

This is defined by a STAGE 2 test (either petrographic; dry density or chemical). Stage 2 tests are undertaken if samples have been defined as UNCLASSIFIED from Stage 1.

Class B – FAIL – UNMORTGAGEABLE

Class B means that mundic has been found to make up more than 30% of the concrete. No assurances for the future of the concrete can be provided at this stage even if it appears sound.

This is determined by a Stage 2 test. Whilst it is possible in some cases to undertake Stage 3 testing to try to achieve Class A3, this is not always appropriate. If found to be localised within a building, Class B concrete can sometimes be physically removed and replaced.

Class A3 – PASS – MORTGAGEABLE*

Class A3 means that the concrete contains a greater proportion of mundic than Class A2 but it has been shown that it is unlikely to suffer adverse effects in the future.

This is determined by Stage 3 testing, which involves exposing samples to accelerated weathering to see how the concrete will hold up in the future. Stage 3 testing is an option for samples found to be Class B, but Stage 3 testing is very expensive and in some cases can take up to a year to complete. It is not appropriate in all circumstances.

*Clients should check the acceptability to lenders of the possible outcomes before instructing Stage 3 testing.

Please click here for further information on Mundic.

Recently mortgage lenders are becoming increasingly cautious of this issue and tests are often instructed in order to prove the type of construction materials rather than merely to assess concrete for mundic degradation. Similarly lenders may now require more extensive testing of buildings containing leasehold flats and apartments than before and insist on repeating formerly ‘clear’ tests in circumstances where the original surveyor is not available to re-assign the report. Advice should be sought from your mortgage lender on their specific requirements to enable us to tailor the work to suit. Our staff are experienced in all aspects of this work and will be happy to guide you through this procedure.