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What is Red Ash?

Red Ash was a filling used under the concrete flooring typically between 1940 and 1970. After the war building materials were hard to come by, therefore various fillers were used and a concrete slab was formed on top of the fillers. Red ash and blast furnace slag were common filler materials particularly in areas like stoke-on-Trent where they were readily available. To sell a house with red ash, there are a number of things you need to consider:

Red Ash – Whats The Problem?

Sell A House With Red AshUnfortunately, red ash contains sulphate which reacts with water under the concrete.

As sulphates reacts with concrete surfaces ‘heave’ or ‘crown’. This often shows as bulges in the concrete floor therefore presenting as splits and cracks. In severe cases even walls can be affected as a result strucutral issues are raised.

Red Ash – Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme

Red ash is common in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme particularly in local authority built homes. In those types of houses it has been said that it is almost a lottery. As the housing estates were built, it was the luck of the draw which filler was on the lorry at the time your property was being filled. Adjoining houses mah have a completely different filler material under the floor.

Red Ash – Can I Sell My House?

Minor red ash problems generally do not pose a great risk to your property. Some homeowners can live with the small buldges or cracks in the floor. You legally can sell a house with red ash without a problem.

Issues generally arrises when you try to borrow funds against the property, for example to release equity or when selling it. In areas where red ash is common, mortgage companies will refuse to release funds without a red ash certificate. Frustrating as this is when you are trying to buy or sell a property, they are merely protecting their investment in your house. Should the red ash cause severe structural problems, it could be worth less than the mortgage company has loaned out.

Without access to finance, selling a house with red ash, or suspected of having red ash can be difficult. When aiming to sell quickly it’s advantageous to have a red ash report done in advance. It is highly likely that the purchasers solicitor will have to supply one to the mortgage provider. Aquiring one during the conveyancing stage will cause delays.

It is important to note that major red ash issues could cause structural damage to your property. In extreme cases properties may even become structurally unsafe. When red ash is suspected it is highly recommended you take professional advise in the form of a red ash survey.

www.cashforhousesstoke.co.uk is not qualified to give structural advise. This article is for guidance only.

Do I Need A Red Ash Report?

So if you suspect your house of having red ash, what should you do next?

Getting a red ash report done should be the first step to selling a house with red ash. Although this is an expense the seller has to bear, if the report is favourable, it will help to sell the property, and prevent hold ups by solicitors at the conveyancing stage. To clarrify the vendor of the house is not legally obliged to get a red ash certificate, but a buyer is unlikely to proceed without one if requested.

A report showing as clear or low red ash readings confirms you can market your house in the normal way. As a result interested parties will be confident red ash is not an issue. This may even result in an higher sale price.

A high reading for red ash (see below), is not the end of the world, while it will impact the value of your property there are still options available:

Sell A House With Red Ash – As Is

Market the property in the usual way but disclose that it has a red ash issue.This will impact your property value as a potential buyer will need to factor in the cost of repairs (more details below). Additionally as a buyer will likely not be able to use a mortgage for the purchase, the ‘pool’ of available buyers will be smaller. A potential buyer on a £100’000 property may only need a deposit of £10’000 (residential) or £25’000 (buy to let), whereas if no mortgage is available due to red ash, they will need to find the full £100’000.

Sell A House With Red Ash – Fix it First

To obtain the best return it can be beneficial to fix the red ash issues before marketing the property. There are several downsides to this approach however:

Cost Of Fixing Red Ash

The total cost of rectifying red ash can be significant. In the worst case scenario, all the downstairs floors need to be broken up and removed. Next all of the offending red ash material is taken out, replaced with hardcore and a new concrete floor is installed. In severe cases there can be several meters to remove and replenish. Additionally you need to remove any downstairs kitchens and bathrooms first. The building work alone can cost between £5000 and £12000.

Once the new floor is complete the homeowner is faced with the task of installing new kitchens and bathrooms, and new carpets etc.

Time To Rectify Red Ash

As explained above the work involved can be significant and can take weeks or even months to get the property back to a habitable sate. If this is your home, you would need to find somewhere else to live while the work is carried out.

Sell A House With Red Ash – Let Us Make You An Offer

Sell A House With Red AshCash For House Stoke can make you an offer on your property today. Give us a call on 01782 479239 or fill out our Make Me An Offer. There are advantages and dissadvantages to selling to cash house buying companies like www.cashforhousesstoke.co.uk. An offer can be received within a day, completion can be finalised within a few weeks and you won’t have to find money to complete all the repairs. The downside is you may not get as good a return as if you spent the time money and effort to get the house market ready yourself. Cash For Houses offer must take into consideration the worst case scenario for the red ash work.

If you want to sell a house with red ash asap, in a hastle free, discrete way let Cash For Houses Stoke make you an offer today.

Red Ash – Further information

Should you want more technical information the government has prepared a detailed data sheet: Sulfate damage to concrete floors on sulfate-bearing hardcore – Identification and remediation.




Cash For Houses Stoke made us the best offer from the 3 companies we called. I would recommend them to anyone.


Smallthorne, Stoke-on-Trent