When conducting our comprehensive pre purchase inspection and vendor inspections we cover the whole home, top to bottom. We also inspect the site itself. This in accordance with Australian Standard 4349.1 requires us to inspect, driveways, paths, hot water systems, fences, retaining walls, sheds and so much more.
Today i am going to tell you the top 7 issues (or defects) we (Quality Building Inspections) find when conducting a pre purchase property inspection. They are as follows in no particular order:
Path grading (slope) back towards the home
Around the perimeter of a home you will generally find a concrete path or gravel, however you need to take careful note of the grading. The path should always fall away from the home. If you find that the concrete or gravel is indeed sloping into the building this needs to be rectified at the earliest possible stage. If water pools against the footings of the home this is going to cause foundation movement as the soil becomes moist and weak. If the foundations move the walls will crack causing this to become quite a large issue. Having water pool against the house can also create a habitat for termite infestation.
The roof condition is usually quite poor on most tiled roof’s. When roof maintenance is not kept up to scratch the tiles can absorb water and become quite heavy. The tiles can then create sagging and bowing of the timber tile batons. Along with paint deterioration the mortar (also known as pointing) can crack and become quite brittle. Unfortunately this part and parcel of an older tiled roof. It is recommended that the roof we clean, re-pointed and sealed every 10-15 years unless the roof deteriorates quicker.
Probably one of the most common major defects found throughout a pre purchase building inspection. The silicone sealant between the floor and wall tiles shrinks over time and decides to either stick to the wall tiles or the floor tiles. When someone is then using the shower they are kicking their feet around and the water is penetrating this tile join. To find that this has occurred we have visual signs but usually it can be confirmed with a moisture meter. A moisture meter consists of two pads that transmit electrodes between each other in a arc shape. This arc (electrode) travels through the wall tiles and displays its findings on an analogue needle.
Storm water run off
Down pipes need to be connected to appropriate storm water run off. We see a lot that the down pipes just end at the ground and not connected. This is not good enough, because the water will pool up against the foundations of the home. In turn the soil will deteriorate taking any structural integrity away from the home where the water is pooling.
Cracked floor tiles
Cracked floor tiles can be from many things depending on the situation. Commonly the tiles will crack from foundation movement but they can also crack from glue deterioration. Glue deterioration becomes evident when the sealed tiles no longer become sealed. The water that is entering the the break in the seal is eating away at the tile glue therefore the tile has become hollow underneath. This can also be known as “drummy tiles”
Termite infestation. Brutal, vicious, and relentless. The best way to describe them! Termites a subterranean insect that will work their way into a home from the ground up eating all timber that can be seen, leaving a shell of the timber. They are attracted to moisture and humidity. Leaking shower can be the perfect breeding ground.
Timber rot is when water has entered raw timber and the timber has become water logged. This need to happen repetitively and the timber will continually become weaker and weaker. The timber rot can sometimes be mistaken for termite damage.
If you have further questions or would like to book a general home inspection or a pre purchase home inspection please dont hesitate to contact me on 0408817898 or email at email@example.com