Prior to purchasing a property, it is crucial to hire a qualified building inspector with an eye for building defects and hazards which can sometimes go unnoticed by ordinary buyers. Organizing a building inspection can save you both money and time. It also uncovers any hidden surprises that may result in disastrous and costly consequences down the line. Below is a list of issues a building inspector looks for during a pre-purchase property inspection:
Structural cracking linked to movement of concrete footings that are used under foundation walls to distribute weight and prevent settling can be a serious problem. Sagging or uneven floors, horizontal cracks in walls and gaps around window frames or exterior doors are some of the issues linked to the foundation of the property.
A building inspector will search for red flags such as poor drainage that can negatively affect the foundation of the property. Excessive moisture poses a threat to wooden structures which can lead to their decay, inviting pests such as termites into the premises. Therefore, inspecting the drainage system, water supply, drainage pumps and water heating equipment is part of a building inspector’s job.
During the property inspection, the inspector might encounter safety hazards along the way. These hazards can be electrical hazards such as poor wiring, defective electric wires or inadequate or absent electric safety switches. Lack of safety guards that are attached to walls surrounding heaters and fireplaces are also examples of a safety hazard. The list also includes unsafe stairs, floor injury hazards and incorrect placement of hot water and air conditioning systems.
Mould, Termite Activity and Timber Rot
Mould is a result of moisture and poor ventilation. Black mould in particular can be found in basements and crawl spaces of old houses, and can be an indicator of serious problems such as water leaking through cracks in the foundation. Fungal decay occurs when the moisture content of timber increases, encouraging the growth of fungus. The use of timber in the construction of many Australian homes coupled with the warm and wet climate may attract termites to the property. Therefore, checking for past or present pest infestations is one of many tasks conducted by the building inspector.
Poor building maintenance will lead to further damage to the property in addition to costly repairs in the future. Maintenance defects include corrosion, weathering, paint deterioration and even wall dents caused by physical damage and so on. The list also includes plumbing issues and roof problems such as improperly installed flashing which can result in leakage. Australia is home to extreme weather, so proper maintenance is needed in order to preserve the overall condition of any property. In addition to inspecting the property, the building inspector will fill out a pre-purchase property inspection report that complies with the Australian Standard (AS 4349.1). This report will provide you with the information you need in order to make the right decision when it comes to purchasing the property in question.
Source: www.caseybuildinginspections.com.au, www.ybi.com.au, www.mrinspector.com.au