When buying a home, it’s crucial that you do your due diligence. This means digging deeper than the pretty facade. It’s a good idea to get a professional to visually check the property for structural integrity and possible damage.
You’ll be surprised by the things that fail a home inspection.
You might think ‘inspecting’ a property before you buy is as simple as taking a walk around and looking out for any obvious damage. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.
What many people don’t realise before buying a house is that there are many issues found during inspections that are invisible to the inexperienced eye. This is why it’s important to work with qualified building and site inspectors to visually assess that you’re buying a home that is structurally sound as well as safe for you and your family.
Rapid Building Inspections services the greater Sydney region to help people buy their dream home and not a real estate nightmare.
Here are some of the most common home inspections problems our inspectors have uncovered.
1. Water Damage
It might sound obvious, but water damage can severely impact the structural integrity of a house.
Water damage can be caused in several different areas of the house and from a number of different sources.
Michael Tuder from Rapid Building Inspections says that the most common home inspections problems are caused by wet areas (bathroom, laundry, kitchen) not being sealed properly.
“People are really surprised we uncover so much damage internally,” he says. “Water damage can cause timber rot, which can lead to wall damage and sometimes damage to the foundation. We see it purely because of our knowledge, they don’t necessarily see it”
Water damage can also be caused by inadequate or rusted gutters and downpipes. These areas of the house can cause water to pool and then be left unattended for months. This can lead to further structural damage such as mould and timber rot.
It’s important that all wet areas and water gathering areas across the property are thoroughly inspected before purchasing.
2. Sloping property grounds
Most people eyeing off a new house to buy wouldn’t think to inspect the areas surrounding the property. Unfortunately, that can be a huge oversight, as the surrounding grounds of any house has the potential to cause damage to the building itself.
Surrounding property of the house should always be sloping away from the building structure. This allows for water drainage to flow away from the house, minimising the risk of water damage or flooding.
If the slope of the property trends towards the house, it could cause settlement cracks or dampness in the foundation which could even make it (the foundation) move, causing damage to the structure of the house.
If the foundation absorbs too much water, it could also develop mould and wood rot, triggering an array of other problems for the house.
An expert property inspector will be able to properly assess the slope of the gardens and surrounding property of a house.
3. Bad ventilation
It might sound simple but ventilating a house so that air flow can keep the building dry is critical to a house’s structural stability.
Poor ventilation can lead to issues such as mould, it not only causes damage to the structure of the house, but it’s potentially toxic and can affect the quality of the air. This could lead to health problems for residents.
If the house is on stumps, ensuring enough and free-flowing ventilation throughout the foundation is also vital. If there’s inadequate ventilation throughout, the stumps are at risk of developing damp, which can lead to mould, termites and timber rot. This could lead the house to sinking, cracks, or worse – collapse in affected areas.
4. Roof issues
Living in Australia, we see our fair share of wild weather. Storms are a common cause of issues that are found in a house inspection.
Our building inspector Michael, says that strong winds account for many failed property inspections, as buyers don’t often see the damage to the roof tiles and shingles.
“If the wind gets under a roof tile, it can pick the whole tile and crack it, or shatter it and surrounding tiles,” he explains. “We’re up there on ladders seeing things they can’t see.”
Roof issues can lead to other problems with the house too, such as storm water guttering and roof insulation damage, which can cause major problems for the homeowner.
5. Termite infestations
Often thought of as one of the most common problems uncovered during inspections, termite damage is an expensive and dangerous infestation to any property.
Termites are attracted to damp areas, which can occur in almost all areas of the house. Termites are commonly found underneath the house’s timber structure and stumps, or throughout flooring and roofing structures.
Another place termites can infest a property is in the garden or outdoor areas. Often, termites will infest a tree and then make their way underneath the house in search of new nest areas. It’s vital to check the surrounding property for termites, not just the house itself.
A qualified house inspector will be able to spot the signs of termite infestation relatively easily, however without that expertise it can be easily overlooked.
Don’t risk buying a property that is hiding damage and expensive repairs. Get in touch with the experts at Rapid Building Inspections today and make sure the property you want to buy won’t give you headaches down the track.
Get in touch with the team at Rapid today
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If you still have any questions, feel free to contact us, and we’d be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
Our friendly team are here to help you, 7 days a week, with all the facts you need to make a smart decision. If you wish to book an inspection or just have a few questions, please don’t hesitate to call us today on 1300 407 341.
We offer a wide range of services and inspect more than 10,000 homes a year. So, whether you are looking for a building inspection in Perth, a pre-purchase pest and building inspection in Melbourne or anywhere in between, our services are trusted nationwide. We even provide dilapidation reports and building inspections in Hobart!
We’re on your side, and we’re here to help!