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Defect examples

Finding the perfect property can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

Even when you do find a property that seems ideal at first glance, looking more closely may reveal defects that need to be addressed.

The easiest way to identify these potentially costly defects is to put your trust in a qualified building and pest inspection specialist. By ordering a building and pest report or structural condition report from a qualified inspector, you could avoid making a costly mistake.

Another benefit of obtaining a building and pest inspection report is that it may improve your powers of negotiation. After all, if defects are discovered, offering a lower price that reflects the reality of necessary repairs may be a smart move.

Check out our photo gallery of the most common defects our inspectors find every day

Uncovering hidden defects

As a seller, marketing a property that may have flaws can be a tricky proposition. Some issues may not be fully disclosed and hidden from the naked eye.

A foolproof way to ensure the property you make an offer on is free from potentially costly defects, is to get the protection of a building and pest inspection report from qualified inspectors.

When you’re looking at a property you like, keep an eye out for these potential defects:

Does bouncy or uneven flooring point to a structural issue?

Finding out the secrets of a property can sometimes be more about how it feels than looks.

When it comes to flooring, pay attention to the way it moves beneath your feet – and if it is level.

Looking for gaps or unevenness between the floor and the skirting can be a way to identify sinking stumps. For timber flooring, jumping lightly at different places within the property can help detect rotten floorboards, infestations of termites, borers or other pests, or issues with the sub-floor framing.

For concrete floors, look for buckling floor tiles or rotten carpet. Both are signs of dampness below.

Identifying and repairing dampness to a concrete slab can be a costly repair job. If there are significant cracks in the concrete, it could be a sign of potential structural problems.

Are the wet areas correctly sealed?

Look out for signs of leaks in wet areas, such as bathrooms, laundries and kitchens.

Fresh paint jobs could be used to hide water leaks, rotting timber and signs of rising damp.

Testing the water pressure to all the taps is important, as it could reveal bigger issues. Partially filling sinks and bathtubs, then watching how quickly the water drains away is another good way to check for potential issues such as poor drainage.

Whenever you do decide to make an offer on a property, choose a quality conveyancing team who will do a contract review for you, rather than just relying on a building and pest report or structural report. This will help ensure that you make the sale subject to results from a building and pest inspection report or structural report, where a qualified inspector can look for some warning signs your untrained eyes may miss.

Cracks in the walls and ceilings may mean major problems

Splits around cornices and joints where walls meet ceilings often show tell-tale signs of defects.

Fresh plaster and paint work are often used for a quick cover-up, but an experienced inspector knows how to see past these concealments to find bigger, and potentially dangerous structural issues.

Illegal renovations/extensions could cost you a fortune

This growing problem can end up costing property buyers tens of thousands of dollars – and even more! Sometimes, searches conducted as part of the conveyancing process can expose illegal building works, but the best way to identify it is with a thorough inspection from qualified building inspectors who may notice when something may not be up to standard.

If illegal renovations and extensions contravene local building regulations, you may be up for a hefty legal bill, as well as costly repairs and refurbishments to undo the work.

Are there signs of rising damp?

Tapping solid brick walls and listening for a change in tone, or a hollow sound, can indicate an issue with damp. Rotting skirting and architraves, as well as peeling paint or lifting wallpaper can be other warning signs.

Plaster patch-ups and fresh paint may be sign of a cover-up, so be sure to book a qualified building inspector to reveal the reality.

Is the roof secure?

Buckled eaves showing signs of water stains could indicate an issue.

Broken roof tiles give pests an entry point and let water in – which could lead to major issues in the ceiling and roof space. Remember that even small holes can result in large leaks. Replacing a roof is expensive!

Do the windows work?

Excessive condensation on windows and sills, along with signs of mould growth, can be a sign of poor ventilation or damp. Check that windows open and close smoothly. Make sure you look for cracks in the windowpanes or rotting/rusting window frames as these may point to signs of water leaks.

Is the electrical wiring safe and compliant?

While a simple flick of a power point or light switch can tell you if the electricity is working, it can’t reveal the condition of the wiring, or its compliance. Asking questions about recent renovations can help you understand how recently work may have been done – and if it was done by a licensed electrician.

No matter what type of property you are planning to buy, it is a significant investment – and one that demands proper legal protection and due diligence. Don’t risk buying a property with defects you can’t afford to ignore.

Talk to Rapid Building Inspections to book a building and pest inspection report or structural condition report to suit your needs, before you buy.

At Rapid, our team of qualified trade experts are committed to helping you find the right property. Thanks to our use of the latest technology, we make sure your property is in top condition so it’s ready to enjoy from day one. You’re always in great hands with our team of professionals so book your inspection today to get started.