We report on all visible major defects in our house inspection reports. A major defect is one of sufficient magnitude where rectification has to be carried out in order to avoid unsafe conditions, loss of utility or further deterioration of the property. Down pipes not connected to storm water discharge can be a major defect as water may flow under the home, cause footings subsidence and therefore further deterioration of the property. Other major defects include leaking shower bases, as this defect can cause timber fungal decay (rot) to the floor boards and the floor frame. See one of our house inspection photographs of same below.
Some major defects can be construed as Structural defects. Excess water ponding under the home has the potential to cause differential settlement cracking, stump rot and therefore structural damage. If it is rectified early there may be no problems. See below re a recent house inspection photographs of major defects.
This is a photograph taken by Mr Inspector, a qualified Building Inspector, showing a leaking shower base found during a house inspection in Black Rock.
We often observe old and current leak damage from showers and washing machine connection leaks during our building inspections around Melbourne. The only way of finding out if this is occurring is by gaining access to the sub floor to carry out a thorough inspection under wet areas for leaks and damp related problems.
Normally due to inadequate water proofing, cracked shower tiles or deteriorated tile grout, leaking will be causing rot to floor and floor frame and the longer this remains unnoticed, the more damage this will cause. Some house inspections we have attended have revealed termites in the vicinity of leaking bathrooms and showers, so an inspection of this area is paramount.
Mr Inspector, a qualified building inspector carries out building inspections in the St Kilda area and rising damp is one issue commonly seen. The above photograph shows moisture readings on a lower wall during one of our St Kilda building inspections.
If a home has been recently painted you won't see rising damp problems and many damp issues get covered up by owners.
The only way to find rising damp is to use a moisture meter which detects dampness in walls.
Rising damp is a quite common problem in very old homes. The St Kilda and Elwood areas that contain older double brick dwellings are quite prone to rising damp due to ageing of the original and very old damp proof courses which were made from a bitumen compound many years ago.
My Inspector inspects lower walls for rising damp problems during all building inspections and pest inspections. Using a moisture meter the lower walls are checked for any damp problems and rising damp. Common damp areas we see are shower leaks where the opposite walls and skirting board have been damaged due to water penetration.
More problematic is rising damp on masonry walls due to an old damp proof course that has been breached or has deteriorated. Symptoms are paint flake or bubbling on lower walls and if a wet area or shower leak can be eliminated it is normally rising damp and can be quite expensive to reinstate a new damp proof course.
Mr Inspector, a qualified building inspector in Sandringham believes that most building defects are found under the house due to the area rarely being inspected.
The above is a photograph taken during a building inspection in Sandringham showing a leaking pipe found during a house inspection in Sandringham.
Having a building inspection prior to buying a property can reveal hidden defects. The importance of inspecting the sub floor prior to buying a property is evident in this photograph. A recent house inspection in Sandringham revealed a leaking plumbing pipe connection under the home. This is considered a major defect because the leak may cause further problems, such as decay to timber framing, footings settlement and is also conducive to termite infestation.
As the sub floor of most homes is rarely inspected, these defects can continue for years without anyone knowing and it is very important to engage a building inspector to assess the sub floor of your home at least annually and definitely before buying a home.
The importance of a thorough building inspection carried out by a qualified building inspector in Melbourne can not be underestimated, especially under the home.
Mr Inspector, a qualified building inspector took the above photo during one of his many building inspections in Bentleigh. The importance of a house inspection carried out by a qualified building inspector can not be overlooked, especially under the home and on the roof.
It is showing a chimney that has not been capped. This can cause excess water entry in heavy rainfall periods over time and a roofing plumber should be contacted to cap or seal the chimney. Very rarely do home owners climb on their roof and inspect for damage, broken tiles, rust or flashing problems and only find out when the ceiling starts to see damp damage.
Mr Inspector says annual inspections of the roofing areas should be carried out by a qualified building inspector.
Mr Inspector is a qualified building inspector in Cheltenham, Victoria and took the above photograph during a building inspection in Cheltenham showing a rusted roof.
Mr Inspector's house inspections sometimes reveal a beautiful new roof when we arrive at the inspection and park out the front. Sometimes looks can be deceiving - the blind sides that you can not see from the street can be covered in rust. The only time you will know abut this is when you see the water coming through he ceiling.
A thorough building inspection by Mr Inspector can reveal all these hidden defects and is essential before you buy a property as an entire rusted roof could cost around $20,000 to replace.
This is a photograph taken by Mr Inspector, a qualified building inspector during one of his building inspections in Cheltenham. It shows flashing gaps which will allow and have allowed water penetration into the roof void and damage to the ceiling linings.
Mr Inspector climbs on the roof during the house inspection and looks at anything that will cause problems. This can be inadequate flashing, lift or deterioration, cracked roof tiles, rusted and lifted roof sheets, moss build up, chimney cracking, hip and ridge mortar decay and sagging of the actual roof. All these problems could cause leaking into the ceiling lining. If we find problems like this during the house inspection and there is no visible leaking on the ceilings, we will then get the thermal camera out to see if there is any damp.
Mr Inspector is one of a few actual qualified building inspector in Melbourne. The above photograph was taken by Mr Inspector during a house inspection in Highett and shows a rotten timber stump footing.
You can see that the timber stump footing (that holds up the house) is rotten - see Mr Inspectors Termite Tapping golf ball is under the stump. Further investigation revealed a leaking plumbing pipe under the kitchen area and when the owners were told about this they realized why their water bills were so high. This leak had been occurring for over 12 months and caused rot to the stump footings which required replacement. This reiterates why it is so important to carry out a building inspection by a qualified building inspector in Melbourne so that you are well informed of any costly building defects before you buy the property.
Mr Inspector, a qualified building inspector took the above photograph during one of his building inspections in Middle Park. It depicts damp and age damage to a masonry brick wall.
Some older homes we see during our building inspections in Melbourne show deterioration of masonry bricks and mortar on lower walls. This is normally caused by rising damp or excess damp penetration over time, poor drainage or can even be caused by the down pipe flowing directly onto a wall. Mr Inspector checks these issues during the building inspection and investigates to ascertain the likely cause.
Mr Inspector, a fully qualified building inspector conducts building and pest inspections in the Black Rock area and surrounds and the photo above depicts valley gutter rust taken during a building inspection in Black Rock.
A building inspection of all the roof components is essential due to age of components over time. Valley gutters take rain water down to the gutters and then through the down pipes to storm water point of discharge. Over time the valley gutters can rust and the valley mortar can crack open and dislodge into the valley.
This can cause water to stagnate under the mortar debris and this rust can develop. Regular cleaning and inspecting of the roof components is recommended.
Mr Inspector is a qualified building inspector in Melbourne and this is a photograph that shows rusted roof sheets on a flat roof, found during one of our building inspections in Heatherton.
This could not be seen by potential buyers unless they actually had a ladder and got on the roof.
Replacement is recommended in some circumstances where it won't be long before the rust penetrates and leaking occurs.
Many house inspections we conduct show homes that have repaired the front or sides of the roof – the parts you see when you turn up at the “open for inspection” – but the blind sides have not been repaired or replaced. This shows the importance of having a thorough house inspection carried out as to replace an entire roof could leave you out of pocket by at least $15,000 to $25000.