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.
Mr Inspector is a qualified building inspector in Melbourne and took the above photograph during one of his recent building inspections in Moorabbin.
Many older homes around Melbourne, especially in the inner suburbs don't have their down pipes connected to storm water, rather they are directed out onto the street or into a lane.
This is not normally an issue but down pipes leaking or flowing close to the homes wall can pose a problem over time.
Common problems are deterioration of the bricks mortar, timber rot on timber stumps, weather boards or plinth boards, footings settlement, rising damp problems and is also conducive to termite infestation. These issues are assessed, photographed and included by Mr Inspector in his building inspection reports.
Mr Inspector is a qualified building inspector in Melbourne and this photograph was taken during a building inspection in Mentone. It shows excessive water ponding in the sub floor area.
This is considered a major defect as further deterioration of the building or its elements could occur.
Sometimes it may be something minor causing the problem like a down pipe not aligned at the base causing water to flow in under the home and other times it can be something major like a broken water pipe under ground or inadequate surface drainage or landscaping which can be expensive to rectify.
In this building inspection it was a water connection to the bathroom and a plumber had to attend to rectify. If this was not found during the house inspection the likely problems would be settlement in the stump footings and possible a termite infestation.
Mr Inspector, a qualified building inspector conducts building inspections around Melbourne and the above photograph was taken during a building inspection in Aspendale. It shows a broken storm water pipe.
It is likely that it was damaged during construction and not replaced. Technically a major defect due to the potential of further problems arising, it is relatively easy to rectify and should be fixed as soon as possible to avoid potential footings settlement. A licensed plumber should be engaged to repair the damage so no excess water gets into the homes footings.
Mr Inspector, a qualified house inspector in Melbourne took the above photograph during one of his Cheltenham building inspections after discovering excess water ponding in the sub floor of the home.
You can see water ponding around the stump – this is considered a major defect as footings settlement may occur if excessive water gets into the footing over time.
The end result is differential settlement in the homes footings which can cause wall and ceiling lining cracks, binding doors and windows and excess masonry wall cracking.
In this case a plumber would be required to attend the home and carry out the expensive process of elimination to find where this water is emanating from.
Broken pipes and leaking plumbing under the surface would need to be checked.
Mr Inspector believes anyone who does not pay a reasonably small fee for a building inspection before purchasing may end up having to fork out thousands of dollars to repair issues not seen.
Mr Inspector, a fully qualified building and pest inspector conducts house inspections in the Hampton area and surrounds. This photograph depicts why it is so important for a building inspector to get under the house.
This photograph above was taken by Mr Inspector during a house inspection in Hampton and shows the shower base under the home is not connected, this shower waste is just pouring into the sub floor. At some stage it was connected but works had been carried out and someone forgot to reconnect to the sewer.
There is also evidence of a leak from the shower recess as you can see the timber joists and bearers are wet. This building inspection defect would not have been picked up unless a full inspection of the house's sub floor was carried out by a qualified building inspector.
It is a good example of why you need to get a thorough home inspection by a qualified building inspector rather than just attending an "open for inspection" and having a look around the house.