Rising Damp Problems

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.


extensive roof rust

Mr Inspector believes a thorough building inspection of any home will reveal every problem at a house before you buy.  Mr Inspector has been operating for 15 years and has seen all types of building defects.

The photograph depicted here was taken during a recent building inspection in St Kilda and shows extensive roof rust. These defects can not be seen unless you climb on the roof and to replace a rusted roof on a standard three bedroom home you are looking around $20,000.


“This shows the importance of being thorough”, says lead building inspector, Peter Alexander.

Timber Rot

Mr Inspector carries out comprehensive building and pest inspections Melbourne wide with a focus on locating structural defects, major defects, safety hazards and maintenance defects requiring repair or replacement and current or past termite infestation and damage.

The above photograph was taken by mr inspectors qualified building inspector during a building inspection in St Kilda and depicts timber fungal decay (rot) in a window frame.  Ultimately, any timber decay or rot should be replaced rather than patched as depicted above.

We often see window frames that have just been patched and the timber becomes spongy if not all the rot has been removed or replaced. This will will worsen over time and cause further decay of the frame, whereby total replacement is recommended.  Technically, this would be considered a major defect, however this is easily rectifiable by a qualified carpenter.

If you need any assistance when purchasing a home in Melbourne, please feel free to call mr Inspector and he will be able to assist.

Safety Defects

The photograph above was taken by Mr Inspector during a building inspection in St Kilda,  Melbourne and depicts a rear decking with extensive timber rot to supporting timbers. Essentially, although not far above finished ground level, this is considered a safety hazard as well as a structural defect.

It is imperative that these defects are detected before one purchases a home as it has the potential to cause injury upon collapse.

Any Building Inspection should detect, photograph and explain these types of defects in the house inspection reports, including Major defects, Structural Defects, Minor Defects and Safety Hazards.

If you have any questions about building inspections and what they involve, call our qualified building inspectors and we will be able to assist.

Major Defects

The above photograph was taken by Mr Inspector, a qualified building and pest inspector in Melbourne during a recent building inspection in St Kilda and depicts a lower masonry wall which has deteriorated due to excessive damp contact.

This is considered a major defect.  A major defect, in summary, is one which may cause further deterioration of the dwelling. This needs to put into perspective as the word “major” can cause some apprehension in ones mind.  For example, a down pipe not connected to storm water is technically a “major defect” as water not flowing way from the home could cause footings to settle and other associated damp problems. Yet, this is relatively easy to rectify and clients should not be overly concerned by it – just get it fixed.

The photo above shows masonry and mortar deterioration due to water/damp penetration over time.  The down pipe near same has never been connected to storm water and the land around the wall falls towards the wall, rather than away from it.

It is important to obtain the services of a qualified building inspector to assess a property before you purchase so these issues can be identified and remedied.

If you have any queries, please feel free to contact Mr Inspector at www.mrinspector.com.au.

Fire Damage

Mr Inspector is Melbourne’s leading qualified building inspector and took this is a photograph from the roof of a
building inspection in St Kilda.

It is showing a view from the house roof into the adjoining property and evidence of the a recent damaging fire.  The result was structural damage to the homes party wall.  This is compelling evidence of the importance of a thorough building inspection from a qualified building inspector such as Mr Inspector.