Casey Building Consultants

Whenever you buy a property, whether it is residential or commercial, it’s always important to carry out a thorough building inspection to identify any hidden defects that could affect its value, safety, and overall condition. As part of the building inspection process, experienced building inspectors will look out for various defects that commonly occur in Australian buildings.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the top five hazardous defects found during building inspections in Australia and what they actually mean for property owners.

  • Structural Issues

Structural issues can be generally referring to any problem affecting the integrity of the foundation, walls, floors, ceilings, or roof.  Structural issues may include sagging rooflines, cracks in brickwork, rotted timber supports, uneven floor surfaces and many more. All defects can be the result from poor design, use of below standard materials, or some natural environmental factors such as soil erosion or water damage. If left untreated, these structural issues can lead to costly repairs, decreased property values, and even hazardous living conditions. Therefore, it’s always essential to address any structural concerns identified during a building inspection at the earliest to prevent further damage.

  • Water Penetration

Water penetration refers to stagnant moisture intrusion in the house through outer elements such as windows, doors, cladding, or balconies. Excessive moisture can cause several potentially unwanted perils in house such as wood rotting, mould growth, and other forms of decay. All these can easily compromise the structure’s stability and create health risks for the inmates. Signs of water penetration usually include peeling paint, stained walls, musty odours, and damp surfaces and carpets. To lower the risk of water penetration, property owners should ensure proper sealing around all entry points, maintain good drainage systems, and repair damaged areas promptly.

  • Electrical Faults

Electrical faults can on the other hand impose serious risks to the residents ranging from electrocution to fires. According to a statistic, electrical faults were responsible for approximately one-third of house fires in Australia between 2015 and 2019. There are some common electrical faults that can create mishaps like this. Exposed live wires, incorrectly installed plug-points, faulty or missing circuit breakers and faulty switchboards – all these are quite common findings during building inspections. Most of these faults require professional expertise to resolve and therefore, engaging a licensed electrician is always recommended. Regular testing and maintenance can help minimise the risk of electrical faults and associated dangers.

  • Plumbing Problems

Another common issue that can be found during inspection is plumbing issue. These can range from minor inconveniences like dripping faucets to major issues like blocked drains, leaking pipes, corroded surfaces, and poorly connected appliances. These can promote mould growth, and increase utility bills. Moreover, undetected gas leaks can even lead to fatal explosions and carbon monoxide release. During building inspections, a qualified building inspector check for signs of water leakages, test hot water systems, assess drainage performance, and verify the functionality of all plumbing fixtures. Preventative measures such as regular pipe cleaning and timely replacement of rusty components can lower the chances of plumbing hazards.

  • Termite Infestations

Termites, also known as white ants, are small insects that feed on cellulose-based materials such as wood, paper, and cardboard. Their relentless appetite causes extensive damage to structures, making them a leading concern for property owners. Termite infestations often go unnoticed until severe destruction occurs since termites tend to burrow inside wooden structures, leaving only thin layers intact. A trained building inspector can spot early warning signs of termite activity, such as mud trails, hollow sounds in timber, or discarded wings near entrances. Effective prevention methods include using termite-resistant materials, maintaining cleanliness, removing excess vegetation, and scheduling annual inspections by certified pest controllers.

To sum up, building inspections play a vital role in identifying defects that might otherwise remain concealed, potentially costing thousands of dollars in repairs down the line. While there are many types of defects that may arise during building inspections, this article has highlighted the top five defects found in Australian buildings: structural issues, water penetration, electrical faults, plumbing problems, and termite infestations. Understanding these defects and addressing them proactively not only protects your investment but ensures the safety and wellbeing of building occupants. Always engage a trusted and experienced building inspector who follows industry best practices to guarantee comprehensive coverage of potential issues.

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