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Are you buying a home or investment property? Here are some of the common defects that our building inspectors find in homes.

Termite Damage

The advantages of getting a vendor report before putting your house on the market. Termite damage was found in the roof and the owner was able to fix it before it may have fallen over the sale.

Despite no live termite or timber pest activity being identified, previous termite damage was found to a rafter above the en-suite and a top wall plate above the study sliding door. The owner however is a builder and was able to rectify and reinforce the damaged timbers straight away. Before and after photos are attached below.

Subfloor Structure and Wood Rot

The subfloor structures below the bathroom are showing signs of deterioration and wood rot (fungal decay) of the timbers. It is suspected that this defect has developed because of leaking pipes, deteriorated waterproofing membranes and damp conditions in the subfloor.

Damp conditions cause the timbers to fail, resulting in the subfloor structures failing to bear the load (or weight) of the building as originally intended.  Without repairs and maintenance, including potential replacement of affected timber elements, it is likely that serious structural faults will result, as well as an array of minor defects.

The presence of wood rot to the subfloor structure is also conducive to termite infestation. Such entry is made easier if the timbers become non-durable due to even slight wood rot.

Where wood rot is present to any structural timber, rectification or replacement of the affected timber building element is required. The adequate timeframe for such works is dependent on the severity of the rot. Where rot has developed to become widespread, replacement of sections of the subfloor structure may be required. Consultation with a structural engineer or registered builder specialising in subfloor remediation is highly recommended as soon as practical.

Damage to Roof

Upon inspection of the exterior roofing, it was found that the roof sheets show signs of damage, Presumedly from a fallen branch. The roofing has sustained an array of issues due to the age of the materials and a lack of general maintenance over time, including loose sheeting, lifting, and sagging of sheets, and deterioration of associated building elements.

The damaged roof sheets have allowed water penetration, exposing the surrounding associated area to internal roof leaks and water damage.

Re-fixing of all loose roof sheets should be conducted as soon as possible to ensure that no further damage occurs. Depending on the extent of the damage, replacement of sections of roof sheets or associated materials may be required. Engagement of a roofing restoration contractor is highly advised to perform remedial works as necessary.

Windows – Sash Cords Broken

Sashes are the moveable panes of windows that primarily slide vertically over each other to expose one half of the window area. To facilitate this operation the weight of the glazed panel is usually balanced by steel weights or counterbalances. The sash weight is connected by a cord that runs over a pulley at the top of the frame. These cords are prone to degradation over time and replacement is required.

Repairing or replacing sash cords involves some work and is often best completed by an experienced carpenter or specialist window restorer. It is advised that such works be completed to improve the operational state of the affected window.

If you are buying a home or investment property, don’t take any risks, if you have any concerns, give us a call on 131 546 and speak to one of our local building inspector or get a free quote online.

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