Common Defects Found During a Wollongong Building Inspection

Common Defects Found During a Wollongong Building Inspection

A building inspection examines all elements of a building to ensure that the structure is without defects. thermal camera

An inspection also examines exterior elements including drainage, slope, outbuildings and potentially hazardous vegetation.

Building inspections are undertaken by certified inspectors who look for evidence of water damage to foundations, walls and flooring, condition of fire walls, adequacy of ventilation and evidence of pest infestation.

Here are some of the most common problem areas found during our inspections in a and around Wollongong.

Compromised Structural Integrity

Poor construction, lack of maintenance or water damage can compromise the integrity of the building shell, roof, interior support walls and foundation.

BPI Wollongong will examine exterior walls for evidence of cracks or worn cladding.

Brick walls often crack as a building settles, particularly next to weak points or joins to windows and doors.

Minor cracking is usually cosmetic however, multiple cracks or cracks wider than 5 mm may be cause for concern. Potential problems include subfloor failure, rotting timber or bulging walls that could collapse.

Our inspector Greg Flood will assess the severity of the damage and note the steps needed for repair.

Damaged Roofing and Roof Space

Inspectors will examine both the exterior and interior elements of the roof.

Roofs and interior roof spaces may degrade over time. Normal wear may include missing or cracked tiles, rusted metal or cracks in concrete roofing.

These defects allow moisture to penetrate the roof structure and enter the interior. Rotted timber supports and trusses may be the result of moisture, excess weight or termite damage.

A roof can be seriously damaged by re-roofing with materials that are too heavy for the structure to bear.

Condensation, Moisture and Rising Damp

Condensation can cause many problems. Tell-tale signs include mould on walls or ceilings, weakened or rotted timber, peeling paint or plaster and walls that are chalky or cracked.

Excess condensation is often seen in buildings with poor ventilation or rising damp. Rising damp, the wicking of moisture from the ground through walls, creates a number of problems. Salt deposits on brick weaken the mortar and brick.

It can also cause steel reinforcing and nails to rust. Moisture in the subfloor voids creates an environment attractive to pests like termites and spiders.

Building inspectors use specialised tools that identify areas with excess moisture. Depending on the type of damage, remediation may include increasing ventilation, treating mould, applying vapour barriers and venting appliances.

Poorly Maintained Perimeter and Grounds

The slope of the property affects drainage. Poorly drained soil can cause water to collect both above and below ground, which can weaken foundations and pavement. Drain pipes should be located away from paving.

Guttering should route water away from buildings. Tall trees should be located far enough away to avoid damaging structures if branches fall or if the tree is uprooted.

Poorly Maintained Plumbing and Electrical Fixtures

Leaking pipes and taps can cause water damage to walls and flooring. Places of entry may not be well-sealed, allowing pests and moisture to enter the building.

A building inspector will check the condition of pipes, waste lines and drains to make sure that the plumbing is in good condition.

Older houses may have inadequate electrical distribution boards that cannot support the demands of newer appliances. Old, frayed or brittle wiring can be a fire hazard. Upgrading distribution boards, interior plugs and wiring may be required.

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