Most common building defects in homes and buildings
Before a building acquisition takes place, it is a must that the prospective owner has the premises undergo a building inspection. This will protect the buyer from structural faults that are often missed by the untrained eye. An expert organisation that is adept at this kind of assessment will prepare a comprehensive and easy-to-understand building inspection report, that will contain details of defects that need attention.
During an inspection, an inspector goes through several things in the building. This includes the plumbing, ventilation, cracks, the presence of safety hazards, and drainage among others. The building should be able to pass the requirements set forth by the Australian Standard for building inspections.
On this note, the goal of a professional inspector is to locate any flaws that need a solution and provide a recommendation on how to proceed and remedy the situation. With this, the new building owner is secured of their investment and will have peace of mind before finalising the deal.
Common defects found during building inspections
Here are the most common defects on a building report that Australian building inspectors have observed.
1. Incomplete construction
Incomplete construction in building reports means either a minor or major part of the building has not been completely and thoroughly installed. It could be one of the radial pipes of a room does not connect back to the distribution box in ventilation systems, or in the case of drainage, an eave does not lead to the stormwater drain.
Small details in construction should be caught as they can lead to further damage in the long run. If the building has not yet entered the handover phase and these incomplete parts are still pending, the construction company should declare this and their target date of finish, to the inspecting firm.
2. Fire separation walls
As industrial development is on the rise in certain parts of Australia, more and more buildings and other structures are adjacently constructed. Thus, the need for a dependable fire separation wall has never been more crucial. As a matter of fact, the Building Code of Australia has set a high standard measure of compliance on fire-rated boundary walls.
The purpose of fire separation walls is to ensure that fire does not spread easily from one building to the next, giving enough time for the people to evacuate.
3. Problems with plumbing
The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) has included plumbing guidelines that both residential and commercial buildings need to comply with. Since sanitation is the main reason why the plumbing system of a structure is taken special notice on, waste lines are also evaluated. Waste lines are also called “Sanitation Lines” or “Sanitation Sewer.”
Among the things the building inspection team take special notice of, are possible leaks, the flow rate, and a functioning on-site wastewater management system. After all, poor plumbing can eventually lead to moulds which is a bigger problem in the future.
4. Possible pest infestation
Building inspectors are also well-versed in detecting possible pest infestations. The common signs that they look for are the following:
- Urine trails and faecal droppings – this is the most common tell-tale sign that there are pests in the building. Inspectors know what pests are inhabiting a building based on the shape and sizes of the droppings.
- Strange odour – pests leave behind rotting food in certain places of the building. This can produce a strange odour that eventually becomes too glaring. Mice and insect droppings also have distinct smells. The worst case is when these pests die inside the premises and their remains leave behind quite an unpleasant scent.
- Tiny tunnels or broken-down wood – when you see these materials scattered around the building, it is a common indication of termite presence. To avoid this from worsening, it is wise to call pest control as soon as possible. Some building inspection firms work hand in hand with pest control and can give you a proper endorsement.
- Loose paper, leaves, grass clippings, and similar shredded-like materials – these are otherwise known as nesting materials. These can be found anywhere within the building but commonly behind pieces of equipment or inside the walls
- Strange sounds – building inspectors are also pretty sensitive when it comes to the slightest sound. Aside from leaks (water or gas), they can sometimes hear faint scratching sounds or even squeaks. These are denotative signs of rodents and bugs.
- Grease tracks and marks – rats engage in many activities and their fur gets caught up in things that eventually leaves a mark when they brush against walls and other surfaces.
5. Damages on the roofing
Whether it’s a low-rise or high-rise building, most owners fail to notice defects located on the property’s roofing. However, a building inspector does not miss this. This is something noteworthy, especially if it is a refurbished building that is being inspected.
The Australian climate can be harsh and extreme, so roof defects in a building are a construction red flag that needs addressing.
6. Poor ventilation
The Covid-19 pandemic has made proper building ventilation more critical than ever. In fact, Australia’s building standards have experienced a complete overhaul to ensure that there will be minimal to no exposure to the virus.
A reliable air filtration system should also be in place in most modern buildings to avoid insulation of the virus. In addition, poor air ventilation can lead to wood rot and toxic mould and, therefore, should be checked.
Who can thoroughly investigate these common defects in buildings? Our team at Vital can.
When it comes to furnishing a trustworthy and transparent building report, Vital Building and Pest Inspection is the best team to call. With our experience and training, you can rest assured that we will not stop after the inspection. We will also gladly put in recommendations on what you can do to amend and resolve our findings, so you can timely address them. We are located in northwest Sydney and can perform building inspections Sydney-wide, as well throughout the whole eastern coast of NSW. Get in touch with Vital today by calling 0401012074 or sending an email to [email protected] for enquiries.