8 Common Defects Found During a Building Inspection

A quality building inspection by a licensed BPI Building Inspector may reveal problems that are not visibly apparent to the casual observer or unlicensed operator.

An inspection performed by a skilled professional is certainly a good way for any property buyer can protect themselves from having to deal with serious structural problems after the papers are signed and the deal is done.

When a property is professionally inspected, a number of things are examined. The building inspector checks for water damage to the property and evaluates water drainage. The inspector looks for deteriorated plumbing and incompatible water and sewerage pipes. Structural wear and tear is noted on the inspector’s checklist along with any other damage and defects.

The most common defects found during a building inspection are:

1. Roof Problems

In the Australian climate, even the most well-built roof will begin to deteriorate sooner or later. A roof that was not adequately framed during construction may sag under its own load. A roof that has not been regularly inspected and maintained may require significant repair in the not-so-distant future.

2. Fire Separation Walls

At a Building Inspection done by our Perth inspector Phil Lean,  it was discovered a fire separation dividing wall between two units was incomplete and breaches the building codes. The fire separation wall defectbricks or fire rated materials are required to continue all the way to the underside of the roofing materials with no gaps or open penetrations.

These regulations are designed to stop the spread of fire between units, townhouses and flats and to give a safe period of time for occupants to escape safely.

3. Issues with Plumbing

The building inspector will pay close attention to the condition of plumbing pipes and fixtures. The inspector will evaluate the waste lines as well. No buyer wants to find themselves in a house with leaky pipes, mould and other problems that may arise with poor plumbing.

4. Incomplete Construction

No, this doesn’t mean the builder forgot to add a roof! Incomplete construction may be minor and still lead to a world of woe. If a pergola is not connected to a storm water drain by way of an eave, downspout or gutter system, the building is considered incomplete and repairs ought to be made prior to sale.

5. Inadequate Ventilation

Improper ventilation can cause a range of problems if not corrected. Under-house ventilation is as crucial as the ventilation and air flow within the structure. A poorly ventilated house is susceptible to wood rot and toxic mould.

6. Lack of Structural Integrity

Poor building practices and inadequate maintenance can lead to a range of serious problems within the actual structure of a building. A slow leak in the plumbing system can cause cumulative damage in the way of rotted joists and sub flooring. A leaking roof can cause major damage to interior and exterior walls as well as to the rafters that hold the roof up.

7. Damaged or Missing Fittings and Fixtures

Many disputes that occur during a real estate sale involve the “chattels”or fixtures that are considered a permanent part of the property.

These fixtures and fittings may include installed carpeting, appliances, awnings, light fittings and certain window treatments. A final inspection immediately prior to closing can ensure that all permanent fixtures that are supposed to be included with the property are indeed there when the new owner takes possession.

8. Insect Infestation

While the inspector is evaluating a property, he or she will look for rodent droppings, wasp nests and other signs that insects have taken up residence on site.

If you’re thinking about buying or selling residential property, familiarise yourself with the rules and regulations regarding pre-sale property inspections. At BPI Building and Pest Inspections, we specialise in pre sale inspections and our qualified inspectors leave no stone unturned during their inspections.