Building inspections: early warning signs
You spent weeks, months or years searching for your dream property. It’s in the perfect location, the price is great, and it looks just like you imagined it. You’re so excited that during the viewing you don’t even pay attention to some of the details which could mean your property needs a professional house inspection before you invest in it. It is important to know what to look for when viewing a property you’re intending to buy to help you avoid losing your money, time and health. Consumer Affairs Victoria advises that all potential buyers should consider organising professional building inspections before purchasing any property. In this post, we round up the most important early warning signs that mean you need a building inspection before you make an offer.
Early warning signs of roof problems
One of the most common defects found in properties are roof damages. When you’re inspecting a property, look out for things such as cracks or any leak marks in the ceiling. Sometimes property owners try to cover up these small defects and they might not be visible straight away. However, if you notice parts of the ceiling where paint is newer or has a slightly different colour, it might be a sign that the property is having roof issues.
If the property you’re interested in has an attic, always make sure you go up to look around. Check the quality and state of the wooden structures holding the roof and see if they have any visible signs of leakage. These might include rotting wood, marks and/or mould. If you can’t spot any, pay attention to the smell and air quality in the attic – humid and damp air might mean that if there aren’t any visible roof problems yet, they might soon appear.
During the viewing you probably won’t be able to climb onto the roof and check its condition. However, sometimes issues can be spotted even from afar. Look out for things such as moss growth, rusty gutters and holes in tiling. These are definite signs that you need a professional building inspection to assess the property before you buy.
Early warning signs of termite infestation
Timber pests, also known as termites, can damage any beautiful property. They can be hard to detect, especially during a property viewing for potential buyers, however there are a few things you should be looking out for. One of those is the flooring within the property. If you notice any sagging parts of the floor, it could mean that termites are eating the wood which supports the floor structure. Moreover, look out for floors which are covered with rugs or carpets. They could be hiding rotten or termite-infested flooring.
Another thing to be cautious of is doors and windows which don’t work correctly. You should always try to open and close at least some of the doors and windows within the property you’re viewing. If you notice that you find it hard to close or open any of them, it could be a sign that the building is infested by pests. This is because termites can weaken the wooden structure throughout the property, causing parts of the building to sink. This often results in issues with closing and opening the doors and windows.
Sometimes you can also notice warning signs of a termite infestation from outside of the property. These include damaged foundations of the building, rotting wooden fixtures such as stairs and window frames, and visible damp areas around the house. Pests love moist environments, therefore if you notice areas where wood is exposed to dampness, you should definitely consider a building and pest inspection before purchase.
Early warning signs of floor problems
When you’re viewing a property, look out for things such as sinking, uneven or squeaky floors. Sinking and uneven floors sometimes can be hard to spot as they might be covered up with small rugs or carpets. Squeaky floors can also be covered up with rugs, however it is fairly easy to spot thi particular issue. Even though it might seem futile, squeaky floors can indicate serious damage within the property that needs to be assessed.
Moreover, if you notice that any of the rooms within the property are carpeted throughout, it could mean that the wooden floor underneath can be in a poor condition. This is especially applicable in older properties, as their floors are likely to deteriorate with time. You also most probably won’t be able to know whether the floors in carpeted rooms are in a good condition even in new properties.
If you notice any of these common floor issues or issue indicators, it is an important sign that you should organise a professional building inspection before buying the property. This is because floor problems can indicate serious problems, such as design and structural faults, poor workmanship and pest infestation. These are often really hard and costly to fix, and might mean that investing in the property will correlate with significant additional costs.
What to do if you notice any of these early warning signs?
We would recommend organising a pre purchase building inspection to help you assess the property and its value before you buy it. Often, building inspections find issues that are hard to find during a prospective buyer viewing. The results of a professional inspection can help you make a decision whether you want to purchase the property, as well as potentially help you negotiate the price with the agent. If you’d like to organise a building inspection for your dream property, contact us now.