Buying a home is likely to be the most expensive purchase of your life – so it goes without saying that you want to make sure it’s a smart one. In addition to a pre-purchase building inspection, organising for a timber pest inspection is crucial in guaranteeing the quality and safety of your potential new home.
Here’s what you need to know about timber pest inspections and why you should never buy a property before getting one.
How timber pests can affect your property
There are a few common timber pests that any good inspector will look out for. Here are the worst offenders and how they can impact your home:
Termites: These critters are the most common timber pests, eating their way through timber framing, doorways and flooring. Even worse, they often leave no trail of destruction, making it hard to identify that there is something wrong.
Decay: Timber decay or ‘timber rot’ can deteriorate the strength of the wood in your home. When timber structures and flooring are affected, the timber may become so weak that it causes a serious safety risk to anyone living in the home.
Borers: A wood boring insect will dig tunnels into timber, causing small holes and discolouration in affected areas.
The risks of buying before inspecting
The last thing you want is to excitedly move into your new home, only to find that it’s infested with timber pests. Unfortunately, the only way you can safeguard yourself against this possibility is with a pre-purchase pest inspection. Without one, you risk…
Overpaying for a property: With help from an experienced pest inspector, you can make sure that the property doesn’t have any infestation issues that affect its value. If your pest report comes back with some issues, you have the ability to walk away from the sale or negotiate a better deal with the vendor.
Expensive repair costs: The issues caused by timber pests to the flooring, doorways and structure of your home can run up a huge bill. Due to the extensive nature of these problems, you could easily spend thousands of dollars fixing them.
Safety issues: The safety of the people living in your home – whether it’s friends, family or tenants – is paramount. Unfortunately, when timber pests attack the structure of your property, they can leave it vulnerable to degradation that can put you at risk.
Finding a great timber pest inspector in Adelaide
With this in mind, it’s vital that you organise for a pre-purchase timber pest inspection before buying a home. Qualified, experienced professionals will not only identify any existing pest problems, but can usually tell you whether the current state of the house puts it at risk of infestation in the future.
Here at Building Inspections Adelaide, we pride ourselves on offering comprehensive building inspections that you can count on. Get in touch with us today to organise your free quote!
April 18, 2019
You’ve taken all the necessary steps to ensure this is a potential property for you, so now it’s time to get serious. Before you sign that dotted line, you’ll want to get the opinion of an unbiased professional who can take you through the condition of the property and help you avoid those nasty surprises.
As with any product or service, it’s important to do your research to choose an inspector that is right for you. After all, a subpar inspection will get you no closer to making an informed decision. So how should you go about choosing a building inspector?
Ask a friend
Chances are someone in your family or friendship circle has bought their own property in the past. Asking people you know is a great first step as it allows you to discuss how they went about finding an inspector themselves and why they decided to go with who they chose. During the conversation, ask about the inspector’s service quality, their process, their price and how quickly they were able to offer results.
Not only could this help you find an inspector that is right for you, it will also answer those questions you have about the process in general. So this is a great step for first home buyers who are new to the property buying game.
Pick a local
Once you’ve found a property you’re interested in, it’s a good idea to thoroughly research the suburb it’s located in. While you’re at it, why not find a building inspector who’s located in that area? Choosing a local will ensure you select someone with extensive knowledge of the types of properties in the suburb and the factors that may be cause for concern.
Not only will you get some insider knowledge of the community you might be joining, you’ll pick an inspector that will probably be able to offer a quick turnaround time.
Ask the online experts
To find out what a service is really like, you need to ask the people in the know: reviewers. Google reviews are a great place to get a heap of honest feedback about their experience with a service provider.
Of course, it’s important to note that it’s rare for a business to have five stars every single time and a little variation is expected. However, have a look at the written reviews and see if there are common themes that are appearing. Do many reviews rave about the friendly service, the low prices and the fast service? Or are many highlighting the lack of communication or horror stories? A one-off story may not be cause for concern, but a bunch of people saying similar things cannot be ignored.
Start a chat
Finally, once you’ve done a bit of research, select a business you think might show some potential and give them a call. Having a quick chat is the best way to get to know a business and make sure they offer the services you’re after. If their friendly, willing to help and offer the services you need at the right price, you’ve got yourself a winner.
April 16, 2019
It’s enough to make any renter or home owner panic. Mould.
More than just being unsightly, mould can devastating effects throughout a property and can even affect your health. So what causes it? And what steps can be taken to remedy or prevent it? Here we’ll cover some information you’ll need to know before tackling the issue in your home.
What causes it?
Before you can look at removing or preventing the growth of mould, you need to know how it gets there in the first place. Put simply, mould is caused by excess moisture, humidity and condensation. Now, what causes these factors is going to vary. In some instances it may be a matter of air flow, in others it could be something more sinister, such as a leak in your wall from a burst pipe.
Step 1 – Identify the issues
The first thing you’ll need to do is complete an audit of the home. Where are the trouble areas? Is it limited to just one area of the home? Have you noticed it’s mostly near windows? This audit might take some time and it’s important to be thorough; mould can grow anywhere from walls and ceilings to carpets, clothing and behind tiles and walls. If a major leak or drainage issues are the culprit, these will need to be fixed ASAP.
While you’ll notice mould inside, it could be because of what’s happening outside. Make sure gutters and downpipes are in good condition and water is being successfully directed away from your property.
Step 2 – Get rid of the water
Mould needs moisture in order to thrive, so taking this away will go a long way in removal and prevention. Mop or soak up spills straight away. If walls and floors are damp after your shower, wipe these dry with a towel. Air dry damp clothing straight away. If there are items that can’t be dried completely, due to flooding for example, it’s best to remove these from the home.
Step 3 – Don’t forget the moisture in the air
Been cooking up a storm in the kitchen? Love those long, hot showers? Don’t forget about those activities that can boost the level of moisture in the air. Proper ventilation is key here. Open those windows, put on the fans in the kitchen and bathrooms. Dehumidifiers can also be helpful when ventilation alone isn’t enough. If you do purchase a dehumidifier, remember to clean these regularly.
Step 4 – Remember this is a process to repeat
Mould can come back, and keeping it at bay is an ongoing battle. Regularly audit your home and keep on top of moisture levels – especially if the weather in your area is particularly humid. Keep a range of natural mould killers, such as vinegar, in the cupboard for quick use whenever required. With ongoing attention and clever prevention tactics, your home can be mould free.
April 11, 2019
Buying your first property is a special milestone. You’ve saved for years gathering that deposit and have done the hard yards with banks, and possibly brokers, to secure a good loan. After the stressful pre-approval process, you could be forgiven for forgetting a few steps when it comes time to look at properties.
The thing is, with so many inspections filling up your weekends, spending a mere half hour – if that – at each property isn’t going to give you much to go by. Sure, it may have a gorgeous kitchen, the bedrooms are big enough and it has a separate shower and bath, but is it really ticking all the boxes?
It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of it all and forget to remove those rose coloured glasses to reveal the true property you’re considering. That’s why an inspection is crucial.
They offer an honest, objective view of a property
A real estate agent may be nice enough to give you a heads up on some things to consider before purchase. However, they’re not obligated to tell you every single thing that may end up costing you in future. Getting an inspection by an objective third party ensures you get the whole picture, without any of the bias or ulterior motives.
Building inspections are usually carried out by builders or architects with years of experience in the sector. They’ll know exactly what to look for and will go through a pre-planned list to ensure your potential property is given a thorough once over. All findings are recorded in a report which is coupled with photos that have been taken to give evidence of any concerns the inspector raises.
Plan or avoid future costs
Once an inspection is complete, your building inspector will take the time to go through the findings with you. While in some cases there may only be slight repairs and maintenance issues you need to be aware of, there are other cases where the results will make you want to run – fast! Reports can help you determine your future costs, and sometimes they are costly! Major repairs for structural or safety issues, or costs to remedy a pest problem may be more than you’re willing to deal with for your first property. In those instances, it may be best to walk away.
Find the right price to put forward
Figuring out what kind of offer to put forward is a tricky part of the home buying process. Too low and you’ll be outbid instantly by other buyers, too high and you’re throwing away money unnecessarily. So how do you find that happy medium? An inspection may give you the negotiating power you need to put forward a price you’re happy with. Having that report shows you’re keen for the property, but also provides evidence to support a lower price due to any needed repairs.
Make sure you remove those rose coloured glasses in your next inspection and call in the experts.
April 7, 2019
You may have heard the term before or possibly confused them with regular building inspections, but dilapidation reports vary from those pre-purchase inspections you hear so much about. So what are dilapidation reports? What details does it include and when exactly should you get one?
Think of it like a before and after
Dilapidation reports are a record of the condition of the property at time of the inspection. The current condition is recorded after a site visit, which takes a look at current damage and any aspects of the property that may be affected by nearby construction or demolition projects.
A report includes a written assessment along with photographs and will look at a range of areas, including:
These inspections are carried out by experienced building consultants who have a great understanding of the type of damage that may occur during large projects. Essentially, the aim is to give you a before and after view to see if damage has occurred.
When you should get one
To put simply, this type of inspection is important for anyone looking for further peace of mind. There are two instances where you may enquire about dilapidation reports.
You are aware of demolition or construction projects that are taking place near your property and need evidence if any future damage occurs to your home as a result.
Your property is likely the biggest investment you have ever made, so you’ll want to do all you can to protect it. If the council or a neighbour is planning a construction project, it’s a good idea to get a dilapidation report before they commence. If their work impacts your property in any way, such as damage to fences or cracks in walls, you’ll be able to make a claim to be reimbursed. The dilapidation report will provide clear evidence for you to plead your case.
You are about to start major construction work on your own property and need to assess nearby properties.
Conversely, if you are planning a construction, excavation or demolition, it is a good idea to get a dilapidation report on the properties around you. The small cost for these inspections will be well worth it in order to avoid costly disputes in future from neighbours claiming your work has caused significant damage to their property. The report is usually signed by the owner and by yourself to show both parties agree to the accuracy and the undertaking of the report.
During the project or upon completion, it’s a good idea to get a second report to show the changes, (if any) that have occurred as a result. Keeping clear and consistent records will help you protect your investment or business from exorbitant costs.
April 1, 2019
So you may have seen it on a building report, or heard about it in property buying horror stories, but what exactly is rising dampness? Here, we’ll tell you what it is, what to look for and the consequences rising dampness can have on a property.
Rising dampness – sometimes referred to as rising damp or structural dampness – is the presence of unwanted moisture that rises through the floors and walls of a property.
Bricks and mortar can be quite porous, so they can soak up groundwater and cause it to travel upwards throughout the home. Often, this dampness doesn’t reach the full height of the building as gravity does its work. However, some moisture will also be evaporated into the property, which causes a whole new array of problems for owners.
What causes it?
This is commonly a fault in the structural integrity of the home where waterproofing has not been carried out properly. However, damage to gutters and piping may also be contributing factors to unwanted dampness. When assessing the cause, you may also need to consider changing environmental factors where your structure is struggling to cope with these new conditions.
What symptoms should I be looking for?
There are number of warning signs you should look for when assessing whether water is an issue at your home.
Smells – damp, musty smells are a sign there may be issues lurking somewhere in your space.
Touch – feel the wall, you may feel a drop in temperature as you move your hand closer to the floor.
Rot – rotting timber is a bad sign and should lead you to inspect further.
Plaster damage – if the plaster is crumbling or blistering it may be due to the salt deposits.
Walls – you may notice tide marks where the moisture stops on the walls.
Skirting boards – check for boards that are obviously damaged.
The damage to your home could be devastating
By the warning signs alone, you could imagine the type of destruction this problem can have on your home. Floors may rot, wallpaper and plaster will be damaged. It can also cause issues with decorations and furniture. So, the sooner you recognise and address the issue, the less likely it is you will need to undergo significant repairs and replacements throughout your home.
If left for extended periods of time, the salt deposits can cause significant damage. Simply replacing the plaster at this point may not be enough to reverse the negative effects. So, quick action is essential.
If you’re unsure if rising dampness is an issue for your property, or a property you are thinking of purchasing, it’s always a good idea to get a professional opinion. Getting the experts in will ensure the problem is correctly identified and the right course of action is taken to rectify any issues.
September 29, 2016
A building inspection is a detailed report on the current condition of a property containing independent advice to help you confidently make an informed decision, based on your findings. It lets you know upfront what sort of maintenance and repairs a property needs and what its minor or major flaws are.
September 29, 2016
If you’re looking to cut corners as you buy or sell a home, make sure you continue to prioritise a building inspection. Why? Because a house is almost certainly your biggest investment, and the structural integrity of a property is absolutely fundamental to keeping your asset and your family safe.
September 29, 2016
Among the top five issues with properties identified by professional building inspectors are structural defects, roof damage, and drainage, plumbing and ventilation problems.
With that in mind, you might think you are well enough equipped to keep a keen eye out for those potential flaws as you prepare to sign a contract on your new dream home.