Property inspections: Danger signs

According to Ron Tanton, Queensland state manager, Archicentre, the following results from a building and pest inspection can indicate a serious problem with the property. “If you’re buying a property for investment purposes, you have to keep in mind that you have a duty of care to your tenants,” Tanton warns. These problems can cost anything from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars to rectify.  


Example of Concrete Cancer1. Concrete cancer: This is the rusting of steel reinforcement inside concrete. As it rusts it expands and creates major structural problems due to ‘spalling’, where the concrete moves away from itself. This can allow water and moisture to seep in and cause further damage. “It can be very, very dangerous if the cancer is left too long,” Tanton says.


Example of termite damage2. Termite damage: People have heard the horror stories; even just exploring a property affected by termites to determine the extent of the damage can be expensive.

3. Damp: It can come up from the ground, down from the roof, or from within the walls from leaky plumbing.


Example of timber rot4. Timber rot: Damp and other fungi, combined with a lack of ventilation, can result in extensive timber rot.  

5. Water damage: This arises from drainage and plumbing issues.



Example of cracking6. Cracking: Cracking can be the result of movement in the house and can signal major structural problems.

 7. Roofing: Not many people look at their roof on a regular basis, Tanton says, so a lot of damage can be uncovered in a building report.


Example of roofing problems

8. Hot water system: When a system nears the end of its life, it can cost up to a couple of thousand dollars for removal, replacement, electrical wiring and plumbing.


 9. Fungus: If identified, it’s highly likely to be mould, which can develop into a very unhealthy situation as it can cause respiratory problems.



Example of wiring issues10. Electrical wiring: Several homes have electrical problems that aren’t visible on the surface.


11. Stumps: Rotting or even new, poorly installed stumps will need restumping, which can be an expensive structural problem to fix.


12. Frame damage: Regardless of whether frames are made of timber or metal, their condition can deteriorate and cause major structural issues.

 See also on this topic Buyer Beware: Understanding building and pest inspections  and Building inspections: Top 10 cover ups and estimated costs


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