The benefits of a thermal image on a house inspection report, is for your clarity in the understanding an issue. It is possible to see with duel imaging where in a room an issue is evident from above the ceiling. Here in this photo, it's clearly showing where the insulation bats have been removed in the ceiling space above. A photo from inside the ceiling cavity gives no direction or location of an issue. A thermal camera can also assist in finding water leaks, over heating electrical wiring and many other temperature related issues.
A recently renovated bathroom may look great, but if it was a DIY project by the Vendor, it's probably not to code and you will be stuck with seriously expensive issues. The shower in this photo actually had falls away from the drain and out under the bathroom door into the hallway. If they could not get the falls correct, what hope did they have of doing the waterproofing correctly. The failed water proofing will result in the entire bathroom requiring to be stripped back to bare walls, as leaking bathrooms can result in wood rot, mould and termite activity like shown in the photos below. The 3 photos below are from the same home, showing the termite damaged floor joists and bearers that the newly DIY renovated bathroom was hiding. Firstly the sub floor should have been replaced prior to the renovations. The power point should not be recessed behind the tiles, as this produces a moisture issue and makes fitting the snap on cover almost impossible to finish off nicely. Lastly the floor falls should be 1cm over 80cm, towards the drain in the shower area, it was actually raised and the highest point of the bathroom. To rectify the floor issue would require the entire floor to be removed, as would the issue with the termite damaged timber that requires replacement.
Swimming pool safety and compliance issues. I was inspecting a property with a swimming pool this week and was dumbfounded that a certificate of compliance had been issued to the vendor that stated the pool fence was legal. The pool fence however was not only too low on one panel, it had a 240mm gap in the fence on one side and a climbable structure just 650mm off the pool fence. Regulations state a 900mm clearance zone is required and maximum gaps of 100mm. A child could easily climb the BBQ and step straight onto the pool fence, or fit through the 240mm gap in the fence with ease. The fact that the compliance certificate had been issued, the house could legally be sold with the pool fence as is. This is just another reason to have a house inspection done. The cost of an inspection is so minimal compared to the life of a family member. You can book your inspection by calling Steve directly 0499611528
Previous pest inspections are an important factor when looking at a house to buy. Having received my statement of attainment for inspecting for and the reporting on timber pests, also the control of timber pests, I understand the processes that prior pest operators have applied.
Treating areas with pesticides, considering some of the older treatments were quite poisonous, it is important to understand why they were used as well as where. Sometimes however the spray operator may have caused structural damage to the house, to make his job easier.
The home owner is never likely to crawl under the house, so short cuts are made to gain access and unless you employ a diligent house inspector, you too would never know. Until you suddenly have a structural failure of the flooring of the house you purchased.
Insulation in upper storey or ceiling spaces is paramount to the efficiency of the house air conditioning unit and its ability to cool or heat your home. Unfortunately builders do not always do the right thing. Seen in these photos the wall insulation was not restrained and had simply had fallen out. The upper storey rooms were hotter than the lower areas, as the non air conditioned ceiling space area quickly heated up and the heat was transferring through the walls. This will cause the air conditioning unit to run longer than it needs to, costing you more money to cool your home and the need to replace the air conditioning unit sooner.
Repairs are often done, but the insulation not replaced, or just dumped in a heap as shown above.
Most dangerous is the lack of air venting around down lights. Luckily most newer houses now have LED lights that produce far less over heating issues than the halogen lights did.
The old insulation rebate scheme was the cause for a lot of the dodgy workmanship, as everyone was entering into insulation installations to earn the easy money.
So if you own a house, it will pay to have a poke around inside your ceiling yourself, if your buying a new house, spend the extra little bit and get it inspected as the insulation may just be a minor issue compared to what else may be found.
Leaning retainer walls are an expensive repair, and very dangerous for your family, costing anywhere from $450 to $600 per m² for a concrete block replacement type. This wall is leaning over 220mm and because any wall built higher than 1 metre requires engineering. The repair, to be legal and complying with the council will require certification prior to construction. When looking at a wall such as this one the total overall repair could be over $12,000 just for the rear retainer wall. Unfortunately the properties side retainer walls were also failing in a similar way and also requiring replacement.
It's often what is unseen at a house inspection that will cost you the most. Structural damage in older houses is quite common, from termite damage to the failing of inadequately fastened timber that is under a load, like this strut holding a beam that supports the rafter loads. From above looking at the tiled roof, there was a slight deflection in the tile line. But seen from below, you can see the cause of the issue. This particular house had 3 cracked and broken rafters, as the rafters had failed due to the extra load placed on them by the strutting beam failure. This is quite a repair, but can be fixed if you are willing to spend the money and really want the house.
Deck safety is an often overlooked issue with a house. This example has no bolts connecting the non structurally graded timber posts to the bearers (Painted to look like steel posts).
Round CCA logs are often untreated all the way to the middle, allowing for termite entry and the cut end must face upward as only the original post ends have full treatment. As this deck was in a coastal environment, it is subject to high corrosion, so the nails used are not adequate in holding the bearers in position. The posts should be seated into a cut out section to stop the possibility of the pine bearer twisting and bolted with minimum of 2 galv M10 Bolts. The base of the post ideally should be bolted into galv post shoes, to reduce the termite risk.
Overloading a deck is a common area of concern with items such as BBQ's, Furniture, air conditioner compressors and large potted plants contributing to a possible deck collapse. If the area was not designed to take additional loads where you have added them, its probably not safe to do so.
The dangers of down lights covered by insulation is an unknown or ignored issue. Too many 1990's era house ceilings that I have inspect recently have had insulation over or covering the halogen down lights.
This is a fire risk due to the temperature build up around the lights. There should be a clearance of 200mm to any combustible surface and 50mm clearance from the insulation bat or transformer.
Down light barriers or domes should be fitted to ensure compliance especially if loose insulation has been used.
Alternatively have an electrician replace the lighting with energy efficient LED down lights. LED lighting generates less heat and alleviates most of the heat build up issues.
House inspections are are so important to the buying process of your next house.
As your inspection to purchase was a probably a quick 10 minute look around, you saw that you wanted to buy the property. It had everything you were were looking for in a property. But did it have what you couldn't see. This is where a house inspector comes in with our 90 minute inspection.
We check for dampness in the house walls with special moisture meters.
Also checking for underfloor dampness caused by failed water proof membranes in the wet areas and surrounding rooms.
Inside the roof cavity is checked for failed timberwork and termite damage.
On the roof inspection for roof gutter flow, damaged roofing, timber rot and cracked flashings.
The site is checked for fencing issues, termites in surroundig trees, excessive ground movement and paving condition. Collapsed paving is a sign of storm water pipe joint failure which is quite common as most storm water was DIY when the Golden Grove area was developed for example.
All internal rooms are examined for issues such as patched walls, to determine why the wall was repaired. Ceiling sag from popped screws is quite common in houses built between 2001 and 2009 and can be an expensive repair.
The house is given a good look over and a report is written up on the day of the inspection.
House inspectors should be insured, licenced and have building trade qualifications, with years of experience. I know I do and I am here for you.
A building inspector should have a thermal camera, moisture meter, cavity camera gear with him at all times. I also carry laser measuring equipment, laser levels, a ferroscan to enable checking for the depth of steel reinforcement and even a gas detection meter.
At $350, my service is still affordable as I only run a home office and I am not paying huge franchise fees, like many other inspectors.