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building inspections

All building Engineers are carried out by experienced licensed inspectors with wide knowledge accumulated from all aspects of the building and inspection industry with a structural engineering background.

BUILDING INSPECTIONS

Our Building Inspections Cover

  • Fencing and retaining walls.
  •  Outbuildings such as carports, garages.
  •  Surface water drainage, seepage and damp.
  •  Structural damage and conditions conducive to structural damage.
  •  Subfloor areas, ventilation, stumps and floor framing.
  •  Defective or non-existent damp proofing, rising damp.
  •  Balustrades, stairs, decks and pergolas.
  •  External cladding, flashings, doors and windows.
  •  Conditions of Internal walls, ceilings and floors
  •  Bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, garage etc.
  •  Fascias and barges, gables and soffits.
  •  Roof cladding, roof flashings, gutters and downpipes.
  •  Roof void framing, insulation, sarking.
  •  Significant defects in secondary items such as Internal linings and finishes, wall and floor tiles.
  •  General maintenance items to assist you in maintaining your property.
  •  Overview of swimming pools and pool safety enclosures.
  •  Overview of electrical wiring and plumbing with recommendation for further investigation if required (we are not licensed plumbers or electricians).Our Building Report Covers
  •  Significant defects of secondary elements (e.g. kitchen cupboards, bathroom fixtures and tiles).
  •  Minor Defects and Maintenance Items to assist you in maintaining your property.
building inspections
building inspections

TIMBER PEST INSPECTION

The Timber Pest Building Inspections for termites, wood decay and borers, are carried out separately from the Building Inspections, even though the information obtained from the inspection often overlaps with the findings of the building inspection.

Typically, leaks and water play a major role in promoting and supporting timber pest activity.
Termites
The base of the building is checked for any signs of termite mudding or damage. Leaks and ponding water are noted, as these are a source of moisture that would support termite activity and promote wood decay.
Hot water unit relief valves and air-conditioning unit condensation pipes provide a constant source of water and can support a large termite colony.
Garden beds and irrigation are also a good source of moisture and should never be constructed at the base of the building.
The subfloor area is a critical area to check. Moisture and poorly ventilated areas provide ideal conditions for timber pests.
Termite shields do not stop termites but are intended to make their presence more noticeable and thus need to be inspected and checked regularly. Bridged or corroded termite shields are ineffective and do not provide protection from termites.
Queensland Pine Beetle
The old timber Queenslander-style homes are constructed largely from native pine timber which is the preferred diet of the Queensland Pine Beetle (Anobiid Borer). The floorboards are the most vulnerable to the larvae of the beetle and the underside of the boards should be checked for the telltale signs of exit holes made by the emergent adult beetles.
The Australian Standards recommends that a building should be inspected for termites at least annually.
Here’s what you get in the BuildandPest.com pest inspection service:

Thorough systematic inspection of the property using detailed checklists that includes carrying out necessary tests. We use the latest detection equipment.

  • The Termatrac Microwave Motion Sensing device are used when required.
  •  Comprehensive written pest inspection reports that comply with AS 4349.3
  •  Pest reports are available to you same day by E-mail and or hard copies are posted on request.
  •  Timber Pests including termite activity/workings and damage, wood decay and borers.
  •  Conditions conducive to timber pests.
  •  Non durable timber in contact with the ground or used in exposed weather conditions.
    Our Timber Pest Report Covers
  •  Drywood Termites.
  •  Wood Borers such as Anobiid Borer (Pine Beetle in Qld)
  •  Lyctid Borer (Powder Post Beetle)
  •  Wood Decay (Brown Rot or Cubic Rot in Qld) Dry Rot Fungus is limited to colder climates.
  •  Conditions that may cause or promote Timber Pest activity.
  •  The use of non durable timbers and timbers with insufficient ground clearance or embedded in the ground.

SITE INSPECTION

Checking a property typically begins with a site inspection. This is an assessment of the site for any conditions that may have a negative impact on any buildings or associated structures on the property (conditions conducive to structural damage).

 

Fencing, Retaining Walls and Swimming Pools

Your inspector will check fencing and retaining walls as part on the site inspection. Timber structures are checked for wood decay and termite activity. Pool fencing, swimming pools and pool equipment do not form part of a pre-purchase property inspection as defined by Australian Standard AS 4349.1

Other Structures

Outbuildings such as carports, garages pergolas are also checked as part of the site inspection. These structures are checked in much the same way as the main building or dwelling would be checked.

BUILDING EXTERIOR INSPECTION

Checking weep holes

Wall cracks

The exterior inspection of the dwelling starts with an overview from the front of the property (or preferably from across the road) to sight the lines of the building for any signs of unevenness, bowing or sagging in the walls or roof.

 

Stormwater Drainage and Water Damage

The area around the base of the building is checked for signs of inadequate drainage, seepage and ponding water. The roof water downpipes and stormwater connections are checked for damage and leaks. The number of roof water downpipes and the distance between them should be checked. It is common for older buildings to not have enough downpipes, which causes the guttering to overflow to the base of the building. Typically it is leaks and water that play the major role in building degradation. In most cases, water ponding at the base of the building will destabilise the foundation earth supporting the structure.

 

Brickwork and Stumps

With slab on ground brick veneer homes, particular attention is paid to the brickwork. Whilst in most cases the brickwork on a modern home is not structural and is no more than a cladding, it is a very good indicator of building movement. Gaps can open up between the brickwork and window or door frames. Brick and/or mortar can develop cracks as the concrete slab floor subsides or heaves. Gaps between the soffits and brickwork can also develop with significant movement.

 

The concrete stumps of a stumped building should be checked for movement, damp or cracking. Concrete stumps have steel reinforcing bards within them, which will corrode and blow out (concrete cancer) if the stumps are subjected to poor drainage and damp conditions. Timber stumps are checked for termite damage and decay.

Subfloor Inspection

Building Inspections. Many older buildings have subfloor areas and these are required to be fully inspected. The subfloor area is a very important part of the inspection as it can reveal hidden underlying defects that can have a major adverse impact on a building.

 

Poorly ventilated and damp subfloor areas provide ideal conditions for timber pests such as wood decay, termites (Subterranean and Drywood species), and wood borers. Damp conditions can also adversely affect the structural integrity of steelwork causing corrosion and masonry components causing erosion.

 

Adequate ventilation is essential, and it is quite common for older buildings to have little or no subfloor ventilation. Most modern homes are concrete slab-on-ground construction and do not have void areas that need ventilation.

 

Determining the general condition of pipes within the subfloor area is important, as any leaks would promote timber pests and building degradation.

 

Masonry or timber stumps should be checked for damp and decay. A steel rod is used to spear under the base of the timber stumps as the stump may look sound but wood decay or termites can extensively damage the stump below the ground level requiring it to be replaced.

 

The underside of the floorboards is checked for timber pest damage, fungus or decay. Pine floorboards are checked for anobiid borer damage.

Building Interior Inspection

The inspection of the interior of the dwelling starts at the front entry door and is a very systematic inspection using a detailed checklist. Various tests are carried out during the course of the inspection.

 

The inspector uses a Termatrac T3i devise to check for damp and to locate water leaks and termite infestations. This is an excellent tool, specifically designed for building inspections.

Bathrooms are a very important part of the inspection – not only are they very expensive to repair or replace, but are the main source of moisture and leaks within the dwelling. Leaking showers are a very common defect; we carry out water testing of tiled showers for possible leaks.

 

Doors and windows are operated and tested for alignment as “out of square”. Poorly aligned doors and windows are often a tell-tale sign of significant building movement. Wall and ceiling linings are checked for signs of cracking and moisture damage.

 

Floor and wall tiles are checked for secure fixing or drummy floors. All taps are checked and operated, as are light switches and fans.

Roof Void Inspection

The roof void of building inspections should always be accessed, as this is an area that can tell a lot about the age and condition of a building as well as the watertight condition of the roof coverings and flashings.

 

Some roof voids however do not have sufficient room for bodily access, but in most cases, a roof void manhole is in place to provide access to the interior of the roof. A very bright LCD wide beam torch is used to inspect the interior of roof voids and accessible timbers are tapped and probed.

 

The tops of the walls around bathrooms and wet areas are important areas to check for signs of termite mudding and damage.

 

An overview of the electrical wiring is often best done within the roof void to look for obvious signs of handyman electrical or perished cables.

 

The true condition of old sheet metal roof coverings is best determined from within the roof. Moisture condensing on the underside of the metal sheeting can cause extensive damage and corrosion over time. Leaks are often more easily located from within the roof.

Roof Exterior Inspection

Building inspections engineers will always endeavor to climb upon the exterior of a roof where possible, however strict Occupational Health and Safety Laws do not permit access to areas over 3 meters above the adjacent ground level unless the area being accessed is safety-railed or has balustrades. We do however carry a large extension ladder and an assessment can be carried out from this, and in some cases, binoculars can be used to get a closer look.

 

We do carry out thorough inspections of roofs that are accessible for damaged or missing roof coverings or flashings. Corroded roof sheeting, eaves, gutters and roof water downpipes are common faults with many older buildings. Typically older metal roofs are lap joined short sections of sheeting, and it is these lap joins that trap moisture and corrode through, causing leaks. The true condition of an older sheet metal roof is often best determined from within the roof void.

 

Concrete and Terra-cotta roof tiles need the capping tiles re-cementing from time to time, usually around every 12 years or so. The surface coating on the tiles is usually quite weathered at 25 years, but the lack of surface coating does not necessary mean that the roof tiles will leak. This can however add considerable weight to the roof after an extended period of rain, and damp can also permeate to the roof void so keeping a coat of paint or sealant on the roof tiles is recommended.

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