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Don’t Let Your Home Slip Through the Cracks

For most families, buying a house is one of the biggest financial investments and often takes many years to realise this dream. While it goes without saying that it is essential to choose the right property, often thorough building inspections are overlooked. In fact, issues like cracking in a home have the potential to cause disastrous outcomes for houses and their owners. It can be almost equally alarming to the seller as it is to a potential buyer. Not only can cracking be expensive to fix, but it can also be a big safety concern for anyone wishing to live in the residence.

Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom.
 The reality is that most houses, even new 
ones, will have some cracks or show signs of cracking. The benefit of early identification and management of these cracks is the increase in safety and value of the property! Below is a brief guide to identify the severity of visible cracking when looking at a property.

Types of Cracks

Hairline Cracks

Hairline cracks are generally less that 0.1mm wide and deemed negligible.

Fine Cracks

These are typically up to 1mm thick and generally have a very slight impact. While they can be noticeable, they usually do not require repair or can be easily treated for aesthetic purposes using normal decoration.

Distinct Cracks

Distinct cracks are between 2 and 5mm thick and may cause doors and windows to stick. Although these have a slight impact, they can be filled easily.

Wide Cracks

If the crack is between 5 and 15mm thick, it is classified as a wide crack and have a moderate level of impact. These can be fixed through brickwork and possibly replacing some parts of the wall. With wide cracks, doors and windows may experience sticking, service pipes may fracture and weather tightness is often impaired.

Extensive Cracks

Extensive cracks are between 15 and 25mm wide and have can have a severe level of impact. Fixing these cracks can require major repair work involving breaking out and/or replacing sections of walls. Door and window frames may appear distorted and floors may noticeably slope. Service pipes will be disrupted, walls may noticeably lean or bulge and there will be some loss of bearing in beams.

Structural Damage

Anything greater than 25mm in width generally means there is structural damage to the building. These may cause the building to be dangerously instable meaning repair work for structural damage can require partial or complete rebuilding. Signs of structural damage include broken windows with distortion, beams experiencing loss of bearing and walls leaning badly.

Using a reputed, proven and thorough building inspection service like APM Solutions will ensure your home conforms to the Building Standards & Tolerances of Queensland. This is beneficial for the following reasons:

  1. Early identification of potential structural issues
  2. Avoiding investing in an unsafe property or one that will require exhausting and expensive repairs
  3. Negotiate for a price that budgets for necessary repairs
  4. Foresee issues that may impact further in the future

Contact APM Solutions directly on (07) 3828 2020 or via email at admin@apmsolutions.com.au for a competitive quote!

Buying: Is your new home hazard free?

Buying your dream home often comes with an overwhelming feeling of excitement and while you focus on your natural lit hallway, an entertainment balcony or rainfall shower head, you can often turn a blind eye to the common hazards lurking within the property.

Although building inspections are not a safety audit, experienced inspectors can identify what needs to be done to make your dream home comfortable and safe.

Absent Smoke Alarms

By law, smoke alarms must be installed on or near the ceiling in a hallway or an area close to bedrooms. If you have just purchased a multi-storey home, a smoke alarm will need to be installed on each level. While you’re busy walking in and out of every bedroom, you may forget to look up and check out the ceiling. This is what your building inspector will do for you, ensuring it complies with the Australian Standard.

High Risk Structures

Your entertainment balcony is now large enough to host all your family and friends for a house-warming BBQ, so having your building inspector identify if it has been well maintained, free of termite damage, fungal decay and rot is necessary. Although it might look strong and appealing, you may need to get some structural work done so the balcony can safely hold a crowd of people.

Hot Water Tempering Devices

If you are the first buyer of your dream home since 2013, your hot water system will unlikely meet the current standards. Don’t fret, your building inspector will be able to identify whether your hot water system is delivering water which is heated to minimum of 60 degrees Celsius to prevent the growth of bacteria, and then distributed to taps of all sanitary fixtures (baths, shower, basin) at a maximum of 50 degrees Celsius to avoid scalding-related injuries. If not, your building inspector will be able to point you in the right direction of a licensed plumber so you can be under your rainfall shower head in no time at all.

Time and time again, we see dream homes look perfect but are later revealed to have defects – often fixable but it can be costly. Don’t be caught out, get a FREE Quote for your building inspection with APM Solutions today.

When do you book a Building Inspection?

So you’re looking to sell your house – you have engaged an agent, booked the professional photos and approved a marketing plan. You’re good to go right? Wrong.

Did you know that vendors who conduct a building and pest inspection prior to listing have a 55 per cent less chance of their contract falling over at the final hurdle?

Building inspections can prove valuable for two reasons. One – they bring any problems to light prior to the home being listed so that they can rectified and two – eliminates buyers asking for price reductions to conduct any repair work.

Some of the most prevalent issues found on building inspection reports include:

Plumbing Issues

The plumbing system in any home is intricate, but it can also be the source of problematic results on a professional building inspection report. Outdated, deteriorating or incompatible piping aren’t unusual, as are waste line issues and faulty fixtures. Plumbing defects are among the most common problems discovered by professional building inspectors, and can affect the sale of a property if they’re not properly addressed.

Structural Defects

Either as a result of building defects, general wear and tear or plumbing issues, structural defects can and do happen. Lack of maintenance, undetected leaks due to poor roofing or plumbing and degradation as a result of poor ventilation are just a few of the factors which can contribute to structural defects. Environmental factors and initial building practices can also contribute to cumulative damage sustained to rafters, floor joists, foundation walls and other structural components – which is especially common in older homes.

Insufficient Ventilation

One of the most popular trends in modern home design, renovations and upgrades is energy efficiency. Saving money and reducing energy usage are admirable ideas, but as with anything in life, you can have too much of a good thing. Homes which have been aggressively sealed against heat loss can, in fact, be sealed tightly enough to inhibit air flow and ventilation. The result is a high level of moisture within the home, which can lead to mould growth, water damage and rot.

Drainage

The primary issue disclosed on many building inspection reports is related to the drainage. A thorough, professional building inspection covers more than just the primary structure. A building inspector will also evaluate crucial aspects of the surrounding property to determine the potential for water damage and cracked slabs due to grading and drainage deficiencies. While this is a relatively common problem reported during building inspections, it can also be one which is remedied with ease. In many cases, the repair or installation of new gutters, downpipes and re-grading around the structure can lessen the threat of water damage significantly.

Roof Damage

While a well-built roof does have a surprisingly long life expectancy, even the best roof will eventually begin to degrade. Professional building inspections can often highlight issues with roofing which may have gone previously undetected, as most homeowners will not discover roof damage until it’s severe enough to cause leaks or be immediately visible.

Therefore, it is highly recommended to hire a reputable and experienced professional building inspections company prior to listing your home to identify any common problems or issues that could be remedied prior to it affecting the sale or final asking price.

Book your pre-sale Building and Pest Inspection today.