You’d think that if you employed someone to carry out a pre-purchase inspection on a house you are looking to buy that you would be protecting yourself against ending up with a leaky building. Think again! Through our experience in the building industry we’ve had many clients who have bought an existing house after getting a pre-purchase inspection and faced 6-figure repair bills to fix the problems. Why is this? In our experience there are few pre-purchase inspectors that truly understand water and its relationship to buildings.
In our experience there are few pre-purchase inspectors that truly understand water and its relationship to buildings.
So how can you protect yourself from ending up with a leaky building when choosing which house to buy? Get a professional to do the inspection properly. At Professional House Inspections, these are just some of the factors we consider when carrying out a pre-purchase inspection:
With plaster clad houses, it is important that these homes have been well-maintained with paint because the plaster alone is not waterproof. We look for changes of plaster texture that could indicate where repairs have been attempted in the past and then patched up.
- We check all flashings are fitted correctly to ensure water cannot penetrate the building.
- On porches and balconies it is important to ensure the waterproofing membrane has not been compromised by screw holes or other fixtures.
- We look to see if garden beds hard against exterior walls are above the floor level. These sorts of garden beds can allow water to seep into the walls.
- We test waterproofing in tile showers by squirting the shower into each corner for a few minutes.
- Have paintings, pot plants or other items been craftily placed to cover up suspect areas?
We can alert you to any of the warning signs that indicate a building is at risk of leaking. If in any doubt, you can then insist on invasive testing, such as stripping linings off a small area to check the condition of the framing timber, to ensure that the house is not a leaky home.