If you’re planning to purchase or sell a double-storey home in Adelaide, you may be interested in investigating the most common faults identified by building inspectors. Typically, these are unearthed during professional building inspections conducted by qualified specialists, and can range from severe structural issues to minor cosmetic damage. Knowing what to look for can help prepare homeowners to make informed investment decisions and avoid negligence that may result in costly repairs. In this blog post, we’ll provide a comprehensive overview of some of the most common faults found during two-storey building inspections in South Australia.
Unsurprisingly, the primary difference between inspections conducted in one and two-storey homes is the number of levels that must be inspected. During a single-level inspection, the building inspector will only analyse the interior and exterior of the first floor, as well as any other relevant structures that belong to the property. Meanwhile, a double-storey inspection means they will need to inspect both floors and other accessories, such as balconies, stairways and decks. While double-storey homes share many of the same risks as single-storey homes, it’s these additional elements that most commonly pose the most significant risk.
Foundational damage is a relatively rare defect encountered during two-storey inspections. This typically occurs when the foundations of a double-storey home are poorly constructed or maintained, resulting in cracks and water seepage that can cause structural instability over time. Structural damage, uneven or sloped floors, and misaligned walls and windows usually signify faulty foundations. Investigating further will help uncover the source, whether due to pre-existing faults before construction or damage during or after completion. In rare cases, property foundations may experience cracking due to the intrusion of tree roots. Read more on protecting your property from tree roots.
Cracks in walls or floors
While many believe them to be purely cosmetic, wall or floor cracks may indicate serious structural problems requiring immediate attention. These faults may result in problems that are not addressed, from weakening support beams to leaking roofs. No matter how minor they seem, wear and tear symptoms should never be ignored. Cracks are frequently signs of a more severe problem, and a trained expert should thoroughly examine any concerning symptoms. Read more on why floor and wall tiles crack.
What are staircase treads?
Staircase treads refer to the horizontal piece of wood or other material that is stepped on when walking up and down a staircase. This is an important detail, as worn treads can increase the risk of slipping, which could lead to serious injury. Inspection of the treads should include checking for uniformity in depth, height and width and ensuring proper nosing and the absence of tripping hazards.
If unfixed, leaking roofs can result in significant property damage. Water and moisture can permeate floors, walls, and ceilings, undermining their structural integrity and necessitating expensive replacement or repair. Roof leaks can be brought on by several problems, including damaged flashing or worn-out shingles, so inspecting any damage and taking immediate action to remedy the underlying cause is critical.
Plumbing issues can be a significant headache and costly ordeal. Left untreated, they can lead to further water damage and encourage mould growth. This can be particularly hazardous to your home and wallet, so it’s essential to address the source of the problem as quickly as possible. Engaging a professional plumber to discuss the plumbing situation is recommended to identify the cause and discuss an appropriate solution or course of action specific to your needs.
Poor Waterproofing in the Upstairs Bathroom
Another common issue in two-storey inspections is water damage in the upper bathroom. All homes must have a waterproof membrane underneath the bathroom tiles to protect them from moisture and leaks. Without one, you run the risk of significant water seepage and mould growth, which can cause considerable damage to the property. A qualified inspector will look for cracks, signs of water infiltration, or any visible signs of deterioration in the membrane that must be addressed immediately.
One of the things that apartments and two-storey houses have in common is their propensity for balcony safety issues. This is often due to errors during construction or exposure to the elements resulting in unaddressed wear and tear. A building inspector will also evaluate balconies for:
If you were to catch a glimpse into every Australian homeowner’s nightmares, you’d be sure to find pest infestations near the top of the list. Pests such as termites and mice can cause significant damage to the structure of a house over time. While pest inspections are conducted separately from a pre-purchase or vendor building inspection, they are an indispensable part of a comprehensive assessment. In fact, termite inspections should generally be completed at the very least on an annual basis to protect your home and your wallet from nasty surprises.