Common defects to look out for
News > news - 11 Jan 2012
Therefore, he says, it is important for buyers to be able to look past the aesthetic appeal of a home and look at the integrity of the components that make up the property in order to ensure that the purchase won’t end up costing more in the long run. With the introduction of the Consumer Protection Act many buyers are requesting a list of defects from the seller, however there are a few things to look out for when viewing a property, which Goslett lists as the following:

Rotten wood:

Goslett says that in certain areas in the home that are exposed to moisture, such as the kitchen and bathroom, wooden components may have begun to rot over time and should be checked.  These elements must be treated and protected with a paint or finish that is specifically designed for this purpose. Exterior features such as decks or trims that are made from wood should also be checked as these will be exposed to the elements.

Unsafe or loose railings:

Other elements to look at while inspecting the exterior decks is that all railings are fastened securely and that none are missing. This applies to any staircases or balconies as well – unstable or insecure railings are not safe.

Adequate ventilation:

Make sure that the home has adequate ventilation. According to Goslett, if a home does not have proper ventilation, the moisture in the home will not be able to evaporate, which will cause problems. It is also important that the ceiling space under the roof is well ventilated to ensure that roof has a long life span.  Ventilation ducts will allow the intense heat in that space to escape, which will promote evaporation of the moisture and ensure that interior walls and structural elements stay dry.

Amateur repairs:

They may not be easy to spot, says Goslett, but often homeowners that have lived in a home for extended period of time will have attempted to make some repairs themselves.  Check the plumbing and electrical areas as these are the areas where DIY repairs are most commonly seen.

Plumbing problems:

While checking the plumbing areas, look under the sinks for pipes that are leaking or need repairs. Goslett says that it is important to have all plumbing issues addressed before the purchase of the home as this will save the buyer a lot of money in costly repairs.

Electrical issues:

Outdated or faulty electrical systems can be extremely dangerous and cause breaker tripping or fire. Goslett advises buyers to look out for faulty wiring in the electrical panels as well as elsewhere in the home. “Even though an electrical certificate that certifies that the electrical systems in the home are within code is issued during the sale process, buyers should still double check the wiring.

Drainage and water control:

Poor drainage systems around the exterior of the home can lead to water and damp problems in lower level areas of the property. This could cause mould as well as compromise the foundation of the structure if it persists. Water intrusion can be one of the most destructive and expensive problems.  Make sure all drainage areas are properly graded and direct water away from the home. Buyers should also check that water control elements such as gutters and downspouts are well-maintained.

Roof problems:

Goslett says that buyers should look out for old, broken or missing tiles on the roof that need to be replaced. If the roof is in bad repair, it should not be ignored as a leaky or damaged roof can cause other costly problems elsewhere in the home.

Goslett concludes by saying that if homebuyers are in doubt, before they sign on the dotted line they should get a trained, certified inspector who can help them look for defects and guide them to a smart buying decision.
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