The recent spate of severe storms in Brisbane drives home the importance of keeping a home well sealed and dry. Moisture in the form of leaks and water ingress and more seriously, flooding will cause mould, decay and damage to a property. Coupled with warm temperatures and humidity, this may, in turn, encourage termites which can do further significant damage.
As a buyer, you need to be vigilant for signs of moisture, ask yourself the following:
- Have the gutters been kept clear of debris so that rainwater doesn't back up and overflow into the eaves?
- Are there sufficient downpipes in good condition which ensure that rainwater is directed away from the base of the property?
- Are the downpipes just dumping water around the base of the house causing water ponding and destabilisation of footings?
- Similarly, has landscaping, including gardens, paving and driveways been designed to drain water away from the base of the house?
- Is garden mulch soaking up water and decaying close to the property?
- Are bushes and trees trapping moisture against external walls and posing a safety risk e.g power lines?
- Is the house lower than street level encouraging water to flow through the property?
- Is the property watertight?
- Do windows and doors look well sealed and are there a weather flap at the base of the door?
- Can you detect signs of mould or decay?
Be alert to stains, musty smells and rotting timber. If there are signs of decay or mould stains on ceilings, the roof may be leaking into the roof void. There may be cracked or broken roof tiles, holes or rust in roof sheeting or gaps in ridge capping. Skylights or ventilators may be poorly sealed.
If you're not certain what to look for don't worry - that's what a pre-purchase building and pest inspection are for.
An experienced inspector will conduct a comprehensive inspection of the property on your behalf with expert consideration of all of the foregoing.