Flooding and Buying a home in Brisbane


Brisbane is historically known for experiencing heavy rainfall, causing flooding in many suburban areas which affect plenty of properties.

This is caused by two key reasons:

  1. The Brisbane City is built on a low-lying floodplain; referring to the close proximity to land and a water source, where Brisbane’s rivers are subject to overflowing when heavy rain occurs.
  2. Brisbane’s humid-subtropical climate is another reason whereby, very warm waters (El Nino conditions) close to Brisbane pump excessive moisture into the air causing an increase in showers and thunderstorms.

​Since the last major flooding event in 1974, Brisbane has undergone a long period of development. This development in conjunction with the building of the Wivenhoe Dam means that future flooding events are likely to be very different to those in 1974.

How do you know if a property has been previously impacted by a flood?

There are many online resources that enable you to check the specific suburbs you’re interested in, giving you the ability to find out when and where floods have occurred historically. The Department of National Resources and Mines (DNRM) provides mapping and data on historical flooding within Australia, and respectively the Brisbane region in a user-friendly format. The DNRM’s FloodCheck Map allows the public to:

  • View historical flood lines with easy to interpret graphical imagery;
  • Flood reports, basin studies, local council information and publications; and 
  • Potential floodings 

Additionally, the Brisbane City Council have their own Flood Awareness Map that displays where the flood sources are occurring and historical flooding for a more straightforward experience. 

What are the major defects as a result of flooding?

The aftermath of flooding can leave property owners with various building defects many of which will be identified in a Building and Pest Inspection. Below is a list of the most concerning issues to be aware of before you make a decision on a property:

  1. Mould can arise from an increase of moisture, becoming visually disturbing and can severely affect one’s health
  2. Structural damage can occur through prolonged and intense exposure to water, causing:
  • Erosion inside and outside the building
  • Weakening of drywalls
  • Soaked insulation
  • Electrical wiring hazards 
  • Structural components may lose strength and become distorted 
  1. Pest infestation can also arise from flooding as it thrives off moisture

How can an inspection identify flood-related issues? 

By being proactive throughout each stage of house development and during the buying or selling process you can safeguard your property investment and save yourself a great deal of grief later on if anything was to be discovered.

When you get a building inspection from a trusted company, you can assure that an experienced and qualified building inspector will complete a thorough inspection of the entire property, followed by a detailed report. Final communication with the inspector will allow you to make the smartest choice possible and take control of your investment.

Additionally, there are a number of self-assessment observations you can check for when walking through a property. By making yourself aware of such signs, it can allow for a more effective pre-purchase building and pest inspection.