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Loose and Drummy Tiles – Building & Pest Inspection – Common Defects No.3

No 3. Loose and Drummy Tiles

Loose Floor Tile Picture

Loose Floor Tile Picture

During every Abis Pre-Purchase Inspection all accessible wall and floor tiling is sounded by trapping with a special tool (A shaft with a non-marking ball on the end) to detect loose and drummy tiles. The inspector is listening to the frequency of the sound produced. Where there is an air space under the tile the sound has a lower pitch and is referred to as “Drummy

So why is this an issue?

Drummy or hollow sounding tiles indicate an air space under the tile that is indicative of one or more of the following problems. 

  1. The adhesive not having a good bond between the tiles and the substrate.
  2. There being “voids” of missing adhesive under the tiles.

Tiles which sound drummy are no longer adhered properly and may dislodge. In the case of floors subjected to foot traffic, the tiles that are not correctly laid will most likely break, crack, chip or fail in some other way. In extreme circumstances, the tiles will actually lift off the floor.

This is usually due to old adhesives, incorrect tiling, poor preparation before tiling (removing dirt or paint) or tiles laid too close together with no control joints to allow for expansion.

Another common cause of drummy tiles is the use of tiles with a different coefficient of expansion to the substrate to which they are attached, such as a concrete slab floor. The installation of control joins and the use of flexible tile adhesive can minimise this problem. 

Where a drummy tiles are reported the client should seek advice from a licenced tiler to the establish the extent of remedial work required and associated costs. This is particularly important where the drumminess is widespread.

ABIS building and pest inspections are conducted to the highest standard by building inspectors with a minimum of 10 years experience together with the highest professional qualifications in their field. ABIS has been in business over 27 years conducting both building and timber pest inspections.

Our highly recommended home inspectors are all long term trusted employees not here today gone tomorrow sub-contractors. ABIS Inspectors are supported by a unique computer aided inspection system and the latest inspection equipment such as high sensitivity thermal cameras costing thousands of dollars that others don’t often have.

When you book a pre-purchase inspection with ABIS, our friendly local (they know the area and are not in a interstate or overseas call centre) staff will make the whole process easy for you. Our Office team make all the arrangements with you, your agent, the vendor, the tenant (if there is one) and you will be sent an email to confirm the inspection time along with a pre-engagement letter which covers the scope of the inspection. Good communication and local knowledge are key to you getting the most out of your building and pest inspection. We are always happy to answer all your questions and you are most welcome to be on site when we do the inspection. Our technology, systems and processes also mean you get your high quality report shortly after your inspection is completed.

And all this for an incredible low price.

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