water damage, building and pest inspections
Ask the Inspector, blog

Top Five Reasons A Property Fails Building and Pest Inspections

Building and Pest Inspections And Why Properties Fail

You’ve found the perfect home to buy. Great! But, first things first. Book in your building and pest inspections ASAP. Why? A home inspection will not only uncover any hidden secrets but will establish whether your prospective new home is structurally safe. Its those structural problems that will cause a property to “fail” building and pest inspections.

What happens if I don’t arrange pre-purchase building and pest inspections?

To the untrained eye, your new home seems perfect. It’s on the right street in your ideal neighbourhood, has the yard you dream of and fits your family to a tee. However, there are many factors to consider when buying a home, and safety is number one.

Building and pest inspections can uncover a property’s true condition, and sometimes your potential new property might not be perfect at all. It is not uncommon for an inspector to uncover major issues with a property; underlying structural problems that you wouldn’t have otherwise noticed.

If you buy a property with serious structural problems and you did not arrange a pre-purchase building inspection beforehand, you are then liable for significant financial costs to get your new home fixed. Avoid a potentially dangerous and expensive mistake by inspecting before you buy.

Top reasons why a property may fail building and pest inspections

What is a qualified building inspector looking for when undertaking building and pest inspections? What classifies as a ‘fail’? Believe it or not, most homes will have problems of some kind, but it is those with major structural problems that will fail inspections.

Structural movement

When a property shows signs of disrepair in the main elements of the building, this could be a sign of structural movement. Major structural movement is a cause for concern. Small movement in homes happens all the time, but when the safety of the structure is compromised, a property will fail building and pest inspections. Such indicators would be cracks in the brickwork and paving, or cracked or bulging walls inside the property.

Cracks and breaks in masonry can be caused by changes in the environment, such as foundation movements in the soil and rock materials at the base of the house. Tree roots can also cause problems with structural elements of a property. Other factors can be the age of the building or poor workmanship.

Building and pest inspections establish whether faults in the property’s masonry are fixable with minor cosmetic touches, or a sign of significant damage caused by major structural movement.

Major water penetration in masonry

Inadequate drainage, clogged guttering, leaking pipes and rising damp are all reasons why water will penetrate the brickwork of a property. When water penetration occurs, and the issue is not rectified soon enough, the long-term viability of a property’s structure is compromised.

Aside from major structural damage caused by corrosion, major water penetration in masonry increases mold and fungal activity, which then attracts termite activity. Water damage is a common issue uncovered in building and pest inspections and is a reason why many properties fail the survey.

Deterioration of the building’s structure

Decay will happen to any property over time without regular maintenance. Major problems occur when a property’s walls, stumps and foundations have deteriorated to such an extent that there is inadequate support left to bear the weight of the house.

Building and pest inspections will check for deterioration of:

  • stumps under the house
  • bearers and joints
  • flooring
  • walls

If a property is barely standing due to the damage caused by decay over time, or due to lack of maintenance, there is no doubt it will fail building and pest inspections.

Serious pest infestation

The common culprit here is the terrible termite. These silent critters are the most destructive of all pests in Brisbane. Due to Queensland’s hospitable climate and the fact that most builders use timber in the construction of homes, termites are a major problem for Brisbane properties. Termite activity is a common issue uncovered during building and pest inspections.

Without regular pest inspections, termite activity often goes undetected. When a termite infestation is present and untreated, these little dynamos will eat away at a property’s wooden structure from the inside out, leaving a mere shell.

Due to the silent nature of these tiny pests, serious damage can occur before termite activity is noted. In worse case scenarios, a property can be deemed unsafe to live in due to termite activity leaving the house structurally unsound.

Roof damage

The roof of a property is essentially the first point of deflection against mother nature’s elements. Without an adequate roof, a property will be open to weathering rain, wind, hail, fire and extreme heat. The roof is an incredibly vulnerable part of a property and must be in prime condition to pass an inspection.

An inspector will look out for signs of a sagging roofline, water damage, cracked tiles and decay. When possible, an inspector will check the roof both inside and outside to establish its true condition.

There are times when the roof of a property is in such disrepair, it is a deemed unsafe and will therefore fail building and pest inspections. If you don’t book in a pre-purchase inspection and you are left with a roof in disrepair, be aware that replacing a roof is an expensive exercise.

Book in your pre-purchase building and pest inspection

The biggest and most expensive mistake a property buyer can make is not arranging a building and pest inspection. A qualified building inspector will know whether the property you are looking to buy is structurally sound.

Building and pest inspections only take a couple of hours, and the cost of doing one is very small compared to tens of thousands of dollars in repairs!

Action Property Inspections have been in the building and pest inspection industry for over 28 years and know the signs to look out for. Protect your investment, and give them a call today!

Call Action Property Inspections on 1800 642 465 or complete the online form here to book in your building and pest inspections today.


About Andrew

Andrew Mackintosh has been answering home inspection questions in the greater Brisbane area since 1995. He has personally carried out over 20,000 building inspections and is a licensed builder and licensed building inspector, Member of Queensland Master Builders Association & Institute of Building Consultants. Being the business owner and the inspector, Andrew is passionate about providing clients with excellent customer service, value for money, honest, unbiased, thorough inspection and reporting in a professional and timely manner to allow clients to make informed decisions when purchasing property.