Poor House Maintenance
Building Inspection Tips, Home Maintenance

Three Signs of Subpar House Maintenance

Its love at first sight, big bay windows, that glorious view and all those shiny new appliances in that bright, spacious kitchen. Much like a first date, first impressions of a house can drag you into a love affair with a money burner rather than a lasting, solid foundation you can call home. When poor house maintenance suddenly turns into major repair issues, it can be heartbreaking. Save yourself the drama and cost by being vigilant when first inspecting your potential home.  Below are three common issues that are often overlooked.  

What’s That Smell? – Hidden Water Penetration and Mould Damage

Follow your nose, literally. One of the most expensive hidden problems in houses is water penetration. You can quite often spot the warning signs by sniffing and being aware of certain odours that could spell big dollars. That musty smell in the sub floor area rumpus room or utility area could be due to water penetrating through the foundation walls or rising damp, both of which can have serious implications for the structural integrity of foundation walls and the health and amenity of the occupants with.  

Let In The Sunshine, But Not The Breeze – Foundation Issues

Take the time to open and shut the windows and doors. Windows or doors that run out of alignment or have large gaps, have been crudely planed down or are binding often indicate some degree of wall movement and subsidence issues.  Obviously, any cracking to the external and internal walls could also indicate movement and subsidence.  To prevent further subsidence, rectification methods such as underpinning can be utilised. However, this is extremely costly.  Be wary, and do not ignore the signs. Foundation issues are serious business and can turn your dream come true into a well-painted nightmare.  

If The Bones Are Good – Cosmetic Problem Patching

Floors and walls tend to get overlooked in the initial visual inspection of your potential dream home.  Don’t be fooled by the polished new floorboards or newest colour palette throughout the house. As you walk through the house, take note of the floor.  Is it creaking underfoot or is it undulating up and down as you walk down the hallway?  These particular floor issues could be of a cosmetic nature or could indicate poor construction, house movement or even termite damage.  

Closely inspect the walls and ceiling linings as you walk around.  A freshly painted house could be a cosmetic improvement or a red flag telling you that something has been concealed.  Look for signs of crude plasterboard patching, particularly around the bathroom areas.  This could indicate a crude water leak cover-up.  Look for signs of sagging and uneven ceilings.  This could indicate ceiling linings coming loose or water penetration issues.   Keep an eye out for unusual patching that may indicate a quick cover up to disguise wall or ceiling cracks.   

While a freshly renovated house can be a dream, it could be a nightmare. These are just a few of the common issues regularly detected by building inspectors. You need to have a qualified inspector give you a professional assessment. If in doubt, get it checked out. 

Buying a property that’s been subjected to poor house maintenance could cost you more than you think. Contact Action Property Inspections today to book your pre-purchase inspection.

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About Andrew Mackintosh

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.

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