Problems to Look for in Older Properties During a Building and Pest Inspection

Investors understand they will encounter more structural problems during a building and pest inspection when they are negotiating offers on older properties. The older the property, the more potential for serious issues and the more repairs may be required.

Sometimes older properties are worth repairing while others are not. The objective is to know what you are getting into, whether you are buying or investing, when you seek to buy an older property.

You will find that there are essentially five major problems to be aware of in older properties during a building and pest inspection.

5 Problems to Expect in Older Properties

1) Foundation Problems

The foundation of a house is a primary element of its structural integrity. If you notice unevenness of the floor during a walkthrough of the house, you should know that will require athorough inspection to discover or eliminated potential foundation issues.

Other symptoms of foundation problems include:

Windows and doors that will not properly latch or that stick
Plasterboard cracks around the windows or doors
Bulges in the walls of the foundation
Anything that does not look plumb
Chipping and flaking of the foundation

Hairline cracks in the concrete foundation are not necessarily a sign of foundation issues. The only way to know for sure there is a structural problem with the foundation of an older property is to use quality, licenced building and pest inspection services. If the problem is very serious,they may recommend a certified structural engineer to look at it as well.

Not all foundation problems are beyond repair or an expensive repair. It is simply smart to know what you are getting into before you start negotiating your offer.

2) Drainage Problems

Older homes are susceptible to drainage and water issues. Back in the olden days, houses were not built with underfloor or perimeter drainage like they are today. This is most likely a major issue in homes over 50 years old. That will require updating.

The most common sign that the property has poor drainage or an issue with dampness include a musty smell, which is indicative of mould. It is a noxious odor caused by the gaseous byproduct of mould.

For instance, dampness in the basement can result in mould, which in some cases can be a health hazard. That is why it is important to ensure your building and pest inspector looks for signs of mould, poor drainage, leaks, and related issues.

It may not be economically worth it to install new drainage and waterproofing in an older home, but you need to know the facts before making an offer.

3) Leaky Roof Problems

Like the foundation, the roof plays an important roll in the structural integrity of a house. It is vital that you know if there are leaks in a roof or if there are other roofing issues before you consider investing in an older property.

While water spots are the most common sign of roofing issues, they do not always signify major roofing issues. Water spots can occur inside a structure on the ceiling as well as on the exterior walls.

Water spots found on the exterior walls can mean the roof has flashing problems. A building inspection of the tiles or shingles will reveal issues like cracked shingles, flashing issues, missing tiles, or cupping.

Another area that building and pest inspection services look at is the attic insulation. They should look for moisture in the insulation and under the roof boards.

Roofing repair costs vary, which is why you should get an estimate once you discover the problem. Then you can adjust or make your offer.

4) Archaic Features

The old Stucco ceiling, also referred to as cottage cheese ceiling, used to be popular, but it is not today. These types of ceilings can be removed and replaced at varying costs. The main reason for a building and pest inspection on a Stucco ceiling is to check for asbestos. That is when the expense of removing and replacing the ceiling becomes expensive.

Outdated electrical and plumbing systems must be inspected and addressed if you plan to invest in an older property. Choosing the right building inspection service will uncover electrical and plumbing issues in older properties and provide you with the information you need to decide if it is worth repairing or not.

5) Out-of-Date Layouts

While some of the older, antiquated layouts in old properties lend to its charm, they could cause problems if they are not problematic already. You may be able to preserve these old-world layouts, but you first need to know if they will cause issues or costly renovations before you proceed. Building and pest inspections are crucial in knowing what needs to stay or go.

Not all out-of-date layouts such as little bedrooms, tiny kitchens, ladder-style stairways, and narrow hallways create costly renovations. Most of the time, updating these layouts is up to the buyer/investor/owner of the property.

Final Thoughts

Knowledge is important. Due to these problems in older properties, it is imperative for you to know what requires repairs or renovations before you make any investment. Building and pest inspections are critical to your property investment knowledge.

If you require a building & pest inspection or swimming pool certification please call our friendly team on 1300 883 806.