When looking to invest in property it's important to have an expert eye to check over the property. More often than not emotions and cosmetic “dressings up” of property on the market can obscure or cloud our judgment making it impossible to take a deeper look. Having a qualified professional, or third party check over your property via a house inspection is a necessary step in the purchasing process.

Common examples from experienced Inspectors at Inspect House NZ show us poor workmanship, structural damage, negligence of maintenance by current occupants, wiring defaults, broken pipe connections, and many other similar issues. So, if you are about to buy a house, you must hire professional services for your house inspection in Christchurch. They shall let you know everything about the three main structural damage warnings that you should never ignore.

Foundation Cracks:

Foundation cracks are one of the most common foundation problems, and can often be related to seismic movement and settlement of the foundations over time. However, they can also be an indication of something much more serious. Bad soil, or soil that is too wet around the foundation, can cause the foundation to crack and lead to other foundation problems such as Settlement: Downward movement of the foundation. Cracking can also be an indication of;

  • Not settling the ground first before laying the foundation
  • Water supply below the foundation
  • Poor construction that is easily prone to damage and big cracks
  • The roots of the trees that try to grow below the ground under the foundation

Some of these issues can harm the structural integrity of the building and be very costly to repair. This is why a professional team like Inspect House NZ should be engaged to carry out a thorough house inspection, this is especially important in an earthquake-prone area such as Christchurch where cracking is very common.

Sagging or unlevel Floors:

Whilst searching for the right property to invest in, you may come across dwellings that have uneven floors, sagged floors, or damp surfaces. Although in many aged buildings this is a common age defect, these can also be warning signs of structural concerns and should be considered before the sale and purchase agreement is signed. These issues can have many causes:

  • Improper checking of the construction levels after settling the foundation
  • Poor water drainage from the building or surrounding site may cause the foundation soil to  absorb the moisture and cause erosion
  • No frequent inspection of the subfloor and support beams that can rot and deteriorate with age
  • Ignoring the presence of wood-destroying termites in the house that cause serious damage to the flooring
  • And underlying issues with the site such as being constructed on a water table, and a geotechnical engineer will need to be engaged

These are often areas of the property that are not inspected by everyday consumers, vendors or agents. Having a Professional Building Inspector that is qualified, has some skin in the construction industry and completes a thorough inspection like the team at Inspect house NZ can help to identify some of these concerning areas.

Damp & Patchy Ceiling:

When you view a property, how many times do you look up and inspect the ceiling? To be honest this is rarely an area that is observed when looking at a property. There can be quite extreme visual clues such as highly visible big dark cloudy patches or areas of visible mould, but there can also be subtle signs such as cracking along the wall to ceiling junctions, sagging cornice and areas of paint flaking. These can be clues of moisture ingress which can have an effect on the structural integrity of the roof void space. You should engage the services for house inspections in Christchurch through an experienced team such as Inspect House NZ that will give you an exact idea of the extent of damage and the estimated repair cost. These areas of concern can have many causes:

  • Leakage in the pipes that causes the water to seep into the areas surrounding the ceiling
  • Condensation is another root cause of damp ceilings as well as walls. Condensation happens when there is poor insulation in the roof void area
  • If the property is poorly constructed and/or with low-quality material, it can cause cracks in the ceiling
  • Improper drainage on the roof causes dampness and dark patches on the ceiling
  • Internal gutters or blocked gutters overflowing into the roof space
  • Roofing material or covering that may be damaged or aged and allow leaking

Thus, if you notice these problems, make sure you engage a knowledgeable house inspector to carry out a detailed inspection report. This will help you to make the final decision around negotiation, buying as is with knowledge around future repair costings, or passing on the property.