Showing posts with label Building Inspection reports Perth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Building Inspection reports Perth. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

What to inspect when buying a home?

By: Peter Huber
Posted By: BHIS

It goes like this, before you buy something, and a friend had described it to you in detail ”warts and all”, it would have helped in shaping your ideas in the purchase of that something.

Home Inspection services Perth

Well the same goes for when buying a car or a house. These are major purchases for most people and for some it is the single most important investment in their live. This being the case then, would it then not make sense that before buying, some one thoroughly checks out your proposed purchase before a final commitment is made on paper in the form of an offer to purchase. Preferably a mate in the building industry or a professional inspection institution can be called upon to give an unbiased opinion based on the structural nature of the building.

Professional Home Inspections Perth

The things that a buyer should be aware of is that firstly the foundation, walls and roof construction are sound, as theses components constitute the shell and anything else is purely cosmetic.

Building Inspection services Perth

Firstly the foundations:- If they are Limestone, then one would have to appreciate that they are large chunks of rock, shaped and placed into a hand dug trench and mortared into position, there was never any compaction carried out to the soil below the first laid limestone, hence the ground could move and settle as the weight of the walls was placed upon the Limestone. Large homes were built upon the limestone foundations and later the settling took place and was and still is evidenced in settling cracks noted on wall.

Professional Building Inspections WA

These days we build the foundations a different way, mostly it is a concrete perimeter beam and a floating slab is resting on top of these footings. This latter method is built on soil that has been compacted to a uniform compaction. If this compaction is not uniform then uneven settling can be the major source of settling cracks, as the foundation settles under the weight of the walls and roof. The importance of uniform compaction is so vital that theoretically, if the compaction was uniform then no settling would occur.

Independent Building Inspections Perth

The importance of keeping the perimeter foundation at a constant moisture level is equally as important since a constant change in concentrated moisture levels content will cause the soils supporting the perimeter footing beam to move. This movement is transferred to the walls and settling cracks appear over windows and doors as these are the most vulnerable areas. So it is important that the down pipes are connected to soakwells which are at least 1.8 meters away from any footing.

Pre Purchase Building Inspection Perth
Next week we will continue with this, so that by the end, you will have a comprehensive check list.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Overcoming damp problems in your house | Professional Home Inspections Perth

By:Peter Huber
posted by:

From time to time the CSIRO is asked to suggest remedies for dampness caused by rain penetrating solid masonry walls, below are some of their invaluable findings and suggestions which are worth passing on.
Single-leaf construction cannot be expected to be water-tight, especially if it is subjected to wind-driven rain. If the wall thickness is increased it should be more resistant to rain penetration, but poor workmanship in the form of unfilled joints and un-tooled face joints can result in walls that are prone to dampness despite their thickness and apparent solidity.

Often people seek a quick and easy “brush-on” treatment, preferably to be applied from the inside, but we consider the latter to be unrealistic and a false economy. External treatment aimed at preventing the masonry from becoming damp in the first place is a more sound approach. Some possibilities are described:



Silicone formulations brushed or sprayed onto porous surfaces make them water repellent, so that water then runs down treated walls instead of being absorbed. There is a risk in this, however, because fissures wider than hairline crack are not bridged by these materials. The increased amount of water running down the wall during a shower can result in more water penetrating the wall, via such fissures, than before the treatment. With this in mind walls should be examined carefully, and repaired if necessary, before silicone is applied. Silicones deteriorate in sunlight and periodic reapplication is required if the wall is to remain water repellent.


This is a useful treatment. Two coats should be applied on the wall after the necessary preparation. A minimum preparation would be to repair gaps and defects in the mortar joints, but in practice “bagging” of the whole wall is advisable. A mixture of 1:4 cement: plasterer’s sand is suggested for this, the wall being “wetted down” before starting.


If organic paints are to be used “bagging” is an essential preparation. As long as the paint film is intact the system will be effective, but once cracking starts water will be trapped behind the paint. This water will take a long time to evaporate and, under adverse conditions, the wall can become progressively damper. In any case the life of the paint system there-after is likely to be short.


This treatment is virtually permanent and should be effective in all but the most severe conditions. For resistance to rain penetration a rough-textured and porous rendering is normally more effective than a dense and impermeable plain finish. Suitable cement: l lime: sand mixes are given in the British Standard Code of Practice CP 221, “External rendered finishes”, available from the Standards Association of Australia.

The discussions and hint given above will suit most homes that have damp problems, in fact silicone treatment seems to be the most popular, especially in the case where the external walls are face bricks.

If you have any further questions please call our office.

We want you the reader to write to us on, any Building matters, and questions or if you seek advice, we will gladly answer any topic that you wish us to discuss, so please send your letters to “B. & H. I. S.” C/O. 17 Battye Road, Kardinya, W.A. 6163 or fax/ph (09) 331-3031

Monday, August 10, 2015

Building Inspections reports Perth | Improving Sub-Floor Ventilation

By: Peter Huber
Posted By:

Improving Sub-Floor Ventilation

We will look at improving sub-floor ventilation which if not done correctly can be a cause of decay to timber components.

The other day we were asked to inspect an older style home in Nedlands it was a grand old mansion with timber flooring through out, massive ceilings space and it was oozing with old world charm. Generally the home was in good shape some of the roof timber were showings signs of sag and ageing but one room in particular was extremely cold, and it almost reminded me of the spooky stories one reads about cold rooms in haunted homes, but no such luck.
It turned out, after removing the inspection (male/female) opening in between the floor joists, it was obvious why the room was so cold.

Building Inspections reports Perth:

For starters the distance between the ground and the floor was very close, the home was on a sloped block, and sub-floor ventilation was minimal. I will insert some data facts as supplied by CSIRO to us, on how to improve the subfloor ventilation with some interesting and commonsense applications, but you may well ask what has a sloping block to do with it, well when water via rain is deposited around the perimeter of a house if the home sits on a flat block of land the water will seep into the ground vertically down, if the block is sloped the water that may pond in areas can and will flow down the hill and seep into the ground as it progresses down the incline of the land and hence we get damp and moisture under areas that would mot normally get damp on a level block.

Now the CSIRO Division receives an steady stream of requests for advise on prevention and correction of decay in flooring and in the majority of cases the problem is one of inadequate subfloor ventilation, that is for a free flow of air under all parts of suspended timber floors.

In older buildings the problem can be complicated by an ineffective dam-proof course, by leakages from water supplies or wastes or by the discharge of storm water into the sub-floor cavity, further more in older buildings the provisions for under-floor ventilation is often inadequate.

Building Inspections reports Perth:

We shall take a case in point, where in a double brick dwelling circa(1920) most of the timber flooring had to be renewed. During the repairs the size and numbers of openings in the brickwork below floor level was increased because, with a few exceptions, the only provisions originally provided for ventilation was the openings in the brick work beneath the doorways. Before the new flooring was laid, extra openings were provided within one(1) to two(2) meters of every corner of every room and midway along any wall over five(5) meters long. Each of the new openings occupied the space of at least two bricks.

In addition because of the low sub-floor clearance and the difficulty of providing good cross ventilation, plastic sheeting was spread out over the ground and under all new flooring so as to reduce the area from which soil moisture could evaporate into the sub-floor cavity. Mortar droppings and other debris were removed from the inside of all external ventilator openings and finally the ventilators themselves were replaced.

Replacement of the ventilators was an essential part of the repairs. Surprisingly the smaller of the original terracotta vents provided for rather more free airway than the double brick size, even though the latter had one more opening. However in practice, nether allowed for much air exchange between the subfloor space and the outside because the openings had been blocked by spiders and assorted debris. The pressed metal vents that were used to replace the original terra-cotta air bricks allow for about ten(10) times as much air flow through each opening. This together with the other measures taken should ensure that conditions conducive to decay do not develop again under that floor.

Adequate subfloor ventilation is also an essential requirement which is often overlooked when remedying the problem of excessive dampness in walls, by effectively ventilating all subfloor cavities, moisture that evaporates from the soil or the foundation is removed and the sub-floor humidity is prevented from rising. However achieving an airflow across or along the sub-floor space can be difficult in some houses, especially in terraces where there can be problems in providing vents at both ends of the house.

Building Inspections reports Perth:

In case like that the Division often recommends the utilisation of disused fireplaces as a means of venting. If decorative facing is placed over the front of a fireplace openings cut through the hearth to the sub-floor space and a cowling or chimney pot placed on top of the chimney then a n up-draught will be created when the wind blows over the roof and air will be drawn from under the floor.

Any questions that our readers may have would be gladly welcomed and endeavoured to be answered as seen fit.