Showing posts with label Home Inspection Services. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Home Inspection Services. 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Friday, September 4, 2015

How to stop condensation? | Professional Building Inspections WA

Posted By:Peter Huber
Continued from the post > CondensationIssues
Condensation is basically simple. It involves preventing moist air from coming into contact with cold surfaces (ie. surfaces at temperatures below the dew point of air). In practice this can be achieved by:
§  Removing moisture laden air (by ventilation) and/or
§  Raising the temperature of any cold interior surface to a level above the room air dew point (by heating).
The best way to remove moist air is to use exhaust fans as its source. An electric fan should be installed in the ceilings of the bathrooms and switched on when using showers or baths. To enable the fan to work more effectively, leave a door or window slightly open while the fan is running.
A ceiling vent is recommended over every sink, basin or trough in the house.
More water vapour is normally generated in laundries tan in any other room. Clothes driers should be ducted to the outside air.
A hood fitted with an exhaust fan is recommended over hot plates and stoves as follows:
§  The exhaust fan should be at least 200 mm in diameter.
§  The distance between the hotplate and hood should be 600 mm, this distance may be increased to 750 mm if absolutely necessary.
§  The width and depth of the hood should be preferably the same as the hot plate or stove.

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If it is not practical to install a hood, an exhaust fan may be located in the ceiling over the stove and used while cooking.
In rooms where exhaust fans are impracticable (eg. bedrooms) adequate ventilation can be obtained by opening windows.
Remember it is better to ventilate continuously by having all windows slightly open than by opening one window wide for a short time.
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In addition to good ventilation, heating can also help to reduce condensation on walls and ceilings. Condensation on window panes and metal window frames, however, is not significantly reduced by heating. This is because glass and metal are good conductors of heat. Any heat which reaches these surfaces does not warm them appreciably as the heat quickly is lost to the outside air.
In very cold climates (and in Australia this can be takes to mean in areas above the snow line), it may be necessary to provide double glazing to raise the temperature of the inner pane.
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It is better to provide some continuous background heating rather than short burst of heating. Continuous heating allows wall and ceiling surfaces to warm up and stay warm, which greatly reduces the risk of condensation. On cold days try to keep inside air temperatures at least 5oC higher than outside air temperatures.
The risk of condensation is considerably reduce in any room if walls and ceiling are insulated, because it allows these surfaces to reach a higher temperature. For an existing house it may not be practical to insulate walls, but ceilings can usually be easily insulated. Apart from reducing the risk of condensation and mould growth, insulation will substantially reduce heating costs.
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Technical information by Courtesy of CSIRO.
Your “Handy Jock”.
Any questions that our readers may have would be gladly welcomed and endeavoured to be answered as seen fit.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Inspect Home before Selling | Professional Building Inspections Perth

Posted By:Peter Huber
Before You Sell Your Home, Have it Inspected!

So you’re considering selling your home and now you want to be sure that there will be no unpleasant surprises to upset the settlement process. Well, we’re here to help make sure of that! Building and Home Inspection Service currently has five offices spread around the wider Perth metropolitan area, all of which draw on a wealth of experience to ensure that your home is thoroughly inspected with the most up-to-date equipment and reports digitally collated for your future reference.

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Common Problems with Building Integrity

1) Termite Infestation and Damage

This is one problem you never want to let get out of hand. Termites just love untreated pine and will turn structural timbers to dust in months if left unchecked. We will endeavor to find their trails, any timber that has been affected from ceiling supports to floor joists, and record all the sites photographically and in your written report.

2) Foundation Settling

A common problem with suspended houses – those on stumps – but also on concrete slab foundations are cracks that appear as a house settles, or as the ground dries out or becomes wetter over years. Cosmetic or structural repairs are called for, but in terms of selling your home, so long as the issue is catalogued, no-one can complain they didn’t know what they were buying.

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The movement of buildings can also result in problems with main lines in and out of the structure. While electricity and gas are not usually a problem, due to the malleability of the materials used, even modern day PVC pipes are susceptible to fracture. This can result in leakage from waste pipes wherever the connection becomes stressed – even in the wall cavity of your home.

3) Construction Short-cuts

We don’t want to seem overly critical, but even the width of mortar joins between bricks must meet a minimum standard – too much mortar compromises the structural integrity of the wall. Elsewhere, poorly secured flooring can result in buckling of verandah floors, or the use of untreated or uncured, water-sensitive wood close to down-pipes can result in much the same thing.

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All these and many, many more criteria are examined and checked with a Building Inspection reports Perth – there is one for your budget and building, no matter where in Perth you are located. Call one of our offices today! or else go

Friday, August 14, 2015

What causes condensation in houses? | Building Inspection specialists Perth


What Causes condensation?

Building Inspection specialists Perth:
When moist air is cooled below its “dew” point that is (cooled to temperature at which it cannot contain all the water originally present) and if the cooling is caused by contact with a colder surface, then the surplus water appears as droplets on that surface, we call this condensation.

In real every day analogy it translate like this:- we hardly notice the air around us on an average day, then night time approaches, the temperature drops, and things become cold as the temperature drops, so does the air, if this dropping in temperature continues then the water vapour that occurs naturally in the air turns into water and if cold enough into ice.

Air in a house can become moister because the occupants and some appliances produce water vapor. Typical quantities of water vapor produced in a home are:-

    Adults breathing 0.1 liters/hr
    Hot Bath 1.5 liters/hr
    Washing Machine 3.0 liters/hr
    Clothes Drier 5.0 liters/hr
    Hot Shower 10.0 liters/hr

Water vapor is also generated in large quantities by gas stoves/hot plates and kerosene heaters so much so that a lot of water may be stored in the air each day as water vapour.

Building Inspection specialists Perth:
On cold days much of this water will condense (if the ventilation rate is low) on cold window panes and even on walls. Little wonder then when some house holders complain of mold, decay and damp carpets.

Steam coming from service areas such as kitchens laundries and bathrooms travel to other rooms in the house, even if these rooms are a considerable distance away. The worst condensation problems generally occur in unheated rooms facing south which receive little heat from the sun. The movement of the water vapour within the air (using the air as a travel medium) travelling from service areas to other rooms such as bedrooms is due to the difference in water vapour pressure.

Condensation in new homes

Severe condensation problems often occur in new homes as construction moisture is stored in the bricks floor etc. in addition to the moisture generated by the occupants. It will take about six to 12 months for the water to evaporate. Some of this moisture will be lost to the outside air by natural ventilation and much will find its way into other rooms in the house.

Building Inspection specialists Perth:

If moist air from the rooms is exhausted into the roof space, sever condensation may occur within the roof space causing costly damage to ceilings, roof members and insulation materials.

    Poorly vented pitched tiled roofs with aluminium foil sarking directly beneath the tiles. To reduce the risk of condensation, ventilation should be provided in the eaves and gable ends.
    Flat metal deck or cathedral roofs. On no account should moist air be exhausted into these roof spaces. It should be carried by flues passing right through the roof space (or external walls) to the outside air. Sever condensation could also occur if such roof spaces were connected via wall cavities to a moist sub-floor space.

Technical information by courtesy of CSIRO.
For now till next week when we will discuss
your “Handy Jock”.

Building Inspection specialists Perth:
Any questions that our readers may have would be gladly welcomed and endeavored to be answered as seen fit

Do you What causes condensation in houses? Condensation problems often occur in new homes as construction moisture is stored in the bricks floor etc. in addition to the moisture generated by the occupants. So Call 08 9331 3031 for Home Inspections reports Perth  and Building Inspection reports Perth for complete home solution.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Home Inspection reports Perth | How to cure Rising Damp – Part Two

By:Peter Huber
Posted By: BHIS

Continued from first part…

“FREEZTEQ” as discussed in last weeks column is a unique and highly effective damp coursing system which has been patented in the UK and overseas and it offers several major advantages over other chemical techniques.

The system is based on siliconate solutions which are inserted into holes drilled into the mortar line of the wall to be treated being in the form of a circular section pre-frozen pellets which are inserted into the pre-drilled holes.

The slow melting system ensures a continuous water repellent barrier throughout the treated area, because the system depends on natural seepage (diffusion), which research has shown to be the most effective method for fluid distribution in masonry, accurate dosages can be readily achieved and application costs are thus remarkably low.

The “FREEZTEQ” or known as the Passive system, is suitable for damp coursing all types of walls including stone and rubble and has shown itself particularly effective in treatment of older properties.

According to a spokesperson for “Consolidated Protective Coatings” who specialise in using the “FREEZTEQ” (444-2929) system say that, it is important to do a diagnostic analysis on the walls and then recommend which type of application to use in curing the rising damp. It apparently is not straight forward, since if the mechanical method is used, that is, injecting silicon liquid under pressure, then if the mortar is friable and the bricks are old and crumbly(Spalding) there is a good chance that they may fall apart or out, due to the Pressure that is used (between 50 to 120 psi) during the injection method. Hence the more Passive method comes into it’s own.

He also said that to perform a quality job the plaster needs to be removed and skirting which may be in the way all these will eventually have to be replaced and are reasonably costly items, but the choices are very limited.

Requirements for Damp-proof coursing and flashing materials are covered in detail in the AUSTRALIAN Standards 2904-1986
In fact if building a new home and the Builder is registered with the Builders Registration Board, a directive from the Board has been issued to the builders to make sure that all shower cubicles are water tight and that the home built in general does not leak as it will be the Builders responsibility for 6 years.

In summary the main causes for rising damp in older homes are, the break down of the original damp proofing needing chemical intervention) In newly built homes, poor quality and control of workmanship is usually the cause. There is no excuse with today’s technology, know how and information to have a damp or leaking abode.