Buying a new home is a huge investment, and it’s worthwhile to take your time and to do the relevant research. Many home buyers get so excited about the idea of their new home that they don’t stop to consider potential hidden problems. Reactive clay soil types are common and worth learning about as they are subject to movement due to moisture, which can cause structural faults and make. As a leading provider of Underpinning Adelaide services, we can help you to spot potential problems in this area.
It’s always a good idea to get a building inspection done before buying a new house. These professionals will conduct a thorough investigation of the house and identify any potential problems. You can then discuss addressing these problems with the seller, or move on if the problems are too serious for you to handle.
Cracks can range from relatively minor to structurally unsound. Many Adelaide houses sit on highly reactive soil, which expands and contracts dramatically, leading to structural issues that might need repair.
If you see any new patches of paint or plaster on the exterior walls, get in touch with a structural engineer immediately. They’ll look at the moisture content in the wall, inspect the surrounding area, and establish whether or not it’s a serious problem.
Newly built houses will often have perfectly level floors and walls. However, once these houses have some time to settle and the foundation footings sink into the ground, you may notice a bit of unevenness in the floor.
Uneven floors can be indicative of overloaded weight-bearing points or damage to the foundation. Even if it’s just a minor dip, it’s a good idea to get this checked out to discover the cause as it could be indicative of a deeper problem.
Many older Adelaide houses use timber framing and stumping, which are unfortunately prone to rot and insect damage. Insects are a particular hazard since they’re difficult to detect until it’s too late. Termites get attracted to damp areas and can eat the entire timber structure of your home if left to their own devices.
One especially dangerous problem is termites breaching the footing of your foundations. Footings are most often concrete, but they often leave open a channel for termites to enter into the rest of your home. Most new houses will leave around 75 mm of the slab exposed, which makes it easier to inspect the footing and prevents insect breaches and reduces the risk of moisture damage.
Termites often leave mud mounds that can be an indicator of their presence in a house. Houses that have been kept dry are less likely to have insect infestations and are also less likely to suffer from timber rot.
However, if you’re concerned about the underlying timber structure of a building, consider getting a pest inspector to do a thorough evaluation and, if necessary, extermination.
Damp and moisture cause more structural damage than any other factor in Adelaide buildings. Not only does moisture attract insects and contribute to timber rot, but dampness around the foundations can cause significant damage that leads to cracked walls and windows and uneven floors.
Adelaide homes and commercial buildings are sensitive to moisture changes due to the nature of our clay soil. This highly reactive soil expands and contracts in the presence of moisture, which can shift foundations, crack water pipes, and cause further moisture damage.
Common sources of excess moisture include leaky pipes or old roofs. Look for other signs of damp around the house, such as stains in the ceiling, bubbling or peeling paint, or warped wooden floors.
Home inspections are usually relatively thorough assessments of both the interior and exterior of the house. The inspection will depend on the overall condition of the house and any historical problems in the area.
Often the inspector will start at the exterior and examine the walls, timber cladding, windows, any outdoor areas, the roof, and flashings. They can point out the building’s qualities that might lead to potential issues in the future.
Interior inspections are often just as comprehensive, including the ceilings and cornices, floor coverings, fittings, doorway fittings and frames, stairs, window frames, interior vents, and paint work.
Even if an inspection diagnoses structural problems with a building, Urathane Solutions or our preferred partner, TradeCo Building Services, can fix these issues. We have a team of specialists who work on Adelaide foundations one house at a time. If you need structural or foundational repair, don’t hesitate to give us a call today!