Water Damage Around the Home
Water damage around the home can occur due to many reasons. If you have incurred moisture ingress or water damage it is important to get it checked by a qualified Building Inspector. This will assist to understand the extent of the damage, why it occurred and how best to fix it. At Informed Building Inspections we test for and identify signs of water damage, moisture ingress and areas of high moisture using specialised equipment including a Tramex Moisture Metre, Termatrac T3i All Sensor as well as a Flir Thermal Imaging Camera specifically used to help identify the source of water. We also go back to the basics using a comprehensive tap around method to identify areas of concern. We provide expert recommendations on how best to rectify defects, as well as the best trades to engage to prevent reoccurrence in the future.
As well as Pre-Purchase, Pre-Sale Building and Pest Inspections, we also offer Stage and Handover Inspections and Special Purpose Inspections. If a problem area is identified that needs further investigation we offer invasive investigation inspections. We also conduct re-inspections as required to ensure the problem areas are rectified.
Why is it Essential to Investigate Water Damage?
Recently we have seen extensive water damage to properties along the southern states of Australia, from Queensland to NSW and Victoria. Heavy and relentless rain has meant that not only houses in low lying areas have been effected, but also homes and structures within those regions have been inundated with rain and excess moisture. Throughout this blog post we will explore areas around your property that could be adding to the water damage you are experiencing.
Whether occurring due to the rain, or as a result of defects within your home, our aim is to assist in identifying these problems before they cause extensive damage. The cost for repairs ongoing water damage can have on a property can be significant, particularly if the problem areas are not rectified. High moisture readings often remain for extended periods of time and can continue to cause deterioration of the property. As well as being costly this can have dangerous consequences for your families health.
Below is a series of photos taken during a Building and Pest Inspection. An Invasive Inspection was required due to extensive moisture damage resulting in a black mould. Missing sealant and loose/leaking tapware was the culprit for the high moisture reading and the growth of mould that occurred behind and on the wall. Our inspection determined that once the sealant was adequately installed, the mould treated and new plaster installed, that the problem would be resolved. During inspections we identify missing sealant as a Major Defect because of the potential damage it can cause to the surrounding areas such as walls, floors and cabinetry.
Common Causes of Water Damage Inside the Home:
The lists below are extensive, however not exhaustive. There are many different reasons for water damage to occur inside the home. The following are some of the most common reasons we often identify.
- Missing sealant in wet areas such as around showers, baths, kitchen benchtops and vanity units
- Leaking or missing shower screens
- Leaking tapware or fixtures
- Leaking toilets
- Leaking dishwashers or washing machines
- Fixtures or tapware that are loose or not adequately sealed behind the cover plates
- Rusty and leaking braided steel hoses under sinks
- Shower screens not installed adequately
- Showers which do not have adequate fall for drainage
- Water ingress from broken windows or windows that do not seal properly
- Leaking water pipes
Common Causes of Water Damage from the Exterior of the Home:
- Holes or cracking to exterior cladding, brickwork etc.
- Unsealed areas to exterior such as inlets for pipes or cables etc.
- Roof Leaks due to holes, damage, sealant failure, deteriorating flashings, cracked roof tiles or pointings, or rusting
- Gutters overflowing due to excess debris
- Gutters/down pipes are broken, rusting or not sealed adequately
- Water pooling beside the building
- Missing flashings to windows
- Missing or damaged door seals
- Overflow issues from tanks
- Down pipes that do not connect to the drainage system
- Damage due to broken water pipes
- Missing sealant to exterior areas of the building
- Areas of the yard space not having sufficient fall to the drainage systems
- Excessive rain causing flooding
How Can I Avoid Water Damage In And Around My Home?
The first step to reducing the potential for water damage around your home is engaging a qualified Building and Pest Inspector to conduct a thorough and non-invasive inspection using the latest equipment. Scott, our Building and Pest Inspector completes comprehensive inspections, throughout the house, conducting a thorough tap around and inspecting areas others often don’t, such as the roof space. From within the roof space Scott can identify wood rot to trusses, evidence of water leaks, buckets indicating possible leaks, and water stains on top of ceiling sheets. Damage can be contained to the roof space, so it is essential that inspectors enter this area or inspect from the man hole when the roof space access is not accessible.
At Informed Building Inspections Scott when completing a tap around of the building, he often picks up water damage and high moisture areas that would otherwise go unnoticed. He also uses a high powered head lamp and torch which show moisture staining that is often not visible to the naked eye. He then always tests these areas of concern for high moisture especially behind the showers. Most older properties do not have water proofing in the wet areas, resulting in additional damage in conjoining rooms or rooms below those spaces.
Once an inspection has been conducted you will receive a comprehensive report detailing major and minor defects. Your report will contain photos and annexures to refer to, with recommendations listed as to the next steps required to ensure defects are rectified. Completing a thorough inspection is a cost effective way of minimising future risk in and around your home when it comes to preventable water damage. We recommend a Building and Pest Inspector as your starting point when investigating water damage as they will complete a detailed inspection of the entire house, or an invasive inspection of the problem areas. If further rectification is required, your inspector will make recommendations as to the suitable trades to engage to fix the defects.
Termites are attracted to Moisture
Did you know that termites are attracted to moisture? When we conduct Building and Pest Inspections, we identify areas of high moisture. This could be water leaks, broken parts of the storm water system or areas of the property that are not adequately draining, just to list a few. These are noted in the pest section of our report as well due to the high prevalence of termites in areas with high moisture. Imagine finding high moisture, wood rot and termites! Our comprehensive reports highlight any conducive conditions that could result in termites accessing or being attracted to the home or surrounds within the yard. We also identify types of termite management systems in place as well as their currency, and areas of high moisture that could attract termites. What could start as a simple inexpensive fix could very quickly escalate when not identified and rectified quickly.
If you have any questions regarding water damage in or around your home, or are looking to purchase or sell your property please give us a call or contact us via our website www.informedbuildinginspections.com.au to discuss how a Building and Pest Inspection can help you.