HOW DO BUILDING INSPECTORS DETECT WATER DAMAGE?
It is important to detect water damage as it is the number 1 building defect (Read ” 15 Top Building Defects Found During Building Inspection” for other defects) found during building inspections in Australia. More than 46% of properties have been found to carry this defect which is almost half of all the houses. The worst thing about the water damage is that water can get anywhere – from ceiling to floor or floor to ceiling.
Building Inspection Council has observed that water damage may be fast or may take years before it appears on the surface. It needs a professional building inspector to detect the building defects due to water leaks. Building Inspectors are experienced and trained to detect water damage in a property. They know where to look for and what are signs of water damage. Building inspectors use the following methods to detects water damage in a property.
Change in visual appearance is the most common and easy sign to notice water damage. Strain marks, peeling paint, falling of tile, and mold are some of the first indicators when there are constant water leaks.
Not all the water damages are visual and can be hidden from the naked eyes under the floor or walls. That is why you need an expert building inspection to detect any hidden water damages.
Change in Smell
The bad odor could be an indicator of water damage which could be the effect of mold or mildew. Mold produces an odor similar to old newspapers or cardboard. If you are careful, you can feel the difference in smell in wet areas and dry areas due to changes in the humidity.
If there is rust on pipes or metals parts then there must be moisture and it means there could be water damage. Rust is corrosion that happens due to chemical action between water and metal. It is reddish-brown material and weakens the metal itself. Most pipes and plumbing fittings are not visible and require regular inspection to avoid rusting.
Change in Sound
An expert building inspector can check the faulty pipes and fittings from the sound while running water through them. The sound of dripping water is a clear indication of water leaks and potential water damage. It must be given immediate attention to avoid further damage.
Changes in Structure
The water damage is indicated by changes in structural elements such as changes in texture, peeling paint, bubbles in the paint. The surface becomes softer and colder to touch. Water or moisture causes the surface to bloat, soften and crack under its own weight. The tiles loosen and start to fall out.
As mentioned earlier that most of the water leaks are hidden behind the surface and not easy to detect. The building inspector uses infrared thermography which takes the infrared image of the building and any unexpected cold areas could be suspected sites of water leaks or damage.
Moisture meter is another modern technology that is used to detect leaks and water damage in the building structure. Most building materials such as plaster, bricks, and concretes are dry with almost no moisture. Any reading is an indication of unwanted moisture and water damage underneath. The change in the reading can pinpoint the source of water.
Abnormal Water bill
Building Inspector will note any sudden jump in the water bill which is a sign of water leakage causing water damage somewhere in the property. If occupiers of the property are not doing anything extraordinary to consume excessive water, then pipes and plumbing must be properly checked to rule any potential water damage risks.
Water damage or water leaks are expensive to repair. A simple water leak in the washroom can cost $15,000 to repair. The average size of the claims made for the water damage is $30,361(source) in Australia. Besides, water damage can lead to many other problems and even may leave your property unsafe for living. The small investment in the building inspection pays itself many times as it protects you from these hassles.
Building Inspection Council is a not-for-profit community service that provides free quotes to Australian property buyers from local building inspectors. We pre-verify building inspectors to ensure the quality of inspection for your property. The best thing about being a not-for-profit organization is that we do not have to compromise on anything for profit. You get the most honest and genuine quotes from inspector who can detect water damage. CLICK HERE FOR FREE QOUTES.
15 top building defects found during building Inspection According to research done by choice.com.au, the following are the 15 most common building defects found in
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