A Happy Valley Building and Pest Inspection uncovers roof covering deformation

A Happy Valley Building and Pest Inspection uncovers roof covering deformation

The justification of making sure you get a Pre purchase Building and Pest Inspection in Adelaide was never more evident than with this Happy Valley home built in 1979. Getting this important service is a bit like going on an expensive world trip and taking out travel insurance. No one really wants the extra expense, but it gives you a certain sense of confidence knowing you have done the right thing to protect your investment, whether it be an overseas holiday, or more crucially, buying your new house.

A Building Inspection is all about being made aware

You’ve probably all heard of the saying, knowledge is power? Nothing could be truer when it comes to buying a house. The more you know about a property and its structural integrity, the more comfortable you will be about buying it. It just makes sense. Essentially, as an unsuspecting buyer, you know very little about a property that you virtually drive up to one sunny weekend, apart from its aesthetic appearance. You may even own that house Monday morning if your rose coloured glasses offer gets accepted! Enter stage left, the building inspector, and we can put some sanity back into the situation. The report will provide you with detailed knowledge that gives you the power to make the right decision….buy, or move on and find another property.

Adelaide’s Happy Valley… the suburb of gum trees equals the suburb of potential termites!

Happy Valley is a delightful sleepy suburb to the south of Adelaide. Located just 10 minutes from Clarendon, it has a very rural feel to it with gum trees flourishing on and around most residential properties. This means termites can be an obvious serious threat to any home, so including a Pest Inspection with your Building Inspection should be a logical choice. In this example, active termites were not detected in or around the property. However, being a brick veneered, timber framed dwelling adjacent to some large established gum trees to the reserve at the rear of the property, establishment of an ongoing termite management plan was highly recommended to our client to help deter any future potential termite attacks.

A renovation of reasonable quality has been conducted in recent years to this home, including an excellent render finish to the external brick walls. Impressively, no cracking was evident to all elevations on the day. Our only criticism of the rendering was excessive mortar partly filling some of the weep holes (vertical slot openings between bricks) at the base of the wall. Weep holes are necessary to allow moisture to be removed from, and to ventilate the wall cavity, and should be clear and unblocked at all times. A suitably licensed builder was recommended to further assess and rectify this situation. It was a simple repair, but one we deemed worthwhile for the long term wellbeing of the building structure.

The concrete tiled roof covering had also been re-pointed and spray painted and this appeared to be of adequate workmanship. However, a good building inspector, if the safe working conditions exist, will walk over the exterior roof covering which is exactly what we did. This is how we were able to find that the hip ridge to the rear left section of the roof was unusually severely bowed laterally. Under normal circumstances, this roofing component should actually be straight to the naked eye at least, as a hip ridge is formed where two planes of the roof surface meet at a hip rafter. A hip rafter is a straight piece of timber that runs from a ridge to the top plate of an outer frame or wall. It is then capped by tiles to flash the area, so it should be reasonably straight.

The building inspector who goes the extra mile

What should be fully understood is that a pre purchase building inspection is a visual inspection to provide advice to the client regarding the condition of the building and site at the time of inspection. Some tools are used such as a moisture meter, but at no stage is a building inspector required to be invasive with his investigations, and this is clearly stated in the Australian Standard governing any building inspection conducted in every state. Clients are made aware of this by the establishment of a Pre purchase Inspection Agreement, provided and signed off to prior to the service.

In this instance, inspection of the hip rafter in question was not possible from within the roof void, as the only manhole provided was so poorly positioned, and then blocked by air-conditioning ducting, that only a limited inspection from the manhole was possible on the day. Of course we recommended the installation of another manhole in a better position to enable complete access into the roof void, so a more complete report could be submitted. Most times this advice is not actioned by the client, but the option is always presented. However, a good inspector will go the extra mile and exceed the Australian Standard in some cases, which is what we did. We went ahead and did a further more invasive inspection and lifted a number of roof tiles in the vicinity of the defective hip ridge. What we found was that the hip rafter and the jack rafters connected to it were actually quite sound with no obvious defects present.

So what was the reason for the bowed hip ridge?

This is where the investigative skills of an experienced building inspector comes to the fore, where he or she can observe a property and come up with answers that can only be found by looking at the structure in its whole context. A previous extension meant that when the builders were keying in the new roof to the original structure, all the roof tiles had to come off in this section. So when the building was finished and the tiles were replaced, they purely and simply did a poor job of it. Add to that subsequent re-pointing and re-spraying of the tiles, and what you have got is a series of tradesman that have literally worked around and bedded in the deformation, in this case a laterally bowed hip ridge. A comedy of errors you might say, but not a serious structurally unsound, or unsafe building defect. What is important is that the client is made aware of it, and he can make an informed decision based on this new knowledge, including whether he wants to spend the money to rectify the offending hip ridge issue in the future.

If you want a Building Inspection in any Adelaide suburb completed by an inspector that is happy to go the extra mile, contact Buy Spect Adelaide House Inspections today.