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DIY Home Inspections – Some Helpful Tips

Whether you’ve just bought a home or have lived there for some time, it’s important to carry out an inspection at least once a year. Whilst we would always recommend engaging a professional, you can still conduct some basic checks yourself to avoid issues getting out of hand resulting in costly repairs. Whilst a DIY inspection can never be as thorough as a professional inspection utilising advanced equipment, it is still a good practice as you will then be able to fix minor issues on the spot as well as highlight major issues to your building inspector. This will save you time and money, as your building inspector can immediately take a closer look and advise you on how to rectify any major concerns.

Drawing on my 40+ years’ experience as a builder, here are some common issues to look out for when carrying out a DIY home inspection.

  1. Termite Issues

Determining whether your house has a termite problem is almost impossible, but they can leave behind signs of damage around your step, deck and porch areas. Check the wood carefully for any signs of tunnelling, and also have a look around your property to see whether any timber might have been replaced recently as this may indicate a past problem. You should also check out the paving around your property, as if you notice any drill holes within 150-200mm of each other this indicates a termite treatment has been done before.

If you suspect termite issues, a thorough inspection will be required. I have access to thermal imaging, radar meters, drones and other advanced technology to determine the full extent of the issue.

  1. Gutters and Spouts

It is important that you clean your gutters regularly, as once they become clogged you are at risk of water leaking into your foundations causing extensive damage. Debris and weeds will impede the flow of water, and over time you may also experience cracks and damage in the gutter causing water to run down your walls at various points. It’s best to avoid climbing up on the roof, a visual inspection from the ground should suffice, or you could consider using a drone.

  1. Roof Tiles

If you live in an older house, you need to check the condition of your roof regularly. Broken tiles/shingles don’t just detract from the appearance of your house, they are also a safety issue and could lead to bigger issues down the line. If you have large gumtrees or other types of trees/shrubbery surrounding your property, ensure that the branches are not leaning against your roof as this provides easy access for vermin.

  1. Internal Leaks

Look around all shower recesses to check for signs of swelling in any timber frames and skirting boards as this indicates a leak. Flaking paint is another sign to be wary of, as well as touch ups which the previous owner may have done to cover up a past leak.

SBDIR utilise moisture meters to check the severity of leaks, and we would strongly advise getting a proper inspection done as leaks can be more serious than they appear.

  1. Foundation Issues

When walking around the interior of your house, keep an eye out for uneven flooring, cracking around doors and windows and windows/doors which do not sit flush or open/close in a smooth manner as this may indicate an issue with your foundations.

You should take photos of any hairline cracks for future reference and so that you can monitor them over time. Any large cracks will need to be inspected by a professional building inspector.

“Do not plant large tress near the house because they will cause ‘HEAVING’. This is when the eventual tree absorbs ground water through the root system and causes instability in the soil the foundations are built on due to ground water absorption. Cracking in the walls and foundations will occur especially in reactive soils such as clay.” CSR have a detailed information sheet about this.

  1. Safety Hazards

Make sure you check all balustrades/railings, pergolas and carports to ensure they are in good condition and will guard against falls. Gaps should not be larger than 125mm, and balustrades should be at least 1 meter high.

Concerns? Want Peace of Mind? Book a Building Inspection by SBDIR

Whilst DIY inspections are an important part of property ownership and well worth doing, we would always advise getting a professional building inspection to clarify any doubts and give you a better understanding of your property. This is only a short list of things to look out for. You will no doubt pick up on a few issues as you walk around your home, but advanced knowledge and equipment is required to determine the full extent of these issues and any others which may lie out of sight. Early detection will save you time and money, protect the value of your home and keep you and your family safe.

To book a building inspection, please contact me on 0419 416 040 today or send an enquiry via my website