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Property Inspection Insights - Issues to Avoid (5)

Property Inspection Insights – Issues to Avoid – Waterproofing

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What we found in the field this week in Morningside! 

At Brisbane Buyers’ Agency we’ve inspected thousands of properties. This means we know what we’re looking at and will find problems that people who don’t buy a house very often will miss.

Inspection issues to avoid

This week I found an issue with retaining walls and water drainage underneath a home in Morningside.  Interestingly  there were 15 + other groups attend the open home at the same time, but not one buyer inspected this part of the dwelling!

So what did I find? I am normally quite wary of situations where earth is banked up against the internal walls of a home i.e. where the internal wall of a home is used as a retaining wall. This can become an issue because all retaining walls in similar situations require a waterproof membrane to be installed against the external surface of the wall to prevent water and moisture entering into the living space. No waterproof membrane will last forever (for various reasons) and you need to factor this into account. Items you need to be aware of are: access for labour i.e. can someone stand up and work comfortably to make the repairs and can machinery access the area? Otherwise excavation will need to be done by hand and this will increase the cost. The final factor is what is the quantity or area of earth that must be retained? I study all of these factors before I make a decision to recommend a home to our clients.

You can see from the photo below that the earth has been excavated away from the internal wall so no moisture can make its way inside the dwelling and no membrane is required. What it does lack though is a spoon drain at the base of the wall to divert surface water outside. A point to note is that I had to almost crawl to inspect this area for my client so swinging a pick and or shovel and removing the soil is going to be challenging and labour intensive if this work had not been already undertaken.

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So what was our verdict?

In the end, this home checked out all clear. There are various technologies and processes for dealing with repairing failed membranes from removing the earth like above, and or replacing the membrane, applying reverse membranes, better drainage etc. The potential cost can vary greatly and could be an ongoing headache for any future owner. You can end up dreading heavy prolonged rain events and the mess they will create.

How do we know what to avoid?

image001Hi, I’m Paul Palella, principal of Brisbane Buyers’ Agency. From my more than 20 years in the property, industry working as a registered valuer and quantity surveyor I have literally rolled my sleeves up and inspected thousands of homes. This means I know what to look out for and what will make a great buy – either as an investment or as a family home.

The value of our inspections is that we will save you time, money and frustration by picking up issues that:

  • might mean a property is not worth pursuing – freeing you up to look at other houses and saving you money on an unnecessary building and pest inspection
  • could be used as negotiating terms – saving you money
  • could cause you to terminate a contract – saving you potential headaches and freeing you up to look at other houses.

Please note we always recommend a formal building and pest inspection by a qualified consultant before you purchase any property. We can also help you interpret these reports and work out how to resolve any issues they may raise.

If you would like to know more about what to avoid in your next inspection, register for our 43 Tips Smart Property Buyers Inspection Report.

Would you like help with your next property purchase?

As a Brisbane buyer’s agent, I am totally committed to helping you make a smart buying decision on your next property purchase. I act completely independently and only select homes that meet our strict ‘smart buying’ criteria.

My clients’ regularly tell me they engaged me because they were frustrated and at the end of their tether looking for a property in Brisbane that suited them. They were sick of wasting their time at weekend open homes and in the evenings – time that could be better spent with their loved ones.

I’d love to help you make your next Brisbane property investment or home purchase.

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