5 Defects you need to know about before buying a home

PUBLISHED 4 MAR 2021   



Purchasing a property is a major investment that should be considered carefully. On the surface, a home could be stunning, but there might be underlying issues that, if overlooked, could cost you a lot to repair.

Here are five defects that you must be aware of before signing on the dotted line:

Defect 1: Rotting wood

If not maintained properly, wood that is exposed to moisture, such as in kitchens and bathrooms, will rot over time – so be sure to open all cabinets before signing an OTP. The wood should be painted or treated with a finish that is specifically designed for this purpose. Wooden exterior features such as decks or trims should also be checked as these will be exposed to the elements.

Defect 2: Ventilation issues

Adequate ventilation is required to ensure that any moisture in the home can evaporate. When water or moisture sits in an area for an extended time frame it can cause dampness and mold issues, which pose serious health risks and are often expensive to fix. The space between the roof and the ceiling is an aspect that should be paid special attention, as the ventilation in this area ensures the longevity of the roof. Weep holes and ventilation ducts will allow the intense heat in that space to escape, which will promote evaporation of the moisture and ensure that interior walls and structural elements stay dry.

Defect 3: Roofing issues

Look out for any old, broken or missing tiles on the roof that need to be replaced, or rust patches on metal roofs. A damaged or leaky roof will cause issues inside the home, which could be costly to fix – not to mention cost of fixing or replacing the roof.

Defect 4: Drainage and water control

Poor drainage systems around the exterior of the home can lead to water and damp problems in low lying areas around the property. Waterlogged areas could cause penetrating damp as well as compromise the foundation of the structure if it persists. Water intrusion can be one of the most destructive and expensive problems. Ensure that all drainage areas are properly graded and direct water away from the house. Also, check that water control elements such as gutters and downspouts are well-maintained.

Defect 5: Dodgy DIY repairs

Not always an easy thing to spot, but often homeowners who have lived in a home for an extended period will have attempted to make some repairs themselves. Check the plumbing and electrical setup as these are the areas where dodgy DIY repairs are most common.