Leaky Roof – Cracked Roof Tile

Does the home you’re about to buy have a leaky roof?

Don’t be fooled by freshly painted or ‘neat & tidy’ ceilings when buying a home in NZ… we’ve found too many leaks with the infrared camera that certainly couldn’t be seen with the human eye.

If your building inspection report comes back saying “there is a cracked tile on the roof that needs to be repaired”, don’t forget about what damage might have been caused as a result of the issue!!!

Hidden Leak on Ceiling

This infrared image shows a leak found on the lounge room ceiling of a house in the Onehunga/Royal Oak area. This photo was taken on a hot sunny day… and the leak still appeared clear as crystal.

Here’s another important point to consider: How will a building inspector detect a flashing leak on a dry day? Our thermal imaging & moisture detection equipment allows us to find signs of moisture inside the building envelope well after the rain has gone.

Remember, the financial risk is 100% with you when purchasing a home. Take your time and do the correct research before handing over your savings, otherwise the house could end up draining your bank account with ‘unexpected’ repair work.

Plumbing Leak – Garage Ceiling Water Leak

Buying a home without a leak detection inspection is very risky these days.

Recently in South Auckland I did a post purchase thermal imaging leak test on a home… what a result! (see photo below)

Why was it a ‘post’ purchase inspection, rather than a ‘pre’ purchase inspection? Can you believe the seller wouldn’t let the potential buyers inside to inspect the home prior to purchase… ‘because it was a mortgagee sale!’

This was a shambles… the price of the property was ‘to good to refuse’, so the buyer got emotional and went ahead and purchased the house anyway. 4 days later I get a call to come a check the house for leaks.

You can clearly see the leak in this image below because you’re looking at it through the eyes of an infrared camera…. but could the human eye see it? No.

Major Leak from Faulty Plumbing
Major Leak from Faulty Plumbing

There was a bathroom directly above this area which is the primary suspect. In this case, the plumber will most likely break the gib open on the garage ceiling and repair the leak(s) from underneath.

If you are prepared to buy a home in NZ without testing for leaks first, then you’re clearly taking a big risk. This one should be easy to fix… but, the sale price may have been lower had this issue been discovered prior to handing over the $$$.

Building Inspection Company Misses Leaks!

If you’ve ever doubted getting an infrared building inspection, then this should change your mind!

*Building inspection company misses obvious leaks*

(Above: The infrared photo in the centre shows a leak tracking the lighting wire. Only seen using our infrared equipment).

Out of all the thermal imaging inspections I’ve carried out, this one takes the cake. Recently I received a call from a first time home buyer. The call went something like this… “We settled on our home just 10 days ago, and there is already water coming through the ceiling in the ensuite bathroom?”. So around to the house I went with infrared camera in hand. (The dark spots in this photo are leaks as seen through our infrared camera… keep reading).

leak inspection in wellington home

When I arrived, they showed me a report from a ‘reputable’ franchised home inspection company. The home was given the all clear. The first thing I noticed when I arrived was cracks in the plaster cladding… but there was no mention of that in the building inspection report either. The interesting part was that he did a ‘moisture test’ during the inspection! (There was a photo in his report showing this).

To cut a long story short, there were leaks in the home everywhere, under windows, on the ceiling, around skirting boards and below flat roofs. This place was a home buyers nightmare come true. In this particular home, there were 7 leaks detected, and one of them was creating a bulb in the gib board ceiling which was also missed by the house inspection company.

So what’s the come back on the building inspector?

Probably nothing… half the report was disclaimers. Maybe he doesn’t include leak detection in his building report… not sure about that one. The bottom line is the home owner purchased the home based on the clean report from the home inspection company. Unfortunately they didn’t know about thermal imaging prior to signing the dotted line.

If you’re considering buying a home, atleast give us a call for a free quote, so you don’t end up suffering the same stress as the family above! Please remember that once you’ve paid over your money for the home, you can’t turn back… and quite often it’s the homes that look great that are the problem homes.

You should also read this thermal imaging article  before calling. Also, NZ buyers should consider a METH TEST when buying.

Infrared Building Inspections – NZ’s Biggest Infrared Website!

Before purchasing a home in NZ, especially in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch, an infrared building inspection should be considered.

Is someone trying to offload you a lemon?

On this website, you will find many photos of problems we’ve found in houses when conducting infrared building inspections.

Infrared allows us to see potential issues that alot of building inspection companies may not see. Because thermal imaging works on heat, it’s impossible for the human eye to see these hidden problems. There have been many occasions when we’ve identified leaks with the infrared camera that haven’t yet penetrated the surface, thus allowing the new home owner to get a good feel for what they are really buying into.

Not sure if you should get an infrared moisture inspection? – READ WHY HERE .

Still not sure?… take a look HERE

We insert infrared photos into the building inspection report that we provide you as part of your pre purchase inspection.

Infrared Thermal Imaging – Code of Compliance Certificate CCC

Do you own a property that has an additional dwelling that hasn’t been signed off?

Infrared thermal imaging can certainly assist to get your Code of Compliance Certificate (CCC) approved.

Recently I inspected a ‘granny flat’ out the back of a property that one of my clients recently purchased. This dwelling was a ‘later addition’ to the home and hadn’t yet been signed off by the council.  Before the council surveyor who inspected the property would sign it off, he wanted to know if there were any signs of moisture behind the walls. In addition, the infrared images will also show the wall stud, nog and joist placings behind the gib board walls and ceiling.

Code of Compliance Certificate CCC

In this scenario there are two options to get an idea of how the dwelling is constructed… 1) Rip the walls down (not needed), or 2) Use infrared thermal imaging to get an idea of what’s behind the walls before taking any drastic steps.

The good news is the council were happy with the report I presented for my client (containing infrared photos and moisture testing results of all walls), and they issued the CCC.

You can see the clean lines in this thermal image showing correctly fitted insulation, timber framework and no leaks. Do not buy a home in NZ until you know moisture levels behind the walls… especially if it hasn’t been signed off.

Infrared Thermal Imaging House Inspections – Before You Buy!!!

An infrared house inspection is a quick way to identify hidden issues that most home building inspectors won’t see.

Here’s what you don’t want to happen to you when buying a house in NZ…

This was a very ugly situation for a home buyer that I recently did a ‘post’ purchase moisture inspection for in St Heliers, Auckland. Here’s what happened:

The home was over 400sqm is a nice area, and was been sold at auction. The home buyers loved the place because it looked great, and better still only 2 people turned up to the auction. The buyers theory was that they didn’t need to get a building or moisture inspection prior to buying the house because if they got it cheap enough at auction, they would have spare cash leftover to fix any problems. Well…

leaky home

Firstly, some vendors will sell their home at auction because they know perfectly well it wouldn’t pass an infrared or building inspection. Secondly, no matter what, the deal in unconditional when the hammer goes down, so all it takes is one emotional bidder to rush in and buy without proper due diligence, and the ‘hassles & problems’ with the house are instantly transferred on to the buyer at auction… and that’s exactly what happened in this situation. Read on:

The buyer called to get the infrared inspection after they purchased the home to identify any issues, and to enable them to start remedial work asap. Interesting! Sure enough the home had several signs of moisture ingress, leaking deck, visual evidence of major leaks, untreated timber… and to top it off, the building inspector went onto the roof and found roof tiles that had slid down in the gutter leaving big open holes on the roof! Also, high moisture readings were detected in the timber framing by conducting an invasive test. The list of issues found with this place didn’t seem to end, but to the human eye the place looked just fine.

So now what for the buyer?

They only have two options. 1) Walk away and forfeit the deposit, or 2) Take the issues on and potentially uncover a huge can of worms. (Leaky homes aren’t cheap to fix!)

No matter how good a place looks, do not take the risk. There have been several occasions where the vendors have simply ‘bogged up’ and painted over problems… but the moisture in the timber still remains.

It’s the “It won’t happen to me” line of thinking that could catch you out when buying a home in NZ.

Leak Detection on Brand New Homes

Should you bother checking a brand new home for leaks?

Yes, it surely is. Here’s why…

Some people are prepared to take the risk and not bother getting a leak detection done on brand new homes, and I have no idea why! When you’re investing 100’s of thousands of dollars, you need to cross all the T’s and dot all the I’s, otherwise you could get caught out. Put it this way, you’ll absolutely kick yourself if you move in and find leaks a couple of months later. There’s no need to rush your purchase… if this one has leaks or moisture issues, there’s plenty of other homes to choose from.

 Recently I was hired to check for signs of leaks & moisture in a brand new home in Massey, Auckland. The home had been built and sitting on the market empty for 3 months. In this case, the home came up clean and didn’t show any signs of moisture ingress which is great for all parties involved. At the end of the day, it was still wise for the buyer to get this leak inspection done, as there had been alot of rain around and any ‘oversights’ by the builder may well have been revealed. (The building inspection did show up a couple of minor issues though!!).

 An infrared inspection will also show up any ‘patches’ of missing insulation that have been missed (could well be a cost cutting method on the builders behalf). Really, what is the probability of you climbing into the roof space to check for missing insulation that would ultimately result in heat loss and higher heating bills? And… there is almost NO CHANCE you’ll know about missing insulation is the walls! We can see these potential issues with the infrared camera without needing to put holes in the wall or climb into the ceiling.

Don’t let the beautiful kitchen divert your attention away from what could be hiding behind the walls. If you do the correct checks up front in the pre purchase phase, you’ll sleep peacefully at night… and that in itself in extremely valuable (just ask anyone who’s purchased a leaky home).

What Does a Leaky Home/Building Look Like?

If you don’t know what a leaky home or leaky building looks like, then you’re not the only one.

What is the perception created from a ‘look-a-like’ leaky home?

Recently I was contacted by newspaper reporter Michelle Coursey at the NZ Herald regarding the first thoughts some home buyers have when they come across a property for sale that ‘looks like’ a leaky home… or when they find out the home was built in the 1990’s. (A link to the published article is at the bottom of this page for you to read). 

You can read about my own personal ‘first thoughts’ when I drive up a driveway to do a thermal imaging leak inspection, and see a home with no eves or window flashings infront of me (contributing factors to a leaky home) in the Herald newspaper article. You can also read how the different real estate agents responded to the same question. One agent said one of her clients ‘freaked out’ when taken to view a home with monolithic cladding, while another agent said people won’t even get past seeing a picture on the internet of a home for sale that ‘looks like’ a leaky building.

Not all homes that use ‘that type of cladding’ leak… but unfortunately the stigma surrounding them could have a real impact should the home owner decide to sell. I’ve spoken to people who have a leaky home, and they tell me they certainly will be changing the type of exterior finish when they come around to doing the re-clad, to help prevent being labelled having a leaky home before it’s even been tested for moisture.

Take a read of the NZ Herald article here….

‘Leaky Look Deters Buyers’

Thermal Imaging & Building Inspection Critical BEFORE Buying at Auction!!

WARNING: There is a particular reason why some people choose to sell their home at auction!

Are you considering buying under the hammer in NZ? Consider this…

Most home buyers under normal buying conditions will get a building and moisture inspection prior to going unconditional on a property, so why is it that some people don’t follow the exact same process before buying at auction??

Look Out: Did you know the actual reason some vendors prefer to sell their home at auction is because they know perfectly well it will not pass a building and/or moisture test under a normal contract of sale agreement?

For those of you who aren’t familiar with buying at an auction, the basic rule of thumb is that when the hammer goes down, the deal goes unconditional on the day, no matter what potential issues haven’t been discovered within the home prior to the auction. (some auction conditions can vary).

So are you really picking up a good deal?

Recently we conducted a thermal imaging scan, moisture test & building inspection on a home for a client in Auckland prior to an auction. I personally asked the agent the day before the auction if the other interested buyers also had the property moisture tested before auction day, and he said “NO”. My question here is this…

What’s the difference between spending ‘hundreds of thousands’ on a property under normal sale conditions, and spending the same amount on an auctioned property? Answer – Nothing! So why not go through the same pre purchase inspection process prior to an auction as you would a normal house sale… the risk of burning your cash is exactly the same!

The interesting part was this home completely fell over on both inspections. It turned out there were three serious bidders haggling over this home on the auction day… were they actually fighting over a huge can of worms?? (Our client went along and watched… but didn’t bid). The message here is this: If you like the look of a home that’s going to auction, don’t relax your pre purchase due diligence process in the lead up to the auction… just like the people in the above auction did!

It’s not a real estate agents job to moisture test the property, it’s their job to sell it, so how are you ever going to know what you’re really buying … are you really prepared to take such a high risk on such a huge investment?

Don’t get caught out buying a ‘good looking’ lemon! 

Interesting read – ‘Safe guard yourself by getting building & thermal imaging inspection at the same time

Building & Thermal House Inspections

Should you get an infrared building inspection BEFORE a structural inspection?

Once our clients see how effective thermal imaging is, they often say “We’ll never buy a home again without infrared testing first“. Quite often deals will not go through after a moisture test. So why would you spend money on a structural building inspection if the moisture test doesn’t stack up? If you get a building inspection first, then you’ll still need infrared, because we see what most home inspection companies don’t see!

infrared thermal imaging

Infrared Thermal Imaging & Moisture Inspection:

Dean is a certified level 1 thermographer to ASTM standards. The focus of the moisture inspection is the interior of the property. Dean uses a high tech thermal imaging camera to detect evidence of moisture ingress and heat loss in all rooms of the home, followed by a secondary thorough check with a non-invasive moisture meter. Dean will check from top to bottom of all walls, around windows, toilets and any wet areas in the home for signs of moisture ingress or leaks. Buying a home in NZ without a moisture test could be a costly mistake!

Next Step:

Call for a quote on our new low cost, high quality ‘top to bottom’ building moisture inspection package. We can do either verbal or written reports… depending on the nature of the inspection.

Let us put your home (or future home) through it’s paces!!

Free Quotes Here

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