What to Look For When Buying a House

Another ‘annoying’ story for you about a house I inspected in Wellington that leaked… but not according the structural building inspection company!

This is the 2nd home we’ve inspected for moisture in Wellington recently where the previous building inspector must have been wearing a patch over one eye. Some very basic telltale signs of leaking were visually evident, yet the inspector didn’t note ANY of them on his report! In addition, the buyer went ahead and purchased the ‘leaking home’ (not leaky home).

To their credit, the report said they didn’t moisture test the house… but no fancy leak detection equipment or methods where needed here… just normal eye site.

Here’s a sample what was missing in their inspection report:

  • Wooden doors extended right down and touched the deck (no ground clearance). There was severe rot in the bottom of the door due to the water soaking back up the frame. No mention of this in the report
  • Two splits in the butanol decking over the top of a room were not identified. We detected these leaks on the ceiling of the rooms below using infrared cameras. No mention of these splits in the report
  • HUGE CRACKS all over cladding that could be seen from two houses away… no mention in the report (Crazy). Cracks in plaster cladding could mean moisture ingress issues. The problem was the inspector assumed all walls to be block, but some sections of the wall were hardiflex that blended in with the rest of the cladding. He only needed to tap on the wall to find out what type of cladding was used!
  • ‘Bogged up’ door jams due to leak damage around the door frame.
  • There was a bench seat running along the width of one of the windows below sill level. The top of the seat flapped open with storage room underneath it. There was moist swollen particle board under the hatch… did he even look in there? It wasn’t on his report. Normally we don’t look under seats like this, but when it’s up against an external wall with cracks in the cladding, then any ‘logical’ professional building inspection company in Wellington (or anywhere) should be looking underneath these areas.
  • Rotted floor boards around the base of one door… moisture damage again with no mention in his building inspection reporting.

As mentioned above, the leaking deck that was dripping onto the ceiling underneath could only be seen with the thermal imaging camera… the owner couldn’t believe what I could see that he (or the inspector) couldn’t!

So when you’re thinking about all the different things to consider when buying a house, or what to look for when purchasing a property… then consider using our professional NZ wide infrared thermal imaging services… from Whangarei to Invercargill and everywhere inbetween!

Moisture & Leak Detection in Wellington Homes

Live in Wellington? Considering a thermal imaging moisture inspection?

Here’s the results of recent Wellington home inspections: (Names and addresses withheld for obvious reasons)

First home inspected – Built in 2000. The home owners had already spent $45,000 on remedial work on the cladding including a new paint job, tiles on deck removed and decking resealed. Overall the home wasn’t too bad in terms of moisture… apart from the leak that was literally dripping through a bottom floor bedroom ceiling! We managed to narrow down the area of the leak source (two floors above) using our thermal imaging camera and moisture detection equipment.

Second home inspected – Built in 2001. The home owner was just wanting a general ‘check up’ for signs of moisture ingress after reading through our website and realising it’s not such a bad idea. Lucky they called! We uncovered quite a large pool of moisture in the garage ceiling that hadn’t yet penetrated the gib (wasn’t visable to the human eye). Due to the nature of the thermal pattern, we were able to determine the exact area of the leak entry point. The bathroom shower also had a substantial leak.

Third home inspected – Cedar clad, built in the late 90’s. This was an interesting case. The home owner had noticed a leak in the corner of a hallway, and the carpet was certainly wet. The home was built into the side of a sloping hill, so behind the gib board was block, and then a vertical dirt wall. As there was no visible sign of a leak at the top of the wall, the home owner was worried it was coming in from directly behind the wall (No access… dirt wall). After investigating the area extensively (non-invasive), we managed to track the source of the leak to an above ground location. The home owner was very happy with that result!!

In conclusion, most homes will leak at some stage in their life due to general wear and tear (or sloppy building techniques), but the key is to catch the leak early before it causes structural damage.

We inspect Wellington homes and businesses for signs of leaks and moisture using infrared thermal imaging. Call 09 887 3667 today for a free quote.