Gold Coast Building and Pest Inspections

Dedant is a family owned company.  Operating for over 10 years on the Gold Coast and South East Queensland, Dedant has local knowledge. With experienced inspectors, friendly customer service staff and a great reputation, DedAnt is an inspection company that you can trust.

In addition to Pre-Purchase Inspections, Dedant offers a range of other inspections  including Handover Inspections, Annual termite Inspections, Termite Identification, Treatment and Rectification Works.

DedAnt is your  trusted Building and pest inspector Gold Coast.

Dedant uses the latest technology in every inspection including moisture meter, thermal imaging camera and movement sensors such as Termatrac.  Dedant is also an accredited applicator of Termidor Termite Treatment.  You can be assured with DedAnt that your inspection is in the hands of a professional, who is experienced, licensed and insured.

We take care of the paper work and liaise with all stakeholders including your real estate agent, to make the process simple and hassle free.

We are committed to providing outstanding service at a fair price.

For rapid service and reports, contact DedAnt Building and Pest Inspections today.

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steel corrosion

Steel Corrosion

Steel corrosion is a common household problem. This is particularly evident in steel column corrosion.

In this blog, we will examine the corrosion of structural steel, what problems can result and how to prevent it.

But first, it is important to understand what structural steel.

Structural steel

Structural steel is a type of steel that is used in construction.

In households, structural steel can be used in frames, beams to support and hold up decks, columns that make up deck railings and more.

Steel has many benefits.

Firstly, it is very durable and resistant to damage.

Compared to wood, steel is more resistant to the effects of weather, fires, termites, splitting, creeping and rotting.

As such, this means that steel lasts longer before requiring repairs. This in turn makes steel a more effective in the long-term, as the cost of repairs can quickly add up.

Steel is also 100% recyclable, making it more beneficial for the environment.

Steel also gives homes a straighter finish along roof lines, ceilings and walls, while timber rooves, ceilings and walls are more prone to warping as time goes by.

steel corrosion

The metal frame of a house that is being constructed.

The cause of steel corrosion

While there are many benefits to structural steel, it is not without problems.

The most serious of these is corrosion.

Corrosion of steel is caused when moisture and oxygen react with the metal.

Upon being exposed to moisture and oxygen, the iron in steel oxidises to produce rust.

Rust is an example of corrosion that impacts iron-containing metals.

steel corrosion

Rust on the roof of a house that Dedant inspected

The effects of rust

The impact of rust on steel is very serious. It causes a flaky reddish-brown coating to form on metal.

This rapidly reduces the durability of the steel, making it thinner and prone to damage.

If left to spread, rust can destroy even the largest of steel structures.

steel corrosion

Rust has completely broken a metal support beam and separated it from the ground

Rust in the home

In terms of a residential house, rust is generally found in a few common areas.

These include rust in corrugated roof, steel columns and beams, railings, nuts and bolts, water heaters, gutters and downpipes, ant caps, and door hinges

The impact of rust can include:

  • Rust can cause holes to form in rooves.
  • Beams and columns can become damaged at the base or top, disconnecting them from the ground or the house
  • Railings can become flimsy and hazardous
  • Nuts and bolts can degrade and break apart, making structures come apart
  • Water heaters get rusted and become defective – this can cause the water itself to become rusty
  • Gutters and downpipes can leak as a result of result
  • Holes can form in ant caps, making them ineffective at exposing infestations
  • Rust on metal hinges can cause the hinges to snap off when you try and open the door

The impact of rust can range from minor annoyance to major health hazard, but even minor issues can become major if left unaddressed.

steel corrosion

Rust on a water heater. This can cause your water to become rusty.

How to prevent rust

The best way to protect your home from steel corrosion is to prevent rust from occurring.

The number one way to prevent rust is to keep steel clean and dry.

Cracks and scratches expose metal and hold more water, so you should avoid anything that damages the metal. Smoother surfaces also do not trap and hold water the way rougher metal surfaces

You can apply a protective coating to the steel around your home using rust preventing sprays, wipes and paints.

Using stainless steel and galvanized metals in construction can also make your home more rust resistant.

Rusted gutters and downpipes. This is caused by leakages.

How to fix rust

If you notice rust around the home that you were unable to prevent, you can take steps to fix the problem.

Your first option is to simply get rid of the rusty fixture and purchase another one. This may be necessary for objects like water heaters, screws or columns that have been damaged beyond repair.

However, for items like rooves that have suffered damage, they may be salvageable.

If you notice rust, you should scrape, grind or scout it off as soon as it appears. Alternately, you can use chemicals to remove rust.

Smooth out any bumps from the removal and wash the area with warm water and soap. After this, apply an anti-rust coating and new paint.

 

settlement crack woodridge

Cracking in houses, when do I need to worry?

Australia has been experiencing one of the worst droughts in history, causing more and bigger cracking in houses than has been seen previously.

When you first notice a crack, it might not seem like much. Before too long, that annoying little crack creeps further and widens becoming concerning.

Depending on the size of the crack and where it is, it can indicate different things. However, all cracks need to be taken seriously. It is very common to notice cracking in houses during a building inspection.  Cracks can often be seen in flooring (particularly garage floors that are uncovered), walls, fences, and driveways.

In this blog we will discuss the causes of cracks what they mean for your property.

1)    Cracking in houses and hot, dry weather

Most house cracks are caused because of the ground under the foundation shifting.

This shifting is commonly caused by soil drying out and contracting, which moves the house footing. Often, this movement is uneven, and this is what causes cracks and fissures.

The type of soil your house is built om matters greatly.

Clay soils are slow to absorb water, while sand and loam absorb water quickly.

As such clay soils are more prone to shrinkage due to lack of moisture, so cracks happen more often in houses built on clay.

cracking in houses

An example of a large crack in a brick wall.

2)  Cracking in houses and moist soil

Heavy rainfall and other sources of water can also cause soil to shift.

As soils such as sand and loam are quick to absorb water, they are quick to expand because of rainfall.

This shifting can also cause cracking in houses.

Quick changes from dry and hot weather to cold and damp weather can exacerbate this process and make cracks even worse.

3)     Other effects of water

Heavy rainfall, surface run-off, excessive use of garden sprinklers and leaky downpipes can cause soil to wash away from the foundation of your home, causing your home to shift.

As the house shifts due to changes in the soil, cracks may appear.

cracking in houses

An example of water leakage in a wooden deck. Water leakages around the home can cause cracks in floors and walls.

4)     Trees and shrubs

The roots of trees and shrubs located around your property draw moisture away from the foundations of your home.

The way tree roots draw moisture away from the foundations causes soil shrinkage and therefore, cracks.

Conversely, removing tree roots will cause the soil to reabsorb lost moisture, causing soil to expand and creating movement.

5)     Cracking in houses caused by vibrations

Houses can also move and shift because of nearby ground vibrations caused by nearby construction and heavy traffic.

These vibrations can move the foundation of your home and cause cracks.

6)     Uneven settlement

If a house is built on uneven ground, as it settles this can cause stress on the structure will quickly cause cracks.

Generally, this problem occurs in newly build properties, however it can also occur when a new extension is added to a home.

cracking in houses

An example of a settlement crack in the ceiling of a home.

7)     Cracks as the building ages

As your home ages, it will adjust to environmental conditions which will result in shrinkage and warping, which can cause cracks.

8)     Poor structural design

Structural design can influence the rate at which the house cracks, particularly if the design is poor or has significant faults.

Insufficient bracing and support can cause movement while the concrete is green, resulting in cracks.

The removal or cutting of too much wall framing can also result in sagging and cracking.

Inadequate protective covering against heat on the roof can cause heat to warp the house, particularly if the building has a metal frame.

9)     Cracks in driveways

Driveways often become cracked because heavy vehicles drive on them, day after day.

Over time, this causes the concrete to crack and buckle.

cracking in houses

A crack in a driveway.

10)  House cracks in vacant homes

If you leave a house unoccupied for too long, this can result in cracks in both the ceiling and the walls.

This is because that when people are home, they will always be adjusting the temperature of the building to ensure comfort.

However, when no one is at home, the building can become very hot, very quickly. This extreme temperature can cause cracks.

During particularly hot summers, residents can leave for two weeks and return to find large cracks in the wall.

How to find cracking in houses

If you are concerned about cracks, you can engage a building inspector or engineer for more information.

They can conduct pre-purchase and pre-sale building inspections, dilapidation reports, new construction reports, as well as renovation reports.

Building reports examine faults around in and around the property including cracks.

Dilapidation reports look at the condition of the building prior to renovation work and then examines if any damage because of construction. This is particularly helpful to determine cracks caused by vibrations.

New construction reports examine the quality of newly built homes, including whether any cracks have formed due to settlement or poor construction.

Renovation reports will inform you what parts of your home are structurally safe and which parts should not be touched.

Cracking in houses can become a major issue if left unaddressed, so do not leave it until it is too late.

 

water leaking loganlea

10 tips for spotting water damage when buying

When house hunting, looking out for water damage when buying is essential.

Water is the cause of many major household problems that can end up costing you thousands of dollars down the line.

As such, it is vital that you know what signs to look for so you can spot water damage when buying.

1)     Musty smell

Before even walking through the door, one obvious sign of water damage when buying might be the smell.

Houses with water damage produce a smell like wet cardboard or paper.

The smell can waft through the entire property, but it is strongest in areas that have water damage. These are generally the bathroom, kitchen and laundry.

2)     Poorly maintained gutters

Poorly maintained gutters are another sign of water damage.

Gutters are designed to divert water away from the house and safely into the garden or municipal damage.

When they are damaged, this can cause rainwater to spill onto your property and damage it.

3)     Pools of water near the foundation

Tying into the gutters issue is the existence of polls of water near the foundation of the home.

Pools of water near the home’s foundation is a sign the yard isn’t draining away properly, which can lead to a build up of moisture

Water leakage in the sub floor of a home.

4)     Appearance of mould

Mould is a type of discoloured, fuzzy fungal growth that forms in the home due to excessive moisture and humidity.

Mould spreads over time and can have major health effects on people living in an infested home.

Such health effects include breathing problems, nasal congestion, coughing, throat irritation and other respiratory issues.

Look for dark coloured spots on the walls, like so:

An example of mould growth on the ceiling.

5)     Condensation

Windows can show signs of moisture through condensation.

If you see windows becoming cloudy or wet and it hasn’t rained recently, this is a sign that there is an issue with the plumbing, pipes or drainage.

6)     Warped floors

Warped floors are a sign that underfloor drainage issues. Such warping includes uneven tiling, carpet lifting, damp carpets and soft spots in wooden floorboards.

Uneven flooring creates a tripping hazard and moisture often makes surfaces dangerous to walk on due to the threat of slipping.

Uneven tiles near a pool. Can be a sign of issues with plumbing.

7)     Rust

Rust on metal objects are a tell-tale sign of excess moisture. This is doubly true if rust can be found in areas not exposed to the outside.

Rust forms when iron and oxygen react to water or moisture in the air.

Rust generally manifest as brown-orange mark. If left unchecked, it can make metal corrode over time.

This ultimately makes appliances fragile and can even make the structure of your home unsafe.

Checking for rust is a must-do when looking to buy a home.

Rust on a water heater in a residential home.

8)     Outdated water supply system

When buying a home, you should ensure the quality of the water supply system is assured.

If left too long without a proper inspection, your pipes can rust, get damaged by tree roots growing into them or face some other form of damage.

Even if the pipes are in good condition, the connections and faucets can still leak.

As such, getting a pre-purchase plumbing inspection is essential.

9)     Sound of running water

One often unnoticed sign of water damage is the sound.

If you hear dripping or even the rush of running mater, this is a sign that there may be a leak or burst pipe.

A creaking sound coming from your floors can also be a sign of underfloor drainage issues.

10)  Flaking paint

Water damage can also manifest behind walls and ceilings, causing the paint to flake away.

It may also crack or bubble.

Paint flaking in Hillcrest.

What to do if you find evidence of water damage

Firstly, you should book a further inspection to assess the extent of the damage.

If you find water damage when buying, or looking to buy a home, this can influence the price of the home.

From there, negotiate with the seller to see about fixing the problems, or depending on the extent of damage, lowering the price.

If you cannot come to an agreement with the seller about these things, it is best to move on.

pool fence sunshine coast

Buying a house in Queensland with a pool – What do you need to know?

Almost 20% of Brisbane residents have a pool.

If you are looking at buying a house with a pool in Brisbane, it is a great idea to get some advice from a pool professional.

Like a pre-purchase building inspection, a pre-purchase pool inspection can save you from costly repairs that you might miss when looking at the property.

In addition, all residential pools must comply with state government regulations by having a pool safety certificate and be registered on the Government’s pool safety register.

Having an unregistered pool is both dangerous and can result in a fine of $235.60-$2356 to the owner.

Pool Safety Certificate

A pool safety certificate is given to properties that pass a pool safety inspection. It is evidence that the pool meets government standards.

When buying a home with a pool, it can be sold to you with or without a pool safety certificate.

The seller must give you a copy of the certificate, which they can access on the pool register which is kept by the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC).

However if you are not given a pool safety certificate you must receive a Form 36-notice of no pool safety certificate prior to entering a contract of sale.

The seller must send a completed copy of the form to the QBCC, before the settlement of the property.

However, if you are renting, the owner must give you a pool safety certificate.

Some pools have clear barriers rather than traditional fences. They still need to comply with the standards set by the QLD government.

Certification

A pool must be pass inspection before it be certified.  As such, a pool safety inspection should be carried out.

This must be conducted by a qualified professional and can cost anywhere from $100 to $250, depending on the size of the pool.

To become an accredited pool safety inspector, they must complete the 10660NAT Course in Swimming Pool Safety Inspections.

Always ensure any inspector you hire has this course completed.

The main issues of pool safety include fences, climbable objects, gates, doors, signage, doors and windows.

Most compliance is based around making sure the pool is not easily accessible to children.

Fences

Fences must be at least 1200mm from the top to the ground level. The gap between the bottom of the fence and the ground should be 100mm.

There must be a gap of at least 900mm between any horizontal railings on the outside, while gaps for vertical railings cannot exceed 100mm.

If the horizontal rails do not have a gap of at least 900mm, then they must be on the inside and the gaps between vertical rails still cannot exceed 100mm.

Claimable objects must be at least 900mm away from the outside of any fence that is less than 1800mm high. For climbable objects inside the fence, climbable objects must be 300mm away.

For fences that are 1800mm high or more, all climbable objects in the pool area should be 900mm from the fence.

Any climbable object too close to the fence effectively reduces the effective height of the fence for the purposes of an inspection.

A pool with a tall fence.

Gates

The pool gate must not open inwards and must be self-closing and self-latching from all positions.

Latches must be at least 1500mm from the ground and 1400mm above the highest horizontal bar.

If not, it must be necessary to reach over through the fence at a height of 1200mm off the ground in order to open.

Alternately, it must be at least 1000m above the highest horizontal bar of the fence and 150mm below the top of the gate.

It may also be necessary to put a 450mm radius shield around the latch with no openings larger than 10mm.

Pool gate hinges thicker than 100mm must be 900mm apart, or more. If this is not possible, the lower hinge must have a non-climbable safety cap to prevent climbing.

Signage

A compliant CPR sign must be displayed near the pool so that it is easily visible near the pool.

Doors and windows

As per the guidelines, no door from the house or other building should lead directly into the pool area. Any entrant should always be required to go through the proper gate.

Any window that opens into the pool area must have a security screen or must not open wider than 100mm.

Provided all these elements of your pool meet the standards, you pool will receive a Pool Safety Certificate.

Pre-Purchase Pool Inspection

A pre-purchase pool inspection determines the integrity of the pool and ensures everything is working as it should.

This inspection looks at elements such as the appearance of the pool surface, pool filtration, pumps, light, water/chemical balance, pool cleaner, skimmer box, baskets and more.

The underground plumbing might also be inspected, checking for leaks.

Upon completion of an inspection, you will be issued a full written report that will go over the details.

Using information about any faults, you can negotiate with the seller about the price of the home.

pool inspection

Equipment used to service and clean pools.

Pool Handover Inspection

If you are new to owning a pool, a pool handover inspection is a great way to learn how to properly maintain and care for your new pool.

The technician will teach you how to clean the pool, including cleaning the filter and pump.

You will also learn about chlorination and whether to use salt, chlorine or some other form.

You will be taught when and how to empty baskets.

Furthermore, the training will teach you how to adjust timers and setting.

Different pools have different needs, so it is vital to contact an expert and get a pool handover.

asbestos

What is involved with Asbestos Testing

From the 1940s up until the mid-1990s, asbestos was a common fixture in the Australian building industry. This is due to its durability, insulating properties and fireproof nature.

However, it was eventually found that the fibres of asbestos were toxic to humans.

As such, production of asbestos was stopped and using all forms of asbestos was banned.

Any houses in Australia built pre 1995 likely contain asbestos material.

The Dangers of Asbestos

Asbestos is safe if it is undamaged and undisturbed.

However, once it is damaged, fibres are released into the air that are invisible to the human eye and float through the air.

If breathed in, these fibres could cause lung scarring, lung cancer, mesothelioma and various other lung related issues.

The health impacts from asbestos can take 50 years to show, but asbestos has been linked to hundreds of deaths a year in Australia and kills 90,000 people per year across the world.

asbestos testing

Asbestos is a deadly hazard.

Asbestos in construction

Prior to the mid-1980s, it was common practice for houses to have had asbestos used to construct the home.

From the mid-1980s to 1995, it is still possible that asbestos was used to build your home.

If your house was built after 1995, it is much less likely that your home would contain asbestos, though it is not impossible.

In 2003 it was made illegal to buy, sell, import, supply, use or re-use asbestos.

Asbestos in the home

Asbestos was generally used in areas where water was likely to be used, such as the kitchen, bathroom or laundry as a form of waterproofing.

The fireproof properties of asbestos made it a popular form of insulation for heaters, stoves, fuse holders, hot water piping.

Asbestos was a popular material for rooves and walls too.

Wall sheeting, roof sheeting and capping, guttering, outbuildings (sheds, dog kennels etc), eaves and stormwater pipes are just some of the places that may contain asbestos.

Many vinyl and linoleum sheets and carpet floorings also contained asbestos-felt.

The rubble of older buildings was often very dangerous due to the presence of asbestos fibres.

What if I have asbestos?

If you are worried about asbestos, you should be very careful. Do not try and remove it yourself, as you could break it and inhale the dangerous fibres.

Instead, contact an expert to conduct asbestos testing.

The Steps of Asbestos Testing

A trained inspector will conduct a multistep process when carrying out an asbestos test.

Asbestos Testing – Step 1: Preparation

Firstly, the safety of anyone nearby should be considered.

The area where a sample is being taken should be clear of other people.

Fans, air conditioners, heaters and any other device that might spread fibres should be turned off.

asbestos testing

Asbestos testing requires inspectors to wear protective gear, such as this.

Asbestos Testing – Step 2: Taking the Sample

Next, the act of asbestos testing should be carried out. This involves cutting a sample of material out of your wall that you suspect to be asbestos.

Before this however, the inspector should wear all necessary protective gear (mask, overalls and gloves) and place down the plastic drop sheet to catch any material that falls on the floor.

The area where the sample will be taken is dampened to prevent the spread of asbestos fibres.

After this, the inspector will use the pliers to cut a hole in your wall that is roughly the size of a thumbnail but extends the whole depth of the material.

The sample is removed from the hole and stored away safely.

A piece of duct tape will then be placed over the hole area to stop asbestos fibres from being released and spread.

Asbestos being safely removed.

Asbestos Testing – Step 3: Cleaning Up

The drop sheet is carefully collected and placed into a heavy-duty bag to be disposed of. All tools are wiped down and cleaned.

Asbestos Testing – Step 4: Sending it to the lab

The safely stored sample will be sent to a lab for proper testing to determine whether it is asbestos or not.

We then give you a report outlining the findings and the lab results.

drugs

Meth Testing

Meth testing is the best way to protect yourself from the very real threat of meth residue, which can endanger the health of you and your family.

Meth use and manufacture is a real danger in South East Queensland, with the incidence on the rise over the last 10 years.  Home buyers, investors and renters should consider the potential that the property they are looking to purchase or living in might have been contaminated with meth.  Meth residue can cause ill health.

Meth in Queensland

Methamphetamine, also called meth or ice, is an illegal stimulant which looks like crystals, shards, a brown oily substance or off-white powder depending on the form it takes.

The most recent statics taken on meth labs per state revealed that Queensland contained almost half of all discovered meth labs in Australia.

Areas such as Logan, Redland, Yarrabilba and the Sunshine Coast were the areas with the highest drug labs recorded in South East Queensland.

meth testing

The products used to make meth are toxic chemicals. They can contaminate a home for years.

Meth labs in houses

As meth is illegal in Australia, people who want to sell meth must produce it in hidden locations. 64% of meth labs are in residential dwellings, such as houses.

Kitchens and bathrooms are converted into crude, makeshift labs to illegally produce methamphetamine.

The products used to make meth are hazardous and contaminate the surrounding area.

If your property was once used as a meth lab, toxic fumes can contaminate a home for years after the lab is gone.

Dangers of meth

The dangers of meth contamination are very real. This is especially true for children, who are more sensitive to the effects of drugs compared to adults.

Babies and toddlers who crawl along the floor are at increased risk of ingesting meth residue.

Common symptoms of meth residue exposure include headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, eye irritation, coughing, stomach aches and a sore throat.

The dangers of meth are not as extreme if residents have smoked meth, but the manufacture of meth is what causes dangerous contamination.

An example of a meth rock.

Signs of meth contamination

There are some signs that suggest a home was once a meth lab.

Firstly, meth labs have a very specific smell. The ground will generally smell like ammonia, ether, cat pee or rotten eggs.

If the windows are covered up, this can be a sign people are trying to hide something, such as a meth lab.

Meth labs are generally very messy and unclean, so if your prospective home matches this description it might be best to watch out.

Furthermore, if you live in an idea known to have a history of police involvement or low prices, it may be worth investigating whether or a meth lab was present.

Researching the area, as well as asking local police and neighbours can be helpful to know who previous occupants where.

What to do about meth contamination?

If you suspect that meth has been used or cooked in your potential purchase or rental property, you should seek to get meth testing done.

Meth testing involves a non-invasive swab of the property’s inner wall and they send the swab away to get tested in a lab.

This can be done for one swab in each room to find exactly which room the meth lab was in.

Alternately, you can do an indicative test which is one swab in multiple rooms which only gives a general reading that there is meth contamination somewhere in the house.

Property law

There has been a recent push by the state government to have local council in areas like Logan take the responsibility of doing mandatory testing and the clean up of properties where meth labs have been.

Depending on your role, your legal obligations can change.

Landlords/property managers

Landlords have a legal responsibility to provide tenants with a safe property.

If a property is found to be contaminated, landlords can be exposed to liability and litigation.

Furthermore, landlords have the responsibility of cleaning up after a contamination is found.

Many insurance policies do not cover drug-related claims. Thus, landlords can be forced to pay out of pocket for the expense of cleaning up.

As such, to protect yourself if you are a landlord you should get meth testing done before and after every tenant moves in.

Also, having a clause in your contract that outlines you will regularly conduct meth testing and they will be liable for any clean up costs.

Before you hand over the keys to a new tenant, make sure meth testing is done.

Meth Testing for Tenants

As a tenant, if you suspect that your rental property is contaminated, it is reasonable to have the property tested and see if the levels of residue could be risky to your health.

Likewise, if you are experiencing unexplained health issues, a meth test in your rental property could identify the cause of your ill health.

Meth Testing for Home Buyers

When looking to buy a new home, you will conduct a pre-purchase building inspection. More prudent home buyers will also consider meth testing.

A meth contamination could be utterly devastating both in terms of the health of occupants but also the financial situation of the owner.

termites in ground

Termites

Termites in Queensland

Termites are small, wood eating pests that cause thousands of dollars in damage to homes across Queensland ever year.

While most areas of coastal Australia are at high risk of termite attacks, Queensland is a hotbed for these pests.

This is because the natural conditions of Queensland, such as humidity, alternating periods of dry weather and stormy downpours, as well as the high number of trees. Queenslander style homes are especially at risk, given the amount of wood used in their construction.

There are 10 native species of termites in Queensland and many more that have been introduced over time. Queensland is home to the largest and most aggressive species of termite, the mastotermes darwiniensis.

How to recognise termites

There are several tell-tale signs that your house has been stricken by a termite infestation.

  • Easily damaged wood: The most obvious sign of termites can be when your foot goes through the wooden staircase.
  • Trails of mud going up or around walls: Termites create pencil-sized tunnels out of soil and mud to protect themselves from predators and the environment.
  • Piles of sawdust-type pellets around wood: This is not actual sawdust, but frass which is termite excrement.
  • Discarded wings: Winged termites will fly around and look for places to start a colony, after which they discard their wings. Seeing these wings around your home is a sign of termite infestation
  • Hollow sounding wood: Termites generally eat wood from the inside out. When you knock on wood and it sounds hollow, this is a sign of termite damage.
  • Doors, walls and windows change shape: If your doors become sagged or windows become harder to open or paintwork is cracked, this is a sign that termite damage has warped your doors and windows.

If you see signs of termites, then damage has no doubt already been done. As such, it is always better to try and avoid a termite infestation before it happens.

termites entering through crack in bricks

Termites can enter through cracks in brickwork, as seen in this image.

How to reduce risk of termites

There are several steps you can take to reduce the risk of a termite attack around your home.

  • Reduce risk of moisture: Termites are attracted to moisture. If wood is damp, they will have an easier time eating it. As such, you should fix poor drainage, keep gutters clear, and leaky pipes and improve ventilation in areas where it is poor.
  • Remove dead tree stumps: Decaying wood is attractive to termites. If you have a dead tree stump in your yard, remove it quickly.
  • Reduce wood-to-ground contact: Remove wood, mulch, paper and cardboard away from the foundation of your home. If you’re creating a garden, place it away from your dwelling.
  • Point sprinklers away from your foundation: Reduces moisture in at risk area.
  • Get annual inspections: Through regular inspections from a licensed inspector, you will get expert check-ups to ensure your home is termite free

Another effective deterrent for termites is the Termite Management System.

moisture and decay kingston

Decay and damage like this can be evidence of termites.

Termite Management Systems

The Building Code of Australia (BCA) requires that all new homes must have termite management systems in place.

A termite management system comes in many different forms.

  • Physical barrier: A physical barrier generally takes the form of a concrete slab. This prevents termites from getting a concealed entry into your home – to get in, they must make themselves visible.
  • Chemical barrier: A chemical barrier is created through a moat-type ditch that is dug around a property, filled with chemicals and then covered over. These chemicals can do a variety of things, either deterring termites or slowly killing them and poisoning the nest over time
  • Stainless steel mesh: A steel mesh is placed under the slab and around the perimeter of the property.
  • Graded stone: A layer of graded stone is placed below the foundation and around the perimeter of the property
  • Termite resistant materials: Using materials such as treated timber, steel, concrete, reinforced cement and masonry in construction can protect from termites, as these are termite resistant.

Termite Management Systems are your best bet to protect your home, however it is important to have a durable notice.

What is a durable notice for my termite management system?

A durable notice is a record of the termite management system that is permanently and prominently displayed in the home.

The durable notice indicates the following:

  • The termite management system which is used
  • The date of installation of the system
  • What chemical was used and where, life expectancy of the chemical
  • The installer/manufacturers recommendations regarding future inspections

An example of a durable notice (with the address censored).

Who should install the termite management system?

Not just anyone can install termite management systems – it requires a qualified pest technician.

The average cost of termite treatment in Queensland is around $2000 – $4000.

When researching which expert to choose from, you should take the following steps:

  • Research: Investigate different companies, the services they offer and check the reviews of their services and see if they have an FAQ page.
  • Contact them: Once you have a list of options, call the business and ask questions such as how long they’ve been around and what training they have. You can also ask details about the inspection itself and what products are used.
  • Compare them: Once you are satisfied that you have conducted enough research, compare your options and choose the one you are most comfortable with.

Through these steps, you can hire someone qualified to both install your termite management system and conduct inspections.

Termite Inspections

As stated above, regular termite inspections are a necessary step to prevent and reduce the risk of a termite infestation.

An inspection can cost you as little as $250 depending on the size of the property.

Generally, it is recommended you get a pest inspection once annually, but if you live in a high-risk area you might be advised to get an inspection more often.

Inspectors will check the following aspects of the home:

  • All accessible rooms inside the home
  • All accessible spaces under the home
  • Timber around, in and under the home
  • The garden
  • Fences
  • Trees and tree stumps
  • Any structure within 30m of the property
  • If any termite damage was found
  • The existence of a previous termite management plan

You will receive recommendations on further investigations and repairs that may need to be done. A report will be given to you detailing the findings of the inspection.

5 ways to prepare for a building and pest inspection

A building and pest inspection is a very important procedure for anyone buying, selling or renovating a home. As suck, you should know how to prepare for a building and pest inspection.

In our blog, we will go through the most important steps you can take so you can make the most out of your inspection.

1)     Research different companies and services

One of the first things to do as you prepare for a building and pest inspection is to research.

You should investigate the different building and pest inspection companies, see the reviews and services they offer, along with price.

That way, you can be sure to get the best value for money.

The internet is the easiest way to get information quickly, but don’t be afraid to call either.

2)     Ask questions to prospective inspectors

Once you have settled on an inspector, you should call and speak to the staff.

We have previously released a blog about the 5 questions you should ask your building and pest inspector.

By getting in early and asking these questions before booking, you can be better informed about the inspection process.

3)     De-clutter your home

One of the biggest impediments to a building inspection is obstructions that prevent inspectors from getting in and looking at areas of the home.

As inspections are purely visual, inspectors cannot move, shift, destroy or alter any part of your home. Thus, they will not inspect an area they cannot access.

For example, if a garage is cluttered and inaccessible, an inspector will not move objects out of the way.

They will simply make a note in the report that they area was inaccessible, and the room may have faults.

Beyond the usual clutter like cardboard boxes, things like cars, rubbish bins and large bushes are all obstructions too. You should endeavour to remove these.

An example of clutter that prevents a full and proper inspection of a room.

4)     Unlock your home

Another obstruction that will prevent an inspector from looking at every possible area is locked doors.

Obviously, if I door is locked and we have no means of opening it, we will not inspect the room.

As such, you should unlock and open garages and any other doors you might normally lock, or at least provide keys to the inspector or selling agent.

5)     Remove pets

We love dogs and cats as much as anyone, but pets can be a major distraction to any building and pest inspection.

Furthermore, if they are conducting treatments for termites, it is wise to keep cats and dogs away from chemicals.

Contact Dedant today

Dedant offers high quality, value for money inspections. With over 10 years of experience, we are a local, family owned business you can trust.

Contact us on our website, Facebook or via our phone number, 07 3807 0122.

leaking tap image

5 Common Causes of Household Water Leakage

Moisture and water leakage are the reason behind many issues around the home. Thus, you should know the most common causes of household water leakage.

Water leakage causes rust on metal, creates mould and it causes wood to decay.

At Dedant, we have had over a decade of experience conducting building inspections. That means we know exactly where water leakage tends to originate from.

By knowing the common causes of household water leakage, you can protect your home from these issues.

1)     Air conditioners

Air conditions are one of the most common causes of water leakage.

Your air conditioner produces water as part of the cooling process, some of which is used to cool the air and some of which is sent out the back of the unit.

As such, there will inevitably be leakages. It is recommended you have a way to divert water away from your home and into the garden, such as a pipe or hose.

If you do not, this can cause puddles to form which cause rust and decay to your home.

An example of an air conditioner without proper drainage, which has rust along the bottom of the unit

2)     Clogged gutters and downpipes

Gutters and downpipes are designed to divert rainwater away from the home and into somewhere it cannot do damage.

When gutters and downpipes become clogged with objects such as leaves, this causes the overflow to spill down onto the property.

As such, you should endeavour to keep gutters and downpipes free of debris. Trim nearby trees to stop leaves from falling into the gutter.

For a gutter such as this, the obstruction of the leaves will prevent water from flowing through and safety away from your home.

3)     Plumbing ages over time

No matter how good quality plumbing you have, it will not last forever.

As the months and years go by, the plumbing corrodes and rusts over time. This will cause it to leak.

You should periodically get your plumbing examined, to ensure it can be replaced in a timely manner.

Furthermore, this also applies to seals placed on water connectors too.

Older pipes which are now leaking.

4)     High water pressure

If water pressure becomes too high, it puts strain on your pipes which can lead to rattling, loud noises, pinhole leaks or even burst your pipes entirely.

Therefore, if you are worried about the pressure or hear loud noises when turning on the water to your shower or sink, contact a professional to measure the pressure.

5)     Changes in the temperature

Many pipes that make up household plumbing are made with metal.

Thus, when they are subject to extreme temperatures the pipes will expand and contract.

These movements can damage, crack or dislodge the plumbing which can cause leaks.

Contact Dedant if you’re worried about your pipes

Water leakages, mould and decay are all things that attract termites to your home.

As such, Dedant can conduct a high-quality building and pest inspection complete with moisture reading and thermal vision cameras.

We can assess major and minor defects to your home, such as leaks and moisture, as well as the existence of any pests such as termites.

Building Inspections in Brisbane

Things We Do Not Inspect During A Building and Pest Inspection

Before you get your Building and Pest Inspection, it is important to know the areas that are not inspected in a building and pest inspection.  Our qualified building and pest inspectors have extensive experience in the building industry and are very knowledgeable about building, structure, building hazards and identifying maintenance issues.  They are also experienced pest controllers specialising in termite inspections and management.  Specialists in other fields that you might want to also get advice on for your new home purchase could include plumbers, electricians, swimming pool technicians, air conditioning technicians, smoke alarm technicians.

By knowing what we do not inspect beforehand, this will allow you to make the necessary arrangements with other inspectors, electricians and tradespeople so every aspect of your home can be examined.

1)     Electrical wiring

Inspectors at Dedant Building and Pest Inspectors are not electricians.

As such, we are not qualified to assess the safety or condition of your electric wiring, switches, power points or any appliances around the home. We only check if the electricity is connected.

If you are concerned about fire and safety standards of the electrical work within your home, we can refer you to a qualified electrician if you contact us.

Have all your electrical work and appliances tested by an expert.

2)     Plumbing

At Dedant we turn taps on to examine leakage, we can either attract or be a sign of termites.

However, inspectors at Dedant are not plumbers, so we do not examine plumbing conditions generally.

We do not look at water pressure, whether the hot water system works, pipe connections, whether toilets are prone to clog, whether your shower floods etc.

For a comprehensive look at your plumbing, a qualified plumber will be able to advise you.

3)     Gas

During our inspections, we do not look at gas, nor fireplaces or chimneys. Anyone who installs, inspects or alters any part of a gas system must have a gas inspection certificate.

Gas is generally found in water heating, ovens, stoves and other appliances. However, as it is both flammable and toxic, gas comes with an inherent risk.

The risk of a gas leak, fire or explosion is too great to ignore. If you are concerned about gas appliances within your home, we can refer you to relevant experts.

4)     Pools

Furthermore, Dedant does not conduct pool inspections. As part of our reports, we recommend that any client with a pool contact a pool expert.

This expert will examine the pool shell, equipment and fencing.  A pool safety inspection might also need to be conducted.

It is important to get regular pool safety inspections, as pools can be dangerous if proper safety standard are not met, particularly for people 5 or under.

Dedant does not conduct inspections of pools. We recommend you consult with a qualified expert.

5)     Risk of natural disasters

Dedant will not provide any commentary on the risk of flooding, earthquake, hurricanes, mudslide or any other natural disaster that impact the structural integrity of the property.

6)     Restricted areas

Our inspectors first consideration is always their health and safety. Thus, they will not go to or inspect any area that is not safe or reasonable to access.

For example, a floor with broken glass or nails sticking out is an unsafe area, an area with loose or broken asbestos or a roof void with foil insulation.

Likewise, inspectors cannot conduct an invasive inspection of your property. This means they cannot look inside walls, behind cupboards, inside eaves or by lifting floorboards etc.

Similarly, we cannot move furniture, remove screw bolts or cut holes in anything.

 

An example of restricted access due to clutter.

For more information

For more information on inspections, check out our website. Alternately, you can contact us through our website, on Facebook or 07 3807 0122.