Pre-Purchase Building & Pest Inspection

A Pre-Purchase Building and pest Inspection is a visual property inspection that is performed prior to finalising a property purchase.  It is usually a condition of your purchase contract.  If you’re buying a new home or purchasing an investment property, it’s important to have an inspection done.  The findings will be recorded into one ‘easy to read’ report. The report features  photographs and a summary of all major and minor defects.  DedAnt provides Building and Pest Inspections that are conducted  to Australian Standards.

What’s Included in a Building and Pest Inspection?

This is a combined inspection, looking at building issues and pest activity.

The Building inspection is a visual appraisal of the condition of the property, highlighting major and minor defects and safety hazards.  The Pest Inspection involves a visual inspection of all accessible areas of the property to see if there is any evidence of active termites or previous termite damage.  The inspector will also note whether the property has a termite management system installed.

The house is checked for any high moisture readings especially surrounding the wet areas like bathrooms. Other areas that are checked are the yard and exterior of the building, internal rooms, ceiling roof void and house foundations.

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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.

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.

new-build-handover

Answering Your Handover Inspection Questions

Completing a building project is always a massive achievement, however even after construction is done, you still have to do the handover inspection. This step can confuse many people, so we will be answering your handover inspection questions in this blog.

What is a new build handover?

When you want to build your dream home from scratch, you need to go through several steps.

These include getting the finances in order, finding the right site, choosing the right building contractors and then the construction process itself.

After this, mandatory inspections are done which ensure that the house is a livable dwelling with weather proofing, power and water connected.

However, after this you’re still not done. The new build handover inspection must be conducted. This is the final examination of the house to make sure it’s built up to standard and to your specifications.

Why is the handover inspection so important?

It is the final step before you make a payment, so it’s important to get it right. Once you’ve paid the builder, they are much less likely to seek to help you.

This saves you from having to re-hire them or hire new builders to fix minor issues down the track. It also stops minor issues from becoming major issues.

That’s why it is so important to get a quality inspection service. 

new-build-handover

We conduct a thorough report of any faults your newly constructed property.

What is the difference between mandatory and handover inspections?

A mandatory inspection is just to make sure that the house is a livable structure.

By comparison, a handover inspection is done after the mandatory inspection. It makes sure the final touches are all correct and all elements of construction are up to industry standards.

This inspection looks at things like unevenness in the finishes, the gaps underneath doors, whether railings are loose and so on.

It is much more in-depth and the final chance for you to make sure your home is perfect.

How does the handover inspection work?

Generally, your builder will give you 2- or 3-weeks’ notice before handover is expected to take place.

From there you should conduct a qualified inspector who will undertake a thorough examination of your home.

A report is then delivered to you noting all the defects of the property. The builders should then fix these defects.

A follow up inspection and report can then be conducted at your request.

The New Build Handover is your final step before payment. Make sure you get the best inspectors. Contact Dedant today.

Who can do my handover inspection?

Of all the handover inspection questions, this is perhaps the most important. Thankfully, we’ve got an easy answer.

Dedant Building and Pest Inspections offers affordable, quality handover inspections.

These inspections are followed by an easy-to-follow report that includes pictures of any faults and tells you the correct trade responsible for fixing the fault.

Dedant services Brisbane, Logan, the Gold Coast, Moreton, Ipswich and the Scenic Rim.

Call now on 07 3807 0122 or contact us on our website.