Common Issues Found in Australian Homes Part I
Most Australian homeowners are not aware of the common issues found in their homes. These issues are hardly noticeable until they have caused major structural damage. Unless you get a home inspection, you will hardly notice that there is actually something wrong with your home. So, what are the common issues found in Australian homes during a home inspection?
Moisture in Walls and Ceilings
Moisture originates from various sources including leaking tile grout, plumbing, exterior drainage issues or roof problems. During home inspection, the moist areas are assessed and the moisture levels are determined in order to pinpoint the source of the problem. Condensation can be a huge problem especially during the summer or winter. Curiously, it seems that some home designs adopted by many homeowners contribute greatly to condensation or moisture in their homes.
The installation of insulation to trap heat tends to increase the levels of moisture in most Australian homes. The presence of cool surfaces around your home also contributes to the problem. High humidity levels inside the home especially during the summer also create moisture or condensation. If running water appears on double pane windows during the winter, this means that the interior humidity is too high. Accordingly, you need to adopt certain measures in order to decrease the humidity levels.
On the other hand, humidity can rapidly decrease during the summer months. You may want to use a humidifier in order to solve the issues. The drawback to this solution is increased electricity bills. However, installing or using a humidifier can help greatly with the problem.
Other possible sources of condensation or moisture includes construction moisture, malfunctioning appliances, window surface problems, peeling paint, wall discoloration, cracks or holes in ceilings or walls, toilet tank surfaces, seepages, leakages and finally, soil saturation, just to name a few possible causes. There are still other possible causes, and a home inspection can help pinpoint the culprit.
Cracks in Walls and Ceilings
When home inspectors check out cracks in walls and ceilings of most Australian homes, they try to determine whether these cracks are due to normal causes or not. Expected foundational settlement or even slight roof movements can cause cracks to appear on walls.
There are various causes for cracks on walls. Homes deteriorate naturally. Cracks appear on walls as time goes by. A home inspection, however, can determine the cause of these cracks. It can also determine whether there is a real cause for concern or not. Drywall cracks are quite obvious, but your home can have cracks on walls or ceilings without you knowing it. Your home inspector can find all these cracks and offer a great solution to the problem.
Residual Current Devices
Residual current devices are clever gadgets that help automatically shuts off electricity before it can cause harm. This is one of the best ways to reduce risk or fires, electrocution or other damage. How does it work? Basically, you plug your RCD into your electricity outlet, plug your appliance into your RCD and you’re ready to go. During a home inspection, the inspector will check whether or not the RCDs are protecting the right electric circuits. Many homeowners install the device incorrectly, so they often aggravate the risks instead of reducing them. Basically, RCD’s can provide you with the much needed protection. It constantly monitors the flow of electricity in your home. You need to test your RCD’s every three months in order to make sure that they are functioning properly.
Smoke alarms are one of the most common concerns when it comes to home inspection. Even if hard wired, they can be out of date which renders the home potentially unsafe. This also places your insurance policies at risk. So, a home inspector checks out their condition, position and compliance.
Smoke alarms are one of the most important devises that you need to have in your home. This is literally your lifesaver. For a relatively low cost, you can ensure that you will be warned if a fire breaks out in your home. Therefore it is important that you have a highly dependable alarm installed throughout your home. You need to do monthly maintenance in order to ensure that it’s working properly. You also need to replace your smoke alarm every ten years of use. You should also replace the unit if you are not satisfied with it.
If you smoke alarm produces a chirping sound, this means that you need to change the battery and dust the unit. If it is hard-wired and it is chirping, this may mean that the connection is loose and needs to be tightened. If the connections are worn out, you need to contact an electrician to get it repaired. If the smoke alarm does not produce sound when tested, check it for debris or dust accumulation and then try again. If it does not produce sound, then you may have to replace it.
Good Working Order Items
Ordinarily, in a home inspection, the inspector will also make sure that everything is in good working order. Items that will be checked include plumbing or wiring. Any problem with these items may result in significant repair or replacement cost. So, home inspectors usually check plumbing items, electrical outlets and appliances for deficiencies or maintenance requirements.