Common building defects found during an inspection

defects found during an inspection twin cities building and pest inspections

When buying a new home, it is always advised to have a professional building inspector come out and assess the overall conditions of the property. This is because there are commonly issues found during an inspection that are invisible to the inexperienced eye.

While a professional building and pest report will outline both minor and major defects, there are some issues that are more serious than others. In this article we discuss some of the usual problems identified and what can happened if they are left unattended.


Termite infestation is found in many homes in Australia, and especially in Queensland where there is a warmer and more humid climate year round. Termites are bad news to any property and can damage most areas of the house. They are most commonly found underneath the house’s timber structure and stumps, or throughout flooring and roofing structures.

If termite activity has gone unnoticed for a long period of time, wood-framed structures can weaken and be rendered structurally unsound and may even be dangerous for the inhabitants. A professional pest or termite inspector will inspect likely areas for damage or infestations before it is too late.

Plumbing Leaks & Mould

House inspecttion

Your inspector will spend time checking for unusual levels of moisture during the assessment, which could be a sign of a leak. Un-repaired leaks can easily lead to water damage and subsequently mould.

While mould is a serious issue in itself and can cause health problems like asthma – if black mould is found in your home there is cause for real concern. Black mould usually indicates a bigger problem, such as a cracked foundation and can be a costly affair to rectify.

Poor Ventilation

Inadequate ventilation may seem like a trivial issue but can lead to bigger problems if ignored. As mentioned above, poor ventilation in wet areas like the bathrooms particularly can lead to widespread mould and worsened air quality in the home. If your home is on timber stumps, poor ventilation can also worsen the dampness in the wood and become appealing to termites and timber pests. In worst case scenarios, poor ventilation can contribute to timber rot and eventually timber decay.

Roof Damage

Roof tiles and shingles are often the biggest victims during big storms in Australia. Heavy winds can easily crack several roof tiles at once. This might go unnoticed from the inside of the house or from down on the ground. Faulty roofs can lead to leaks or insulation damage and should be rectified as soon as possible. Your inspector will let you know if you should get in touch with a qualified roofer.

Roof inspection

Structural Damage

Structural defects are defined as “a fault or deviation from the intended structural performance of a building element”. They are often found in older homes and are usually the result of maintenance neglect or wear and tear. They can appear in form of water leaks, damaged rafters in the roof, floor joists or cracks to the foundation or walls. Structural issues do not necessarily need to be major but some of them can be quite expensive to repair. Generally, you do want to consult your inspector and someone in the relating trade before you buy a home with a structural issue.

Major and Minor Defects Defined

In your building report you will see problems and issues referred to as minor defects or major defects.

A major defect refers to an issue, inconsistency or damage in any of the major components of the property; the building’s major load-bearing components such as foundations, footings, floors, walls, beams, joints, pads, load-bearing floor slab and more. Major defects have the ability to render a building or property unsafe and may cause collapse in worst case scenarios. Examples of major defects:

  • Cracks and damages in the foundation (substructure)
  • Cracks and damages in floors and slabs (superstructure)
  • Cracks and damages in walls (superstructure)

Minor defects are more manageable issues that are rather simple to remedy and may not need attention immediately. It can refer to and affect the appearance of a building without compromising the integrity of the structure. Minor defects usually include items such as thin cracks, wall dents, and uneven finishes. Your building inspector will include any minor defects in the report even if they don’t pose a safety risk.

Twin Cities Building and Pest Inspections

If you are looking to buy a property in or near Townsville, AyrBowenCharters TowersCardwell or Ingham, make sure you have a professional pre-purchase building and pest inspection done before signing the contract. It can save you thousands in repairs!

Call TCBPI today at 07 4723 2770 or enquire online to know more about our inspection process, detailed building reports and how we can bring you peace of mind when buying a property. 

If you would like more information, you can always read our Building Inspections FAQ’s

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