Brickwork cracking

Brickwork cracking is a common concern for house buyers. Suburban brick veneer houses often present themselves with brick cracking to some degree, and while in most cases the brickwork of these houses is non-structural above the floor level, cracking can be a difficult and expensive problem to rectify. Because brick veneer construction is brittle, in recent years we now construct brick veneer houses with articulation joints, which accommodate any movement in a building. Movement occurs for many different reasons, including variations in climate or temperature, movement in the frame and movement in the foundations. It is important to diagnose the severity of brick work cracking prior to purchasing and to also assess whether the defect is considered a structural or non-structural element. Melbourne House check considers the condition of all brickwork within a pre purchase building inspection. If you would like to speak with us in detail about brickwork cracking we can be contact through our website

Read our other posts on brickwork problems:

Leaning brickwalls

Cracks in brickwork

Cracks in brickwork can be a major concern.

If there are cracks in the brickwork of a house you are considering buying, it is important to seek further advice from a suitably qualified building practitioner to identify the cause and give you advice regarding the cost of rectification. There are a number of reasons why brickwork cracks. The most common is foundation movement, which can be caused by a number of factors. Water, trees, construction methods and poor workmanship are just a few causes of foundation movement and in most cases rectification can be expensive. Builders at Melbourne House Check know how to diagnose brickwork cracks.

Read our other blog post about leaning brick walls here.

Water pooling around footings will cause problems.

Look out for this when buying houses. Water pooling around concrete footings is bad and can cause major structural problems. Even in summer months, make sure you know where the water is being directed too. It is a relatively straight forward process connecting downpipes to the stormwater system, but if water is left to pool around slabs or stumps it can be a very expensive rectification. At Melbourne House Check a Pre-Purchase House Inspection checks for this sort of problem before you buy.

You can view our Facebook post on this matter also.

Pre-purchase house inspections: Don’t risk not getting one.

If you are considering buying a house without having a pre purchase inspection you are taking a huge risk. Just because a house is presented well, doesn’t mean all is ok. In fact there are just so many things that can be hidden it takes more than just an eager eye to identify the problems. Here are just a few recent issues we have identified:

  • Restumped houses not level.
  • Water leaking through ceilings from balconies above that have been disguised.
  • Unidentified blocked sewers from trees.
  • Rotting structural timbers underneath bathrooms due to leaking.
  • DIY wall removal that has resulted in structural deficiencies.
  • DIY deck and pergola construction resulting in safety concerns.
  • Inadequate site drainage that has not been identified in summer months that has resulted in footing failures and a build-up of water underneath the house.
  • Re painted interiors that cover up structural movement.
  • Active termites.

Pre-Purchase Building and Pest Inspections are cost effective and important. The photo below is from a house that presented beautifully on the outside, however underneath the floor was a completely different story. This photo shows a brick pillar supporting the floor bearers and joists. It’s not meant to look this messy and incomplete. This was common underneath this house of which the prospective purchaser had no idea of the poor quality of workmanship. If you are buying a house you need to know the standard of which it has been built. Melbourne House Check – For Peace of Mind. You can view our Google+ and Facebook posts on this matter below. You can call us on 1300 729 352 or you can send us an email here. 16

Read our other pre purchase inspection articles:

Pre purchase inspections – 4 things you need to know

The positives of a pre purchase inspection

5 Frequently asked pre purchase inspection questions

Why is it important to have a pre purchase inspection before buying?

Illegal Renovations – Don’t get caught up after you buy.

In Victoria, building work is regulated by the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) which is responsible for ensuring the compliance of builders and plumbers. However, the building process has some pitfalls for those who are uninformed. If you are buying or selling a house it is important you know the regulations of building permits. The Building Act 1993 legislates that all building work is subject to the issuing of a building permit, unless the proposed work falls under an exemption under the Regulations. This includes alterations, demolitions and removals/relocations of buildings. A building permit will specify that either an occupancy permit is required or a certificate of final inspection is required on completion of the building work. If you are unsure of whether a house has had a building or planning permit issued, consult your municipal offices as to whether the building work required or had a building permit issued. A building permit ensures that the building work:

  • is done by registered and insured builders
  • has the correct documentation
  • is inspected at different stages of work, and
  • is independently assessed as finished and/or suitable for occupation.

The building permit also lists the types of inspections you must have at different stages of work.  Some types of inspections are footing, steel reinforcement, frame and final inspection. Large fines apply if you build without the correct permits. You can be forced to demolish illegal buildings. It is important that if you are planning renovation work at your house you are 100% aware of the need of a building permit. Examples of building work requiring a building permit are:

  • a new home or factory
  • a swimming pool
  • extensions
  • renovations
  • demolition, or
  • building removal.

You may also need a building permit for smaller projects like:

  • a new fence
  • re-stumping
  • retaining wall
  • boundary wall
  • spa
  • safety barrier for a swimming pool or spa
  • garage
  • carport
  • outbuilding
  • Veranda, or pergola.

If there has been building work done at a house you are considering buying, check that a building permit was issued and the work was completed by a registered builder. Call Melbourne House Check for further assistance on 1300 729 352.

You can find our relevant Facebook posts on this matter also,

Rising damp can be hard to fix.

Here are some tips to look for when buying your house.

  • Blistering paint and wall paper finishes
  • Damp patches
  • Tide marks of salts on walls up to 1 meter
  • Decayed skirting boards
  • Decaying brickwork

Rising damp can be caused by many reasons. The cures can be expensive. Look for the signs of rising damp or get Melbourne House Check to look for you.

You can find our Facebook post on this matter also.

Don’t forget to measure.

If you are considering buying a house, don’t forget to measure the boundaries. They are not always correct and it’s best to find out before you buy.

Melbourne House Check can measure boundaries as part of a Pre-Purchase Inspection and while it will not be as accurate as having a land surveyor re-establish the boundaries, it will give you an account of where the current fences have been built for you to compare to the measurements on the title. To have your potential site measured by Melbourne House Check just ask us when you make your booking.

You can find our Facebook post on this matter also.

Termite damage

This short video shows a door frame in a house at a recent inspection in Melbourne that has active termites inside. The termite species was Coptotermes Acinaciformis which is a fairly common termite species in Victoria. These termites are subterranean termites and where they entered this particular house they were completely concealed and undetected. This damage occurred within 4 -5 months and shows the importance of undertaking regular timber pest inspections.  Click here to view our You Tube video.

We conduct building inspections including termite damage checks for homes across Melbourne.

7 Signs a house could be a lemon.

There is no perfect house. Even new homes have issues, but the key is to discover the really big ones before you buy. Here are just 7 things to check for.

  1. Check the roof isn’t sagging.
  2. Check there are no cracks in the brickwork.
  3. Check the brick mortar hasn’t been patched.
  4. Check the floors aren’t sloping.
  5. Check there is access to the subfloor for inspection.
  6. Check for mould and stains on walls and ceilings.
  7. Check for excessively damp soil under and around the house.

Melbourne House Check love checking for lemons.

You can find our facebook post on this matter also.