Whether you’re a home owner, a new buyer, or an investor, getting a building and pest inspection report on your property is an absolute must. A pest and building inspector is a licensed professional who is trained to detect anything from termite infestations to structural hazards not aligned with national safety standards. This is not a DIY job. But to ensure you are receiving the best service and understand exactly what the inspection reveals, don’t be afraid to ask your pest and building inspector questions. But what would I know about a building inspection, shouldn’t I just leave it to the professionals? Well, you may not know much about the inspection process, but you’ll sure learn something if you ask! But most importantly, understanding potential problems in your property means you be well equipped to make sensible decisions and take appropriate action, which could save you thousands.
Here’s our tips for some questions you should consider asking at your next building and pest inspection:
Is there any evidence of past damage or repairs?
Finding out what work has been done in the past is a good indication of how well the property has been maintained and whether or not it is likely to re-occur. Ask if your building inspector finds evidence of any recent work or repairs which stand out too. This kind of information gives you a better understanding of the property’s history which can’t easily be detected based on aesthetic appearances.
Are there any potential problems I should keep an eye on?
Sometimes report findings will be neither here nor there. A potential problem doesn’t necessarily mean it’s all bad news, but you should be aware of anything that could become costly down the track. Knowing what signs to look for or when to book a follow up inspection could save you the hassle of dealing with serious damages later.
When was the last barrier treatment?
Chemical treatments, or barrier treatments, for pests such as termites should be done about every four to five years. This time frame is dependent on the chemical barrier in place or baiting and monitoring system installed. But it is recommended that you have terminate inspections carried out every 12 months, and more regular inspections between three and six months for high risk areas.
What preventative or maintenance tips you can give me?
If your property gets the all-clear, it’s by no means a time to become complacent. Preventative measures are always better than repairs, so ask your building inspector if there are any specific maintenance requirements to help keep the property in tip-top condition.
Is there any evidence of leaks or roof damage?
Roofing is one of the most expensive home structures to fix or replace. If your inspector identifies any evidence of water leaks or roof damage, depending on the severity, you could be up for major repair costs. Make sure the extent of the damage is clearly outlined and ask for their recommendation regarding any appropriate action.
Always ask would you buy this property?
Who better to ask if they would purchase the property than a building inspector? You’re sure to get an honest opinion on whether or not the property is a good buy. If the answer is no, ask why? If it’s due to pest or structural damage issue then you’ll need to either address those problems if the property is already yours, or consider buying elsewhere if it is not.
And finally, make sure you always attend the inspection in person and ask the inspector to show you his findings. Their reports are often worded very strongly to protect their own liabilities, so the last thing you want is to end up in a hysterical panic over report details that may not be as severe as you’d imagined.