Common Building Defects Found In Buildings

Common Building Defects Found In Buildings

If you’re in the process of purchasing a new property, it can be daunting to consider the repairs it may need, especially those that you can’t see on a face level. From pests to structural issues, these defects in buildings can leave you with bill shock. And unfortunately, once you make a deposit, they’re entirely in your hands to fix.

When you’re in the market looking for a property, you must inspect its interior and exterior to perfection. This can certify that the cost of the repairs falls in the hands of the current owners. After all, putting down a deposit is expensive enough, especially in the growing Sydney market. So, you don’t want to be forced to fork out more of your savings to make your property safe to live or work in.

Now, don’t get us wrong, these defects aren’t always the fault of the current owner. In many instances, the effects of wear and tear begin to have a long-term impact on the structure, drainage or ventilation of a home, deeming it difficult to live in. Plus, these defects are typically hard to spot by simply walking through the home.

Rather than assuming that the property looks good, checking the following aspects before you lock in your purchase can help you save thousands.

Damaged Wooden Flooring

This defect is most common in older homes and buildings. However, it can still occur within a few months or years of owning a new building if they are not properly installed, treated and maintained. As time passes and flooring systems deal with the sun, constant foot traffic and spills, they are likely to expand, causing them to become weak and warped. If not properly inspected or noticed in due time, this could cause floorboards to fall in, placing tenants at risk.

Drainage issues

A common concern across new homes and old homes, poor drainage can lead to flooding, which can cause a myriad of problems down the track. Just some of these problems include:

Dampened walls which can attract pests

The presence of black mould

Lifted and cracked bathroom tiles

Leaks and indoor floods

Unfortunately, drainage issues can occur at any time and are sometimes unpreventable. But, taking the time to inspect the property for any drainage problems during your assessment can help you alleviate any later risks.

Structural Defects

Defined loosely as any defect that occurs in the structure of the home, this is most commonly associated with older homes due to the natural wear and tear process. However, structural defects can also be present in newer homes, particularly if the construction team has made a mistake or cut corners.

Some structural defects include damaged wall foundations, internal wall cracks, broken rafters in the roof and damaged floor joists. These defects are the most expensive to fix and can put many out of pocket. They are also the hardest to spot as they cannot be seen just by looking at the building from the inside. This damage can worsen during disasters, such as an earthquake, and put people at risk, so it’s always best to call a certified inspector.

Ventilation Issues

When inspecting a home during the pre-purchase phase, it is just as essential to ensure that the ventilation is functioning correctly. Though many may not consider it an issue, ventilation is one of the most essential to consider, as it can help remove moisture and humidity. Good ventilation is most noticeable when cooking, during wet weather, on humid days, after using the bathroom, and in the event of spills.

With an absence of ventilation, buildings are more susceptible to moulding, which can cause sickness. This moisture can also decay the structure quicker due to the natural corrosion process, making it dangerous.

Waterproofing Issues

Covering external roofing waterproofing and internal bathroom waterproofing; this factor revolves around keeping water out of the home to maximise comfort. Poor waterproofing can lead to roof leaks, a stale rotten smell in the building, toxic moulding and structural damage.

Roofing Problems

The roofing of a home receives the most impact. So, it is the most susceptible to damage and defects. Due to the natural wear and tear process or severe weather, defected roofing often revolves around broken slats or holes, which will cause leaks. Wear and tear can be sped up due to poor material choices during the build process, as specific nails and roof tiles will corrode and rust more quickly.

Another common defect found in roofing is poorly installed flashing seals. These are most prominent in homes with features, such as a skylight. But these flashings also exist where chimneys, vents and roof extensions exist.


After a new structure is built, or an existing one has been left unoccupied for long periods, pests, like termites, are likely to appear. Taking the time to inspect a property for these pests can prevent any structural damage that they may cause. It can also pick up any damage that the home has already incurred, such as holes in the walls or weakened foundations.

It is important to remember that pest inspections shouldn’t be reserved for new property owners. Conducting them once a year at a minimum can give all building owners peace of mind and ensure they take the appropriate action to prevent an outbreak.


A property inspection can save building owners thousands in later repairs. Conducting one before purchasing or settling in a new home (if bought off the plan) can guarantee that the liable parties make the necessary repairs.

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