Long term defects with new home.

New home with long term defects. QBIS

No one expects problems to occur with a brand new house, except me, as I have seen it all before and unfortunately more often than anyone should. Here are some examples of what can go wrong that any home buyer or owner should be made aware of.

Balconies that extend over living areas are most likely to give problems, no matter how well drained and water-proofed:

  • Concealed drains are prone to blocking.
  • Water-proofing is likely to crack over the long term from different rates of expansion and contraction.
  • Seepage is most likely to occur to the living areas directly below.

Long term defects with new home

Exposed deck above a living area, a recipe for disaster!

Timber panels have been fitted over drains and water-proof barrier. This type of construction will definitely cause problems, possibly in the very short term. Different rates of expansion and contraction that will occur between different materials will cause cracking and leaking to the living area below.

Exposed deck, recommended rectification:

Construct roof above the exposed deck with a decent eave overhang for protection. This will also allow the deck to be more usable in any weather conditions.

Decks are not practical without a roof above them. No-one is going to sit themselves in the hot sun or a rainy day for an extended period of time.

New home with long term faults and defects                        

Balcony extending over living area which is likely to allow seepage.

Recommended rectification:

  • Closely monitor ceiling lining below with powerful torch, look for signs of paint peeling
  • Check with moisture meter, not long after rain periods.
  • Remove the floor tiles.
  • Fit flashing and a water-proof membrane and re-tile.
  • Fit pull-down awnings to perimeter of balcony for protection.

Insufficient clearances between timber walls and tiles:

The timber walls extend down to the floor tiles without appropriate clearances, this will allow seepage to cause rot to the concealed timber frame. This method of construction is not recommended and should been avoided. Usually carried out by inexperienced builders that rely too much upon sealant rather than practical methods of construction.

Recommended rectification.

  • Most effective way to avoid rot would to have built the wall at a level higher than floor tiles, during construction.
  • Only economical solution (without removal of materials) would be to apply a sealant suitable for external use, closely monitor and reapply often.

For independent Building Inspections Brisbane in all suburbs, Qld Home Buyers Inspection Service. qbis.com.au