Common Building Defects & How to Spot Them

If you’re purchasing a home or even an industrial building you want to know that the property is going to last. That means it will still be there in ten years or more and you’re not about to get a big repair bill for termites or perhaps to rewire the entire property.

That’s why it’s essential that you have a building survey done before you commit to purchasing.  It’s also important to have the surveys done by a reputable building consultant Sydney. Combine this with your basic knowledge of defect and you can be confident that everything has been identified.

Roofing & Gutters

Missing roof slates or panels, damaged roof materials, or blocked gutters all suggest water leakage. Unfortunately, if water is leaking inside your building, especially onto drywall, you’ll need to consider the damage that has been caused. If it has been leaking for a long time, the water could have caused wooden timbers and drywall to rot, affecting the structural stability of the roof and the integrity of the interior walls.

When looking at the roof you should also check that the ridgeline is straight, bowing or other issues suggest damaged wood frame that will need to be replaced.


An independent electrical inspection is a good idea. Of course, if the wiring is old you can assume that it will all need to be replaced. But, even if it looks new you’ll want it checked. The aim is to be certain that there are no shorts in the circuits that increase the risk of power failure or fire.


A horizontal crack in a wall can be a serious matter. In general, you’ll want to see how long the crack is, if it goes across the entire building it suggests that one end has moved, possibly due to subsidence. You may need to have the house underpinned to ensure it is safe for the future.

If you have horizontal cracks it is essential that you have them checked by a professional.

Vertical cracks tend to be less serious as it is likely to be drywall cracking. Providing the crack is on the inside and not the outside it is unlikely to be serious. Although, it should still be checked.


Water ingress shows as stains on the ceiling and walls, damp comes from the bottom of your home and climbs upward. You may see stains on the floors or low on the walls, you may also find mold in the basement if you have one.

In essence, the walls are missing damp proofing, you’ll need to consider the best way of rectifying this for the future. Damp and mold are not good for your health.

Wood Rot

Check all the wood you can see for any sign of rot. This can be softwood or lots of small holes that suggest a termite infestation. Dealing with this promptly is important to minimize the damage. You’re likely to want the help of a pest control expert to eradicate the problem before you can start the repairs.

Don’t forget, every problem has a solution, you just want to be aware of the issues before you commit to purchasing.

Photo of author

Libby Austin

Libby Austin, the creative force behind, is a dynamic and versatile writer known for her engaging and informative articles across various genres. With a flair for captivating storytelling, Libby's work resonates with a diverse audience, blending expertise with a relatable voice.
Share on:

Leave a Comment