How to Identify Defects in Old Buildings

How to Identify Defects in Old Buildings
There are several areas where issues occur in old buildings.

There are several areas where issues occur in old buildings.

A Building Condition Inspection is necessary before plunging into a property buying decision for it implements modern technology to identify issues. Defects affect the performance of a building during its occupancy stage. Older homes are more prone to be laden with defects as there are higher chances of worn out/ faulty construction, design issues, wear & tear due to efflux of time and lack of maintenance. The defects not only affect the building but also reduce its value. Re-modelling might also turn out to be a costly affair. Therefore it is of utmost importance that a Third Party Building Condition Assessment is arranged for so that the issues can be addressed before it is too late.

There are several areas where issues occur in old buildings. Some of them might be right in front of your eyes while some are hidden problems. How to identify them? Here are a few ideas:

Electrical issues

One of the biggest boons of technology and science is electricity without which our daily life would come to a standstill. Older buildings are likely to have old wires, and the electric panels might be out of date too. Electrical problems make their presence felt by flickering lights, blowing up of fuses frequently, overheating of electric appliances, mild to moderate electric shocks, etc. The problems tend to worsen if the building is damp. Dampness means there is moisture or capillary water in the fabric of the building. This co-existence of water and electricity can turn out to be very dangerous. So, even a single issue requires immediate attention and home inspection is necessary to get rid of such issues and ensure the property to be safe

Plumbing System

Old buildings have old piping and plumbing system installed which are not compatible with the modern taps and outlets. In addition to this, waste lines and faulty fixtures installation also contribute to leakage from showers and toilets. Drains are clogged too. Such leakages give rise to damp. Earlier Indian houses had drain pipes made of cast iron which would give way quickly as rust would be formed. These faults should be inspected on a regular basis by experienced inspection officers as that would ensure the safety of the dwellers.

Windows and Doors

Old buildings in their glorious times boast of beautifully crafted window panes, blinds, door panels, etc. But with age, the buildings lose their shine and aesthetics. Very commonly, the wood windows are found to have become lopsided. The bars made of iron become rusty and fragile. In fact, old wooden structures are often so infested with termites that the panes and panels become completely weak and crumbly. Old windows endure the rain and heat simultaneously and the wood often gives way as they become rotten. Therefore, inspecting the existing structures becomes crucial. Jumping into re-modelling is not a wise option here. Reconstructing may also found to be beneficial. That being said, any corrective action must be preceded by home inspection in order to justify the cost and time investment.

Old is gold, they say. But when it is your property where you plan to live the coming years, you must put the “old” to inspection tests to be assured that it remains “gold.” Regular upgrades are also recommended.

GOVARO offers a wide range of Building Condition Assessments and produce detailed reports for Prospective Property Investors, Real Estate Investors, Corporates, Individuals and Developers across South Africa. With a highly experienced and qualified team of Engineers and Technicians, we offer a comprehensive service and we also take care of the remodelling services for our clients. Contact us today for a free first consultation.


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