We inspect hundreds of properties every year and it’s not unusual for us to come across a house with a roof leak that the owner wasn’t aware of. A leak may take years to develop, and sometimes the structural damage can be costly to repair and affect the sale price of the property. That’s why it’s imperative for potential buyers to have a comprehensive building inspection undertaken.
How much damage can roof leaks cause?
Usually, the homeowner first becomes aware of the leak when water drips from the ceiling. If not addressed, this can be costly to fix because ceilings and walls are vulnerable to moisture. The increased weight from the water can cause ceilings to collapse, or at the very least cause panels to swell, both of which require replacement.
A roof that has been leaking for a long time can damage rafters, joists and fascia boards, all of which can affect the structural integrity of a property. Once this serious damage has occurred, a qualified builder, and sometimes a structural engineer, will be required to advise on repairs.
Mould loves moisture
When mould is present in a home it’s important to understand the cause and have it treated immediately. Mould is not only unsightly; it can cause an enormous amount of damage and health problems. If fungal spores penetrate the surface of supporting timber beams then wood rot can set in and more serious problems will arise.
Every homeowner’s nightmare is termites and lets face it, they love moisture and thrive in a humid environment. If a leak is not repaired, the constant supply of water will keep insulation and timber moist to create the perfect environment for termites.
A leaking roof is a potential fire hazard when water leaks onto wiring in the walls or ceiling.
Insurance coverage for roof leaks
Many homeowners’ household insurance policies do not cover damage caused by leaks because this is considered the result of not undertaking regular maintenance.
Protection for home buyers
A standard contract of sale states that the vendor must deliver the property to the buyer at settlement in the same condition as it was on the day of the sale (allowing for fair wear and tear). If a buyer discovers a roof leak after settlement then they are stuck with the repair bill. It’s essential that all home buyers do their due diligence on a potential property and obtain a building and pest inspection report from a licenced building inspector.
BPI offer comprehensive building and pest inspections. We use the latest technology (including thermal imaging) and provide an unrivalled service. Our inspector will perform complete internal and external roof inspections. In situations where the exterior of the roof is not accessible, we use a drone to inspect the exterior of the roof.
Be sure you make an informed decision on your next property purchase and book an inspection with BPI Sydney South today. Call 0439 232 236 to make a booking or for more information.