- The Landscape
Ah, you say, you’ve already carefully inspected the landscape of the property you’re thinking of purchasing. You noted the garden with an approving smile and noticed that the trees could stand to be trimmed. You hope to pull a few dollars off the asking price for that latter blemish. But no, that’s not the kind of landscaping a building inspection professional is going to investigate. Instead, he will be looking at the lay of the land as it pertains to the structural integrity of the home or office. How is drainage handled? Are there any reasons to suspect a sinkhole or some other natural phenomenon that could lead to problems? These questions need answers before you can feel good about making a purchase.
Sure, you would have taken special notice if you had seen any obvious leaks coming from the ceiling during your walkthrough, but a building inspection professional is going to go a lot further than that. Water is one of the most damaging elements to a home and it is important to know if it is creating problems in the structure. This means looking for dampness in the usual places, such as the outer walls and down in the basement. It means paying particular attention to the so-called “wet rooms”: the laundry room, the kitchen, and the bathrooms. It also means looking carefully for any areas where mold might be developing.
A crack or two in the walls is no reason to write off potentially purchasing a piece of property. Cracks happen and they can either be serious or benign. A small crack around a door or window could be nothing to worry about and nothing that a little putty can’t handle. It doesn’t look great aesthetically, but it isn’t a major structural concern. On the other hand, a crack that follows up through the brickwork could be a serious issue. Only a professional building inspection investigator will know the difference.