65 M Greenwood Road Leigh, Auckland, 0972 October 22nd, 2019
This report is the exclusive property of Build Check Building Reports Ltd and the client whose name appears herewith, and its use by any unauthorized persons is strictly prohibited.
The observations and opinions expressed within this report are those of Build Check Building Reports Ltd and supersede any alleged verbal comments. This report overrides, supersedes and negates any previous report that may have been submitted by us for this property and should be read in its entirety. Any reports previously submitted by us for this property should be destroyed and should not be relied upon or considered accurate or complete.
We inspect all of the systems, components, and conditions described in accordance with NZS4306:2005 Residential Property Inspection, and those that we do not inspect are clearly disclaimed in the report. However, some components that are inspected and found to be functional may not necessarily appear in the report, simply because we do not wish to waste our client’s time by having them read an unnecessarily lengthy report about components that do not need to be serviced.
A building inspection is a noninvasive, physical examination, performed for a fee to identify material defects in systems, structures and components. A building inspection also includes any consultation regarding the property that is represented to be a house inspection or any confusingly similar term.
A “material defect” is a condition that significantly affects the value, desirability, habitability, or safety of the dwelling. Style or aesthetics shall not be considered in determining whether a system, structure, or component is defective.
In short, a building inspection is intended to assist in evaluation of the overall condition of the dwelling. The report is not intended to be a “check list” of items that need repair or general maintenance, it is designed to identify material defects or deficiencies that would have an adverse impact on the value of the real-property, or that involve an unreasonable risk to people on the property. This home inspection report will likely reveal many minor defects discovered during our examination of the property, but it will not reveal every condition that exists or ever could exist, and is intended to identify only those material defects that were observed on the day of the inspection.
In accordance with the terms of the contract, the investigation and service recommendations that we make in this report should be completed during your inspection contingency period by qualified, licensed specialists, who may well identify additional defects or recommend some upgrades that could affect your evaluation of the property.
The failure to follow our recommendations constitutes a violation of our agreement and contract, which would hold us harmless for any subsequently alleged defects or deficiencies and by relying on this inspection report you have agreed to be bound by the terms, conditions and limitations as set forth in the CONTRACT AGREEMENT, which was presented to you at the time of the inspection or in an electronic attachment included with your completed report. If you do not have a copy of the CONTRACT AGREEMENT please contact us and a copy will be provided to you either electronically. If you do not agree to be bound by this CONTRACT AGREEMENT in its entirety, you must contact us immediately upon receipt of this completed report. In addition, all electronic and paper copies of the inspection report must be deleted and destroyed, and may not be used in whole or in part for consideration in a real estate transaction.
Your completed report may contain photographs of various conditions noted during the inspection.
PHOTOGRAPHS PROVIDED IN THIS REPORT ARE INTENDED TO HELP INTERESTED PARTIES UNDERSTAND THE CONTEXT OF THIS REPORT, BUT MAY NOT REPRESENT THE SUM TOTAL OF ALL CONDITIONS.
SCOPE OF WORK
You have contracted with Build Check Building Reports Ltd to perform a non-invasive inspection in accordance with NZS4306:2005 Residential Property Inspection, a copy of which is available upon request. Non-invasive inspections are essentially visual, and distinct from those of specialists, inasmuch as they do not include the use of specialized instruments, the dismantling of equipment, or the sampling of air and inert materials. Consequently, a non-invasive inspection and the subsequent report will not be as comprehensive, nor as technically exhaustive, as that generated by specialists, and it is not intended to be. The purpose of a non-invasive inspection is to identify significant defects or adverse conditions that would warrant a specialist evaluation. Therefore, you should be aware of the limitations of this type of inspection, which are clearly indicated in the standard. However, the inspection is not intended to document the type of cosmetic deficiencies that would be apparent to the average person, and certainly not intended to identify insignificant deficiencies.
Most homes built after 1978, are generally assumed to be free of asbestos and many other common environmental contaminants. However, as a courtesy to our clients, we are including some well documented, and therefore public, information about several environmental contaminants that could be of concern to you and your family, all of which we do not have the expertise or the authority to evaluate, such as asbestos, methane, formaldehyde, termites and other wood-destroying organisms, pests and rodents, molds, microbes, bacterial organisms, and electromagnetic radiation, to name some of the more commonplace ones. Nevertheless, we will attempt to alert you to any suspicious substances that would warrant evaluation by a specialist. However, health and safety, and environmental hygiene are deeply personal responsibilities, and you should make sure that you are familiar with any contaminant that could affect your home environment.
Mold is one such contaminant, and is present to some degree in nearly every residence. It is a microorganism that has tiny seeds, or spores, that are spread on the air, land, and feed on organic matter. It has been in existence throughout human history, and actually contributes to the life process. It takes many different forms, many of them benign, like mildew. Some characterized as allergens are relatively benign but can provoke allergic reactions among sensitive people, and others characterized as pathogens can have adverse health effects on large segments of the population, such as the very young, the elderly, and people with suppressed immune systems. However, there are less common molds that are called toxigens that represent a serious health threat. All molds flourish in the presence of moisture, and we make a concerted effort to look for any evidence of it wherever there could be a water source, including that from condensation. Interestingly, the molds that commonly appear on ceramic tiles in bathrooms do not usually constitute a health threat, but they should be removed. However, some visibly similar molds that form on cellulose materials, such as on drywall, plaster, and wood, are potentially toxigenic. If mold is to be found anywhere within a home, it will likely be in the area of tubs, showers, toilets, sinks, water heaters, evaporator coils, inside attics with unvented bathroom exhaust fans, and return-air compartments that draw outside air, all of which are areas that we inspect very conscientiously. Nevertheless, mold can appear as though spontaneously at any time, so you should be prepared to monitor your home, and particularly those areas that we identified. Naturally, it is equally important to maintain clean air-supply ducts and to change filters as soon as they become soiled, because contaminated ducts are a common breeding ground for dust mites, rust, and other contaminants. Regardless, although some mold-like substances may be visually identified, the specific identification of molds can only be determined by specialists and laboratory analysis, and is absolutely beyond the scope of our inspection. Nonetheless, as a prudent investment in environmental hygiene, we categorically recommend that you have your home tested for the presence of any such contaminants, and particularly if you or any member of your family suffers from allergies or asthma.
Asbestos is a notorious contaminant that could be present in any home built before 1978. It is a naturally occurring mineral fiber that was first used by the Greek and Romans in the first century, and it has been widely used throughout the modern world in a variety of thermal insulators, including those in the form of paper wraps, bats, blocks, and blankets. However, it can also be found in a wide variety of other products too numerous to mention, including duct insulation and acoustical materials, plasters, siding, floor tiles, heat vents, and roofing products. Although perhaps recognized as being present in some documented forms, asbestos can only be specifically identified by laboratory analysis. The most common asbestos fiber that exists in residential products is chrysotile, which belongs to the serpentine or white-asbestos group, and was used in the clutches and brake shoes of automobiles for many years. However, a single asbestos fiber is said to be able to cause cancer, and is therefore a potential health threat and a litigious issue. Significantly, asbestos fibers are only dangerous when they are released into the air and inhaled, and for this reason authorities distinguish between asbestos that is in good condition, or non-friable, and that which is in poor condition, or friable, which means that its fibers could be easily crumbled and become airborne. However, we are not specialists and, regardless of the condition of any real or suspected asbestos-containing material [ACM], we would not endorse it and recommend having it evaluated by a specialist.
Lead poses an equally serious health threat. In the 1920’s, it was commonly found in many plumbing systems. In fact, the word “plumbing” is derived from the Latin word “plumbum,” which means lead. When in use as a component of a waste system, it does not constitute a viable health threat, but as a component of potable water pipes it would certainly be a health-hazard. Although rarely found in use, lead could be present in any home build as recently as the nineteen seventies. For instance, lead was an active ingredient in many household paints, which can be released in the process of sanding, and even be ingested by small children and animals chewing on painted surfaces. Fortunately, the lead in painted surfaces can be detected by industrial hygienists using sophisticated instruments, but testing for it is not cheap. There are other environmental contaminants, some of which we have already mentioned, and others that may be relatively benign. However, we are not environmental hygienists, and as we stated earlier we disclaim any responsibility for testing or establishing the presence of any environmental contaminant, and recommend that you schedule whatever specialist inspections that may deem prudent during your inspection contingency period.
1 – THE SITE
1.1 – SITE EXPOSURE, CONTOUR AND VEGETATION
Birds have been nesting on areas of the fascia and on the roof covering, which has resulted in a heavy contamination from bird-droppings and straw like material from nesting. These droppings can carry diseases that can become airborne and eventually infect the interior of the residence. You should have the roof covering cleaned by a contractor and appropriate service should be undertaken to prevent continued nesting.
- Needing Service.
1.2 – ATTRIBUTES AND POSSIBLE DEFECTS
Even though the retaining wall does not require a building consent since the height of the wall is less than 1.5 metres high, it appears as though it may be supporting load additional to the load of that ground. Given the driveways close proximity to the retaining wall, the additional loading exerted on the retaining wall due to vehicle usage should have been taken into consideration. Further assessment may be suggested to gain an understanding as to the degree of load that the wall is able to support.
ATTRIBUTES AND POSSIBLE DEFECTS
All horizontal retaining board rails should be treated to H4 Class Hazard Specification and all timber posts embedded in the ground should be treated to H5 Class Hazard Specification. It was evident that these timber members were treated to this minimum requirement.
ATTRIBUTES AND POSSIBLE DEFECTS
Since the retaining wall is 1 m or higher, the New Zealand Building Code Clause F4 Safety from Falling may require a safety barrier located at the top of the wall. In domestic situations this is likely to be required where the wall is beside an access path to the house. Given the relatively easy nature to gain access to this height it would be highly recommended that this be further investigated to reduce the likelihood of serious injury.
1.3 – PATHS, STEPS, HANDRAILS AND DRIVEWAYS
Water is destructive, and if it’s not given a way around a residence it will likely find a way in. For this reason the ideal residence is surrounded by surfaces that slope away from it or has effective water catchment systems that help minimise this problem, as well as having interior floors higher than the exterior ground level. It has roof gutters that discharge into area drains that convey water to a street or other hard surface. Unfortunately, many older residences don’t meet this ideal. No significant amount of ground moisture was present at the time of inspection.
Concrete is generally strong in compression but very weak in tension. For this reason, it is important that sufficient reinforcement such as steel mesh is placed prior to the concrete being placed. This is because steel is better able to absorb the tensile stresses developing in the concrete from vehicle usage and will keep cracking within acceptable limits. From the surface, this driveway doesn’t appear to be a conventional concrete driveway, as it appears very rough and only certain areas have been laid with concrete. The driveway appears to have been placed many years ago and due to its current condition and with multiple surface cracks provides evidence to suggest that reinforcement was not used. The remainder of the driveway has been laid with gravel or metal, which is seen to be laid in a way which slopes away from the main dwelling.
The steps have unequal treads or risers. Steps are required to be uniform with up to a 5mm variation to prevent trip-hazards. The maximum riser height of any step should be no more than 190mm. The tread depth should be no less than 280mm. The maximum pitch for any common and main private stairways is 37 degrees.
Generally, common and private stairs that are less than 2 m wide and have more than two risers must have a handrail. However, a handrail can be omitted on stairs with two or three risers that access a single household unit.
STEPS & HANDRAIL OBSERVATIONS
STEPS & HANDRAIL OBSERVATIONS
2 – The Subfloor Space
2.1 – Foundation Type
This residence has a slab foundation. Such foundations vary considerably from older ones that have no moisture barrier under them and no reinforcing steel within them to newer ones that have both. Our inspection of slab foundations conforms to NZS4305:2004 Residential Property Inspection Standard, which is that of a generalist/non-invasive inspection and not a specialist. We check the visible portion of the slab on the outside for any evidence of significant cracks or structural deformation, but we do not move furniture or lift carpeting and padding to look for cracks or moisture penetration, and we do not use any of the specialized devices that are used to establish relative elevations and confirm differential movement. Many slabs are found to contain cracks when the carpet and padding are removed, including some that contour the edge and can be quite wide. They typically result from shrinkage and usually have little structural significance. However, there is no absolute standard for evaluating cracks, but cracks which exhibit no significant vertical or horizontal displacement are generally not regarded as being significant. Although they typically do result from common shrinkage, they can also be caused by a deficient mixture of concrete, deterioration through time, seismic activity, adverse soil conditions, and poor drainage, and if they are not sealed they can allow moisture to enter a residence, and particularly if the residence is surcharged by a hill or even a slope, or if down-pipes discharge adjacent to the slab. However, in the absence of any major defects, we may not recommend that you consult with a foundation contractor or a structural engineer but this should not deter you from seeking the opinion of any such expert.
CONCRETE SLAB ON GROUND
CONCRETE SLAB ON GROUND
3 – The Exterior Construction Type
3.1 – Timber Framed
The New Zealand Standard for Timber Treatment in 1995, allowing the use of untreated Pinus radiata timber for wall framing. As this timber has little natural resistance to rot when wet, damage occurs more quickly. Given that the house was built during the late 1990s, it may have followed these standards and the deterioration is likely to be significantly worse than if timber of a treatable grade was used.
The walls are conventionally framed with timber studs and noggings to form the wall structure.
The property inspected is located within Climate Zone 1, which requires the insulation within the timber framed walls to contain a minimum R-value of 1.9. It is not understood whether the wall insulation meets this standard but given the thermal imaging readings, it suggest that the exterior walls contain some form of insulation element. However, to be conclusive an invasive inspection would be recommended.
4 – The Exterior Cladding Type
4.1 – Condition Of Cladding
A direct fixed system has been use in the construction of the house. This means there is no cavity system which consists of a separation between the timber framing and the stucco plaster which helps to alleviate moisture intrusion by adequately ventilating this space. Under the Building Act 1991, it was not a requirement to construct a dwelling with a cavity system until the current Building Act 2004 came into affect, due to the leaky homes crisis.
4.2 – Stucco/Solid Plaster
Such cladding systems typically allowed for little thermal movement so that fine cracks that appeared insignificant, and would have been relatively insignificant in traditional claddings such as weatherboard, allowed continuous ingress of moisture into the framing. Therefor, the various cracks present on the exterior face of the stucco plaster should be examined further by a specialist contractor, especially given that there is no cavity system present and as well as the wall framing timber not possibly being treated to a suitable standard to minimise rot and moisture damage.
5 – EXTERIOR WINDOWS AND DOORS
5.1 – Other (E.G. Steel, UPVC, Aluminum)
MATERIAL TYPE (INCLUDING REVEALS)
5.2 – Other (E.G. Steel, UPVC, Aluminum)
Window ObservationsThe stucco has been installed without a space between the exterior windows and doors, so there is a greater chance of cracking due to expansion and contraction. This is evident around various areas around then windows and doors. The windows appear to be the same age as the residence and will not necessarily function smoothly and the thermal insulating factor of these windows is significantly inferior to newer, dual-paned windows. We do not necessarily consider aged systems or components to be materially defective, however, you should consider having the windows replaced at some point, if for no reason other than to increase the energy efficiency of the home.
6 – The Roofing Material
6.1 – Concrete Tile Roof
Concrete tile roofs are among the most expensive and durable of all roofs. There should be roof underlay beneath the tiles acting as a second line of defence against wind driven rain. However, due to not being in a position to gain access to the roof space due to no manhole access, removing the tiles is our only option to identify whether underlay is present. However, our inspection will not involve the removal of tiles due to liability factors. A factor which can heighten the possibility of leaks is when a roof has not been well maintained or kept clean. There appears to be a significant build up of moss on the roof as a result of not being routinely maintained. It recommended that you service them annually.
Concrete tiles are a common sight for these houses built between 1940-1960. The majority of leaks result when a roof has not been well maintained or kept clean, and we recommend servicing them annually.
Method Of Evaluation
The lead apron flashing which flashes the roof to wall junction on the dormer section of the roof appears to have a number of open gaps around the downturns of the flashing and appears to have been filled with a sealant as a secondary line of defence against moisture entry. It may be a good idea to either replace the flashing entirely, especially given the size of the gaps and sealant being used.