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Everything You Need to Know About Building and Pest Inspections in Queensland

Whether you are buying or selling a property, it is vital that you do a building and pest inspection before making further negotiations. The reason being? So you know the condition of the property inside and out. If you are a seller, knowing the current state of the property you are about to sell will help you come up with a reasonable offer. It will also help you decide if you should engage a pest control company to clear all pests before putting it up on the market. Meanwhile, if you are a buyer, knowing the exact state of the property will help you negotiate on price.

Building And Pest Inspections

It is wise to get a combined building and pest inspection so you’re able to gain a thorough understanding of the condition of the property. When you do, make sure that the inspector you hire holds a current license from the Queensland Building and Construction Commission. In Queensland, inspectors generally charge between $400-$500 for building and pest inspection on a three-bedroom house. If you are looking for Brisbane building and pest inspections or Gold Coast building and pest inspections, we have specific pricing information located on our website. We also have information about Sunshine Coast and Fraser Coast building and pest inspections.

The Importance of Pest and Building Inspections

Buying or selling a property is a huge deal as it entails a considerable amount of financial investment. Not only that, prices are scaling every day as the demand for properties continues to soar. Therefore, if you plan to buy a home or a building, you need to protect your investment by all means necessary. One of the most important investments you can make to secure your soon-to-be property is to do a pest and building inspection. This inspection will let you know the condition of the property so you can ensure that it’s safe and ready for occupancy.

Houses and buildings, no matter how well they are engineered and designed, are subject to wear and tear. Over time, these properties are going to have structural problems and when these are left unchecked, can cost a lot of money to have defects repaired. Why spend a fortune on repairs when you can avoid them in the first place? By having your property inspected, you will be aware of existing problems and deal with them accordingly before they get worse. You can take action right away to restore defects and increase its durability.

Why Is A Pest and Building Inspection Important?

  • You Will Know The Exact Condition Of The Property

    With a pest and building inspection, you will be able to have a clear picture of the property. You cannot possibly know these things by yourself. When you do an ocular survey of a property, the truth is, you are only looking at the surface unless you have a trained eye to see defects. More often than not, sellers will attempt to conceal minor and major defects to make the house or building presentable and appealing to buyers. You won’t be able to know if there are roof leaks, ceiling problems, water damages, problematic walls and pest infestation. When you do a pest and building inspection, what you are really doing is getting a detailed report about the condition of the house, good or bad, everything that is hidden will be stated on the report. In other words, when you know the current state of the property, as a buyer, you can haggle the price or demand to have the defects fixed and treated before you move in.

  • It Will Save You Money

    One of the main reasons why people don’t want to spend a dime on building and pest inspection is because they see it as an added expense. On the contrary, spending on building and pest inspection is going to save you money. Knowing the current state of the building will prepare you for your next move. Usually, people who have spent money on building and pest inspections have done the needed repairs and pest control to refurbish the building. Identifying defects early will give you a head start, which means you can repair them before the problem becomes severe. If you wait a little while longer, the condition of the property could worsen and this means more costly repairs in order to undo the damage.

  • The Resale Value Of The Property Will Increase

    Just so you know, a property’s value is largely influenced by its condition. A dilapidated home will cost considerably less than a home that’s well maintained. When you do a building and pest inspection, you can increase the resale value of your home or building. By doing the necessary repairs, you will be able to maintain the structure of the property and increase its value. Without a building and pest inspection, you won’t be able to do the necessary repairs and consequentially the value of your home will depreciate.

Frequently Asked Questions on Building and Pest Inspections

After years of blood, sweat and tears, you have finally saved up enough money to afford your dream house. Though, this dream can quickly become a nightmare overnight if you miss getting a building and pest inspection. Discovering that the house you bought is infested with mice and termites will not only drain you emotionally but it will also deplete you financially.

To save yourself from making a huge mistake, it is essential that you engage a building and pest inspection company prior to sealing the deal with your realtor. Nothing would be worse than spending your life’s savings on a property that does not deserve a single cent.

Unfortunately, a lot of people do not see the importance of getting a building and pest inspection. In most cases, the reason why they fail to do a building and pest inspection is because they don’t really know what they are getting from the report. Here are some frequently asked questions about building and pest inspections that will shed some light on their importance.

  • Do You Really Need A Building and Pest Inspection?

    The answer is a YES. Anyone who wishes to buy or sell a property should consider getting a building and pest inspection for security reasons. Aside from hiring a building and pest inspection company, ideally, you should get a closer look at the property yourself.

  • Why Do I Need Both A Building and a Pest Inspection?

    Only a combined building and pest inspection will give you a full assessment of the property. Building only inspections report on structural safety hazards and defects whilst a pest inspection determines whether there are any pest or termite infestations within the property. In Queensland it is recommended that both a building and pest inspection is carried out to ensure the state of the property before purchase.

  • Can I Do Property Check Before An Official Inspection?

    Absolutely YES! You can do a self-check on the property on top of the inspection report you are scheduled to get. This will allow you to see first-hand the condition of the property and find problems that you may want to share with your building and pest inspector. Some of the most common issues that you will likely find during a self-inspection are the following:

    • Check to see if doors and windows open easily
    • Check all ceilings, walks and skirting boards for the presence of mould and mildew (you can check for paint jobs that were done to conceal mould)
    • Check underneath carpets to see if the floors are damp or rotten
    • Check for collapsing walls and sagging ceilings
    • Turn on taps and see how long it takes for hot water to come out
    • Try to flush toilets to check for running cisterns
    • Shake the plumbing underneath the sink for robustness (check for the presence of rust and other pipe damages)
    • Check the hot water system for its age and size
    • Check the fuse box to assess circuitry age
    • Ask the seller about the building’s energy efficiency rating
    • Check the gutters, roof and drainpipes
    • Examine the exterior walls for defects and cracks
  • Can You Explain What A Pre-Purchase Building or Pest Inspection Is All About?

    Ideally, you should do a building and pest inspection before you purchase a property. A licensed building and pest inspector will be responsible for carrying out the property inspection. The inspector will be tasked to come up with a detailed report documenting the condition of the property both inside and outside. The report will contain information about the problems and defects of the building discovered during the said inspection such as a faulty roof, a leaking ceiling, weak walls with visible cracks, the presence of mould and many more. The building and pest inspection should be done before you finalise an agreement with a seller. Being aware of the current condition of the property will help you decide if you are going to push through with the purchase, negotiate the price or refuse the proposal. There are some buyers who have refused to go through with the deal after discovering that the property will cost them a lot of money on repairs.

  • What Is The Reason Why You Should Get A Building and Pest Inspection?

    Why do you think a building and pest inspection is necessary prior to purchasing a property? Well, it protects you from risks. Think of how devastating it would be to discover that the house you bought, which cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars, is defective and infested with pests. With a detailed building and pest inspection report, you can address concerns and utilise that information to demand a lower price.

  • How Should I Choose A Credible Building And Pest Inspector?

    Make sure the building and pest inspector you choose is someone who is qualified. In Queensland, building and pest inspectors must hold a current builders licence and also be licensed with building inspection and pest management qualifications. These professionals are trained to see beyond the cosmetic cover-ups of sellers that you may miss. The professional inspector will also see to it that the report is in accordance to Australian Standard.

  • What Will The Building Inspector Check and Examine?

    Your building inspector will check the following parts of the building:

    • Exterior
    • Roof Space
    • Fencing
    • Retaining Walls
    • Interior
    • Garage
    • Steps
    • Toilet
    • Under Floor Space
    • Garden Shed
    • Driveways
    • Laundry
    • Roof Exterior
    • Walls
    • Paths
    • Surface Water Drainage

     

  • What Can You Find In A Typical Building Inspection Report?

    A building inspection report should contain the following information:

    • Name
    • Property address
    • Purpose of the inspection
    • Date of the inspection
    • The extent of the inspection
    • Lists of places and items that were not inspected, stating the reason why it was not included in the inspection and a recommendation for investigation if necessary
    • A summary of the general condition of the property including minor and major defects
    • List of all the problems that require repairs
    • A recommendation for another inspection if necessary
  • When Should I Cancel A Purchase To A Property?

    You’re lucky if you find a house with very minimal problems but when the property you are eyeing on is plagued with major problems then you can cancel the deal. You see, there are building defects that can cause harm not just to your budget but to your health as well. Examples of such include rusting that can compromise the structural integrity of the building, poor electrical wiring and the presence of asbestos and mould. Neither your lawyer nor your building inspector will tell you what to do. You can decide for yourself based on the building and pest inspection report.

    • How Much Should I Pay For A Building and Pest Inspection?

    The answer to this would depend on the company you choose. Normally, for common inspections, you will be asked to pay $200 but for an expensive inspection, you’ll need to budget around $500. You can multiply this amount by three if you are going to get all three-inspection services – building, pest and a swimming pool inspection report.

    Keep in mind that a building inspection isn’t really an expense. Think of it as insurance since it protects your finances from future expenses intended for repairs. Buying a property, whether it’s a house or a building, involves thousands to millions of dollars. Don’t make the mistake of investing in a damaged property just because you failed to assess its condition.

  • How Long Will An Inspection Report Take?

    Generally, inspections take between 1-2 hours to carry out depending on the size of the house.

Understanding Pests

A pest is any plant or animal that is hazardous to the health of humans, their living conditions and their food. What do these pests do?

  • Carry disease-causing parasites and microorganisms like mosquitoes.
  • Mosquitoes carry Murray Valley encephalitis and Ross River virus.
  • Eat and destroy cereal crops and vegetables. Examples of such pests are grasshoppers and caterpillars.
  • Destroy stored food. Examples of such pests include mice and rats. These pests are known to eat rice, biscuits and grains. They contaminate food with their urine and faeces.
  • Eat and attack station and farm animals. Examples of such pests include feral dogs that attack goats and sheep, foxes that kill lambs and feral cats that feed on native wildlife.
  • Silverfish is another type of pest that destroys clothes by eating holes.
  • Although small, termites can destroy and weaken the foundation of buildings. Collectively, they can create significant damage to timber walls and floors.
  • Bed bugs can harm your skin. Their bites can cause skin irritation and when scratched can lead to an infection.

Pest Control Methods

Becoming familiar with the different pest control methods will help you choose which among those is suitable to your specific pest problem. Regardless of the pest control method you choose, it is necessary that you follow the following steps below to help control pest infestation.

  1. Identifying the Pest Problem
    Knowing what kind of pest you are dealing with is your first step in controlling the infestation. Some pests are easy to identify like a mouse or a cockroach but others can leave ambiguous clues that make it difficult for you to come up with an effective strategy. To help you identify what kind of pest is lurking in your home, it is best to arrange a pest technician to carry out an inspection on your property.
  2. Consider How Much Pest Control Is Needed
    It’s important that you know the difference between pest control and pest elimination. These two are not the same. Demanding to eliminate all pests in your home will likely compel you to resort to more extensive treatments that aren’t really necessary. We understand that a pest problem can be stressful on your part but you have to be reasonable. Ask yourself the following questions to help you decide what course of action to take.

    • Is it necessary to make your lawn completely free of weed?
    • Do you really need to get rid of all insects in your lawn despite knowing that some of those insects are not causing it any harm?
    • Can’t you substitute vegetable, flower or fruits that are sensitive to pests?
    • Are there family members in your home who are sensitive to chemicals?
  3. Select An Appropriate Solution
    Based on the information you have collected in Step 1 and your answers in Step 2, you are now ready to decide what pest control method to use. If you are unsure about your decision, you can always ask a pest specialist for advice.

    • Is it necessary to make your lawn completely free of weed?
    • Do you really need to get rid of all insects in your lawn despite knowing that some of those insects are not causing it any harm?
    • Can’t you substitute vegetable, flower or fruits that are sensitive to pests?
    • Are there family members in your home who are sensitive to chemicals?
  4. Assess The Results
    As soon as you have decided on a pest control method, implement it right away. Give it enough time to see if the method you came up with is effective or not. Here are some steps you need to take to assess the effectiveness of your pest control method.

    • Try to compare the condition of your home before treatment and after treatment. Was there significant evidence that the number of pests was reduced?
    • Compare the benefits of using chemical pesticide control to non-chemical methods.

    It’s important to remember that it’s harder to control pests than it is to prevent them. You don’t have to worry about controlling pests if you are taking measures to prevent them in the first place.

Common Pests And Ways To Control Them

Below are helpful pieces of information about flies, cockroaches, and rodents.

Termites

Termites vary in size; some are 1/8 inch long while others reach up to an inch long. They also vary in colour, some are white while others are brown and black. Their characteristic differences depend on their life stage and their species.

The number one culprit for destroying the structural integrity of any home or building is a termite. Despite its minuscule size, when termites group together in swarms, they are capable of destroying any sized property. The major challenge when facing a termite infestation is that you need tools and chemical solutions to ensure that you completely eradicate them from your home.

Termite Inspection

If there is evidence of termite infestation, leaving them untreated is a bad idea because these tiny yet highly destructive insects will slowly destroy your home. It is important for homeowners to get their homes inspected for termites every year especially if you have already noticed evidence of termite infestation.

Flies

Do you know that there are different kinds of flies? You can best identify them based on what they look like. The most common types of flies include the housefly, the bushfly and the blowfly.

The Life Cycle of a Fly

Generally, adult flies leave their eggs in organic and moist materials like dead animals, animal faeces, food scraps and grass clippings. In a couple of hours, the eggs will become maggots. These maggots grow fast by feeding on organic material. After around five days, these maggots will transfer to dry soil and create a hole where they turn into pupae. A strong covering refereed to as the pupal case will envelope the pupae to protect it as it develop. Pupae have a black or brown colour. Another four to five days and the pupae mature into adult flies. They make their way out of the pupal case, find their way up the hole and fly away.

Diseases Caused By Flies

Every time a fly lands on food scraps or manure their bodies, stomachs and legs automatically pick up germs and disease-carrying microorganisms. So when they land on plates, glasses, food and knives, you can expect that they’ll pass these germs there. If you use these articles when you eat, the germs will transfer to you, get inside you body and cause you to get sick.

Diseases that are carried by flies include the following:

  • Shigellosis
  • Hepatitis A
  • Trachoma
  • Salmonellosis

Controlling Flies

The best method to control flies in your home is to ensure that you get rid of their breeding places. Here are some ways to control their breeding sites:

  • Contain food scraps in sealed containers
  • Ensure that the trash bin has a secure lid
  • Empty trash bin on a regular basis
  • Ensure that leach drains and septic tanks are in excellent condition and are securely sealed
  • Remove dog and cat faeces daily

Cockroaches

Just like flies, cockroaches come in a number of forms. Majority of these cockroaches are notorious in spreading diseases. The main types of cockroaches you will commonly see in Australia include American Cockroach, German Cockroach and Australian Cockroach.

American Cockroach

One of the largest cockroaches known to man is the American cockroach with a size of around 30 to 45 millimetres. It can fly and it is red brown in colour with a light yellow hue bordering its head. This type of cockroach loves warm and moist places and you will usually find them breeding in sewers, roof cracks, cellars, drains, garbage dumps and grease traps. They are also always present in the kitchen.

German Cockroach

In terms of size, the German cockroach is the smallest of all and they generally love to breed inside buildings. Adult German cockroaches are about 12 to 15 millimetres in length with a light brown hue. They can be distinguished from other cockroaches by two black stripes found on its head. You can find German cockroaches in pantries, food handling areas, kitchens and storerooms. They love warm and moist places and they love to live near food. Unlike American cockroaches, German cockroaches can’t fly.

Australian Cockroach

An Australian cockroach can fly and it has a length of approximately 30 to 35 millimetres. It has a dark brown hue with distinctive yellow marks on its head and front wings. Unlike the other two types, the Australian cockroach loves plant food so you will normally find them outdoors, under tree barks or in woodpiles.

The Life Cycle of a Cockroach

After a male and female cockroach mate, the female yields an egg case. The case is either left in a safe place until it’s ready to hatch or the cockroach carries it. The female cockroach then leaves the egg case in a quiet, dark and warm place. When the eggs hatch they are called nymphs. They look exactly like the parent cockroach only smaller. Unlike flies, cockroaches do not undergo major transformational changes. They grow to its adult size via moulting. In each phase of the moulting process, the baby cockroach sheds its outer layer for a larger one. Usually it takes a year for a nymph to reach its adult size.

Diseases Caused by Cockroaches

Cockroaches and flies share one thing in common, they both carry disease-causing bacteria since their habitat include dirt and rubbish. Therefore, it is only natural that they pick up bacteria from these places. These germs will be transferred to your cutlery and food and eventually it will be passed on to you.

Diseases that are carried by cockroaches include the following:

  • Shigellosis
  • Hepatitis A
  • Salmonellosis
  • Gastroenteritis

Controlling Cockroaches

All the strategies that help control flies are also applicable in controlling cockroaches.

  • Store all food in containers that are tightly sealed
  • Ensure that food handling supplies are off the floor
  • Fill in holes and cracks so cockroaches cold not hide
  • Clean shelves and cupboards on a regular basis to reduce the build up of food debris
  • If possible, apply a gel insecticide on areas where cockroaches may potentially live and hide

Rodents

Rodents, such as mice and rates, are commonly found in houses and buildings across Australia. Examples of rodents include roof rat (climbing or black rat), ground rat (Norway rat), and house mouse (field mouse). You can differentiate rats from mice because of their size as mice are much smaller than rats.

Diseases Caused By Rodents

Since mice and rats live in dirty places, it’s expected that they are going to pick-up disease-causing bacteria. By being carriers, they transport these germs from the dirty environment straight to your homes. Having rats in your home puts you and your family at risk of acquiring a number of diseases. According to studies, roof rats were mainly to blame for the spread of bacteria that led to the bubonic plague or often referred to ask the Black Death across Europe in the 14th Century. During that time, it was estimated that over 50 million died because of the disease.

Mice and rats are able to carry these germs to you through the following ways:

  • Carry disease-causing bacteria that originate from drains and sewers to your food and cutlery
  • Leaving infected faeces and urine on utensils
  • Leaving infected faeces and urine in areas of your home or building where you frequently have contact with
  • When they bite you
  • When they pass these germs to your pets and subsequently passing it on to you

Diseases that are carried by rodents include the following:

  • Rat-bite fever
  • Leptospirosis
  • Salmonellosis

Controlling Rodents

All hygienic practices that are included in other pests will also apply to rodents to keep them under control. It helps to install fly wire doors and window screens to help keep these pests out. You can also try using poison baits and mousetraps in designated areas in your home or building. Just make sure that these traps and poisons are kept away from your children and pets.

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