A home buyer is a person who is buying a new or used home. Buying a home is the largest investment most people will make. Therefore, it is important for a buyer of a home to be protected during the home buying process.
A buyer inspection is also called a property condition assessment, a pre-purchasing home inspection, a property assessment inspection or a home inspection. In addition, it may be a snag list inspection, a new home inspection or a defects list inspection for a new home.
Most homes develop cracks. Old and new homes can develop cracks depending on climatic and physical factors.
However, it is worth getting to the bottom of what is causing the crack. A crack is actually the visible symptom of a possible problem and not the problem in itself.
What causes cracks?
In new homes, settlement may cause minor cracks. Normal foundation settlement occurs when the underlying soil compacts as a result of construction on previously undisturbed soil, changes in soil conditions and moisture. Typically small, hairline-sized cracking may be the result of the minor settlement, expansion and contraction, or changes in a season or cycle.
Usually, these cracks, though often unsightly, are not structurally significant.
In older homes, changes in climatic conditions can affect the structure. Houses move with the climate. Heat and moisture will make them expand, cold and dryness will make them contract slightly. This movement is normal and in most cases will not cause cracking, and by utilising a source like this, it would help in partially mitigating those effects. Unusually hot or cold spells can result in increased expansion or contraction of the structure which may cause cracks.
“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” is a popular reference to William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet.
I have had to change the name of my business because of threats of legal action. INSPECTOR HOMES is apparently too close to the name of a home inspection franchisor. He and his franchisees believe the name INSPECTOR HOMES was taking business away from them. Little do they realise that it is not a name that makes the difference but the excellent SERVICE that I provide. However, on legal advice and to avoid unnecessary and expensive litigation INSPECTOR HOMES is now no longer!
Many homeowners have installed gas appliances due to high electricity costs. However, homeowners must comply with specific regulations which relate to a gas certificate and SABS standards.
Appliances must conform to the relevant SABS standard (SANS 1539).
As from 2009, the Occupation Health and Safety Act (No 85 of 1993) requires that all gas installations must have a Gas Certificate of Conformity. This applies to all permanent installations such as gas fires, hobs, stoves and braais. After an installation has been inspected a gas certificate is issued if it is safe and leak free.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring silicate mineral made up of long, thin fibrous crystals. Its heat resistance, its sound insulation properties and also its strength made it useful in construction. Many houses and buildings constructed before 2008 may contain asbestos.
Where would you find it?
A great many products and materials used in buildings contain asbestos. The assumption is that buildings constructed pre 1950 are asbestos free, but it would be wrong not to check. Older buildings will have had maintenance, repairs and possibly renovations done to them, which may have included asbestos materials.
Asbestos products were in use in South Africa until mid-2008. These include:
Asbestos cement roof tiles, shingles, flowerpots and garden ornaments.
Textured paint and in patching compounds used on wall and ceiling joints.
Artificial ashes and embers used in gas-fired fireplaces.
Older stove-top pads may have some asbestos compounds.
Asbestos cement sheets to protect walls and floors around wood-burning stoves.
Some vinyl floor tiles and the backing of vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives.
An asbestos blanket or tape used to wrap hot water and steam pipes in the older houses.
Asbestos cement in roof sheeting, flues and ventilation systems.
Oil and coal furnaces, electric panel heaters and door gaskets may have asbestos insulation.
Asbestos cement sheets in partition walls, fire-proofing panels, ceiling boards, ceiling tiles and panels below windows.
Houses built between 1930 and 1950 may have loose fill asbestos as insulation between cavity walls and under floorboards.
Asbestos in carpet underfelt, in fuse boxes and in metal cladding.
Window cills, barge boards and fascia boards made of asbestos cement.
Some waterproofing products also contained asbestos.
Should you go looking for it?
Undisturbed asbestos usually poses no problems. Therefore, don’t look for it unless you believe it may have perished, or is unsafe. Furthermore, it is often difficult to tell the difference between the asbestos materials and non-asbestos materials. We are often not aware of any exposure to asbestos.
How do you protect yourself?
Do not work on an item you suspect may contain asbestos! Furthermore, protective equipment is imperative when working with asbestos. This includes a suitable face mask, disposable overall etc. In addition, wash your hands and face regularly and never sand, drill or saw asbestos materials.
How should you dispose of asbestos?
Never just chuck it in a skip. Instead, make sure you double bag it and dispose of it properly at a municipal tip. The South African Department of Labour’s Asbestos Regulations governs the removal and disposal of asbestos. Furthermore, only approved asbestos contractors can carry out the disposal of large quantities of asbestos and asbestos materials.