A pre-purchase plumbing inspection can save you thousands!
Australian interest rates are at historic lows, and with government incentives available to help the economy recover from the effects of Covid in 2020, demand for property is as high as ever.
If you’re thinking about entering the property market, you might think a pre-purchase building inspection will alert you to any potential plumbing issues with the property.
Unfortunately, most building inspections only include a basic visual inspection for plumbing defects.
A standard building inspection will look for obvious structural defects, any structural work that might not be to current Australian standards, asbestos, working smoke alarms and signs of damage from water or pests.
They can detect the surface effects of damage, but these inspections don’t look at the house’s plumbing infrastructure behind walls or underground. If tree roots are invading pipes, or they’re made from old material that is beginning to deteriorate, you’ll never know and could be facing significant damage before you’re even aware there’s a problem.
Plumbing red flags
There are some obvious visual signs of plumbing problems that can be picked up in a standard inspection. These might include:
- damp areas or rot
- mildew or mould
- pooled water
- peeling paint or surfaces
- structural cracks
These defects may be included in an inspection report, but it won’t give you an idea of how serious the problem is or what the potential costs will be to fix them. But if the visual signs of water damage have been covered up to make the property more appealing for sale, the visual plumbing red flags may not be picked up in a routine inspection.
It can definitely be cheaper for property owners to apply cosmetic fixes such as filling cracks and painting over stains than to address underlying plumbing issues. Fixing an undetected minor leak and a small section of damage might be a relatively small cost for your dream home. However, subsidence caused by leaks from underground water pipes can potentially cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair.
Pre-purchase plumbing inspections
A whole-house plumbing inspection prior to purchase can help discover some of the not-so-obvious plumbing pitfalls.
Stains or signs of water damage might have been patched, painted or cleaned up – but that doesn’t mean the problem has been fixed.
The only real way to tell is by inspecting the drains themselves. A comprehensive plumbing and drainage inspection can alert you to any hidden issues that might be missed in a standard building inspection. When detected early, repairs don’t need to be expensive and can save you far more in the long run.
What will a plumbing and pipe inspection include?
A pre-purchase plumbing inspection will take a thorough look at your entire plumbing system:
- water flow and pressure
- toilets and sewer pipes
- drain pipes
- hot water system
- stormwater pipes
- gutters and downpipes
The condition of your behind-wall, underfloor and underground pipes can be investigated using state-of-the-art equipment to find and pinpoint the exact location of any existing or future problems.
In addition to visual cues that indicate existing leaks or blockages, a plumbing camera inspection can be used to find those problems lurking out of sight. A cable with a small camera is fed through pipes and drains to check their condition. Combined with a small transmitter to give an exact location of any leaks, blockages or breakages that may be encountered, an accurate quote can be provided to let you know what the potential costs will be – before you’ve made an offer!
Don’t find out too late!
If you’re thinking about buying a property, don’t wait until it’s too late to find out you’ve got major plumbing issues to fix. A pre-purchase plumbing and drain inspection with Chiswick Plumbing could be the best investment you ever make.
Call us on 1300 55 2248 for more information or to book your inspection.