Building Inspections – Why is Cracking so important

Was cracking identified in your building inspection report?

Cracking externally or internally may be a sign that there is a very serious defect with the property you are looking at to purchase. Rectification of cracking can be very costly depending on its cause.

Can you fix cracking yourself?

Cracking is not the sort of damage that you should be fixing yourself.

You need to engage the services of a Licensed Structural Engineer to come out and inspect the property for you, prior to the purchase.

A Structural Engineer can provide you with an expert opinion as to the cause and location of the cracking and also what is required to rectify this.

A minor crack at the time of inspection can end up costing you thousands down the track

Who should advise you about cracking?

You should not follow the advice of your Real Estate Agent or the current Property Owner when discussing any cracking. They may tell you the cracking is “nothing to worry about” or “it has been there for years” etc. They are not qualified to provide you with the advice you need to diagnose the cause of the cracking and what will be required to rectify the cracking.

What should you as the prospective purchaser do?

Regardless of the severity of the cracking, you should always follow the recommendations made in your building inspection report to engage the services of a licensed structural engineer prior to the purchase of the property.

If you go ahead and settle on a property without getting this advice first, the cracking will then become your problem.

The cracking will either need to be rectified at your expense or will come up again later in pre-purchase reports when you want to sell the property in the future.

Information on cracking

Some cracking may require immediate and costly repairs while other cracking may just require monitoring. Only a Structural Engineer can advise you correctly on these actions.

Some items that can be the cause of cracking e.g.

  • A retaining wall near the house
  • Surface water drainage
  • Water leaks in pipes
  • Recent renovations
  • Trees and shrubs close to house or recently removed