Moving to a New Apartment? Home Inspection Can Be a Saviour

So, your dream home is ready to be moved in? You must be getting impatient to do the interiors and plan your house-warming party but hang on! Don’t rush. There’s an old saying: Precaution is better than cure. Check the property thoroughly before dialing up packers and movers. Everything looks perfect when new, and a home is no exception. Once you start living in it, the construction-related issues begin to surface one after another. Old resale properties have more hidden issues than new ones but then, the latter gives you a broken heart! How to fix a broken heart? Oops, the defects in a new apartment? Get a professional home inspection done before move-in. At least, you can then ask your builder or seller (previous homeowner) to repair the defects, which ideally, they should do and save significantly on your recurring future repair costs.

Sounds ‘unnecessarily’ expensive? Okay, let’s make things a little easier for you to decide by providing you examples of key findings based on various inspections of new home. MACJ-ABCHI has performed 1500+ inspections combining individual and developer based units inspection. The team has found various kinds of issues and they also suggest the solutions related to specific issues which can help you to get rectified on time.

Key findings based on various inspection of new homes

The areas in your home or apartment will include Bedrooms, Bathrooms, Living and dining, Kitchens, Balcony (the number will vary accordingly) etc. The 7 basic elements comprises of wall, ceiling, floor, door, window, plumbing and electrical. Key findings based on several inspections of new apartment/home element-wise include:

1. Wall

Cracks, Hollowness on plaster, efflorescence and undulation are some common problems/ defect for walls depending on various inspections of new apartments.

  • Cracks – Crack can be seen on the wall of any new building in our country. Having cracks appear on your wall may just seem to be cosmetic, but it could be a moderate or indicate an important, structural issue. While it is true that that minor cracks can turn into bigger cracks thereby threaten the structural integrity of your home, and that every crack should be taken a look at by a professional. The first step to fixing the problem is identifying type of crack. There are two types – Structural and Non structural crack.
    • Non-structural cracks – These cracks are small, less than 3mm width,that do not at the moment threaten the integrity of your home. But of course if not treated at right time can create problem in future.
    • Structural cracksStructural cracks1 appear wider than 3mm width. They can appear in the wall beams or slabs. And they usually extend to the upper floor of your house.

    Tip related to cracks(non- structural depending width): Cracks can be horizontal, vertical or diagonal. Most significant is diagonal crack which is usually found at lintel level or load bearing element. To know the solution, read our 3D Knowledge series post.

  • Undulation – It happens due to uneven plastering or sometimes happen during putty application on wall i.e due to poor workmanship.
  • Hollowness on plaster – This happens due to improper curing after plastering, which can lead to further crack on it. Thereby resulting in decrease of strength.
  • Efflorescence – Efflorescence is a type of white deposit found on masonry and walls. Efflorescence is not a good sign as it means that the quality of construction material may not have been good. To know more details about the reason for occurrence and its solution, click here.

2. Ceiling

One significant and common observation based on several inspections is crack at ceiling at fan box position. This happens due to weakness in concrete and hammering. This can be repaired by crack seal.

3. Floor

Hollowness, cracks, gap at tile joints and improper slope are some common issues related to flooring which can create further problems if left unnoticed.

  • Hollowness – It is one of the common defects/ issues observed in homes. Hollowness can lead to further cracks in flooring & looseness from bed mortar. This can lead to water intrusion through cracks and which can create further problems in other associated or attached areas and damp/ seepage issues. To understand the Significance of checking hollow tile or stone flooring, click here.
  • Gap between tile joints – This is also very common issue which is neglected by people considering it as a minor thing. These gaps will be a path for water to flow and hence will create dampness/ seepage in associated areas. This source of water, if not rectified can increase damage in associated/ attached areas of the property. For this issue, filling the gap by tile grout as per manufacturer’s specification will be a solution.
  • Improper floor slope – An improper slope2 of the floor leaves scope for water stagnation. This problem is commonly faced in bathrooms. If the slope is inadequate or reverse around floor outlet then the excess water tends to stand and causes water pocket depending on cases. To get rid of the excess water you have to use wiper after every wash and every shower or get the floor slope corrected by a skilled vendor without delay.

4. Door

Misalignment of door panel, hinge problem, door not self latching are some issues which are commonly observed while inspection.

  • Misalignment of door panel – This happens due to improper installation of panel. If panel is not properly flushing with door frame after closing, then panel is misaligned. It can happen due to some other reasons too. So it is important to understand the reason.
  • Hinge fitting problem – If hinge is not fitted properly, then it will not be able to take load of door panel, which can create problem in operation of panel.
  • Door is not self-latching – This can happen due to improper groove plate installation problem or due to latch problem.

5. Window

Most common issues related to windows are absence of sealant and window installation issue like misalignment.

  • Absence of sealant – Based on inspection of new apartments, it is commonly observed that sealant is not provided at external sill and window frame. This gap will be a source for moisture to flow inside the home. If gap are not filled properly, it will lead to moisture intrusion, paint deterioration & damage to walls. Deterioration of sealant occurs in little older buildings.
  • Window installation issue – There are various types of issues which can occur in windows. Among this, most significant is installation issue. If not properly installed, can cause misalignment of windows which can create operational problem.

6. Electrical

Problem/ issues in electrical section can occur due to layout and fittings. Sometimes electrical layout has some issues which becomes difficult to change and sometimes fitting related problem as well as safety issues are also observed.

  • Layout related Problem – There are some times problems/issues in electrical layout of an area of home like position of socket board which can cause safety hazard in future.
  • Fitting related Problem – It includes improper connection of wires at DB, switch board and others.
  • Wiring/ Wire Gauge issues – If an electrical outlet of an equipment has inadequate wire gauge as per load, then it will cause overheating further leading to wire damage. Hence forth will cause equipment damage. Thereby creating a safety hazard for residents.

7. Plumbing

In plumbing also, issues can be due to layout and fitting. Loosening of faucets and other installation problems are some of issues that are commonly observed in new homes. If left unnoticed can result in increased moisture content of the home and dampness, watery spot on the walls and ceiling, damaged aesthetics, and long-term health threats.

Following are a few defects that aggravate plumbing problems multiple times:

  • Leakage in water pipeline – The use of non-branded, poor-quality pipes & improper installation can cause leakage in the water pipeline3 of even a new building. Some leakage are detectable with naked eyes and some are concealed which can be detected by professional services.
  • Grout Problems – If grouting around the floor outlet is not done properly, it can lead to seepage/leakage problem in below attached/ associated areas.
  • Leaky Faucets – A leaky faucet4 not only wastes water but also causes hassles for residents if left unnoticed. The typical causes for a leaky faucet5 include corrosion, mineral deposits on the internal parts, or defective gaskets etc. Ignoring leaky faucets can turn a simple cost into a nightmare. A guided inspection at an early stage can keep away these hazards.
  • Weak installation of water closet – A loosely installed water closet in the bathroom may give rise to annoying things like unchecked, continuous water leakage, sewer smell, etc. No matter how expensive WC you choose, a wrong installation can completely ruin its beauty and purpose.

Conclusion

We have just tried to give you an overview of commonly observed issues based on several inspections of apartments.

If still you need help detecting the probable defects of your apartment, Contact professional home inspection services. Remember, an aware homebuyer is a responsible homeowner. The earlier you detect the defects the better you are guarded against all future home ailments and accidents. This will help you have a healthy home for your family.

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