Spring cleaning: What’s winter done to your potential home purchase?

Spring at last! With the turn of the season, you might have a new house (or first home) in your sights, but the very damp autumn/winter in many parts of the country has left plenty of properties looking worse for wear. 

With wet, gloomy weather, exterior maintenance often slips – but in property inspection land, this is great! It gives your property inspector the perfect chance to suss out any problems or red flags that might not have been as visible in sunny, dry weather. And when it’s all documented in a comprehensive report, you’ll have in your hands a heads-up about future costs and repairs.

Here are some of the things your property inspector will be checking:

How’s the roof?

Lichen and moss can build up on roofs over time, and if left unchecked, they can cause damage. Winter is also the time any leaks are likely to become obvious, so your property inspector will be on the lookout for visible damage, signs of leakage, breakage, rust and corrosion. Read more about roofs here.

Are gutters and downpipes flowing?

How have the gutters fared over winter? Gutters and downpipes are perfect gathering places for windblown debris, leaves from overhanging trees, and gunk. Chances are, they’ll be overflowing, slimy, growing a bit of grass, and needing to be cleaned out. Are they still structurally sound, and draining, or are they a clogged-up disaster? 

When it comes to buying a home, you’ll want to be sure that no water will get backed up, blocked, or overflow, which can lead to water damage to the structure. While gutters can be fixed, it’s a potential repair you’ll want to know about. Find out more about gutters in our blog.

What’s the condition of the cladding?

Your property inspector will pay close attention to what’s on the exterior of the house and how it’s holding up. Cladding is expected to perform as a weathertight material to keep structures insulated and dry. But nearly every type of cladding is likely to degrade someday, especially if it hasn’t been maintained well. The siding, brickwork, weatherboards, and especially plaster cladding can be damaged by harsh winter weather. Your property inspector will be looking for cracks, holes, anything loose, as well as moss, lichen and mould that might have built up. It’s especially important to get rid of this, as it holds and absorbs water. If there are any issues, it’s best to address them and repair them as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Want to know more about cladding?

How is the section looking?

With floods fresh in people’s minds, it’s always good to scan the section to get the lay of the land. Where is the house situated, and what sort of section is it on? Is it elevated, on the high side of the street, or down the bottom of the hill, a long driveway, or in a dip in the road? Is the backyard looking swampy, and are there obvious places where water can pool? Or is it high and dry with good drainage? If it’s prone to water ingress or potential damage it can be a very expensive problem to fix, so do your homework and get the experts to check it out.

Image credit: Unsplash

Say no to mould

End-of-winter mould can be a big issue for many homes, and while the presence of it in bathrooms, basements and other areas isn’t necessarily a disaster, it can be a sign of poor or no insulation, bad ventilation, water leaks and moisture. Mould is not something you’d want to live with – and it’s something you’ll want on your checklist.

Get peace of mind

Getting a property report at the end of winter is actually a great idea. Knowing the condition of your potential new home is hugely important before taking your purchase any further – and it’s usually a small price to pay to ensure that you’re getting something you can live with, and in! Get in touch to get the property inspection process started – Email: dane@thepropertyinspectors.co.nz  or call: 027 2939 808.