Have you ever visited an old home and noticed some downstairs rooms have a damp smell or stains on the walls?
While this could be the result of a plumbing leak, the unsuspected culprit could be a site drainage problem.
Split level homes, those with basements, or homes built on a sloped site can have damp and moisture problems if they weren’t designed with suitable drainage.
If the site doesn’t have an appropriate drainage system, the slope of the site can direct rainwater under the building into the subfloor areas. Once here it has no way of escaping and can start to cause a range of moisture and dampness problems.
The moisture can slowly seep into walls and floors over time, gradually damaging finishes, floorboards and wooden supports. The moisture can also attract termites into the home as they like moist, humid locations to nest and find food sources.
To prevent these problems homes need good external drainage, such as strip drains, that direct rain and storm water away from the home. Subfloor drainage will also work to direct water out of the building should it find its way down there.
Any soil in the subfloor area mustn’t be heaped against internal walls, and should be lower than the lowest floor level of the home.
The external ground levels should be lower than the internal floor by at least 75mm.
There are also a range of building practices that help to prevent dampness getting into a building, including damp proof course (DPC) which prevents the absorption of water into concrete and brickwork, location of timbers, and cavities to prevent moisture from bridging.
If these problems exist in a home they can be very expensive to rectify, both in upgrading the drainage, and repairing any moisture or dampness issues the house has already sustained.
If you’re buying a Sydney home, it’s important to make sure it has suitable drainage. During a building and pest inspection our inspectors check things like site drainage, subfloor areas, the presence of DPC, and other factors affecting drainage and causing potential moisture problems.
We’ll also tell you if the property has conditions conducive to a termite attack and can advise on an appropriate solution.