Important Information Regarding the Scope and Limitations of the Inspection of both a building and pest inspection Report.
The report complies with Australian Standard AS 4349.1 and AS 4349.0 – 2007 Inspection of Buildings, AS 4349.3 – 2007 Timber pest inspections.
Part 1. Building Agreement:
Part 2 Pest Agreement:
Part 1 Building agreement:
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Any person who relies upon the contents of the report does so acknowledging that the following clauses both below and at the end of this report. These define the Scope and Limitations of the inspection and form an integral part of the report. You should read and understand all of the information contained herein. It will help explain what is involved in a Standard Property Inspection, the difficulties faced by an inspector.
This information forms an integral part of the report.
CONSULTANT'S EXPERTISE RELEVENT TO THIS MATTER:
The Scope of the Inspection: The inspection comprised a visual assessment of the property to identify major defects and to form an opinion regarding the general condition of the property at the time of inspection. An estimate of the cost of rectification of defects is outside the scope of the Standard and therefore does not form part of this report.
If the property inspected is part of a Strata or Company Title, then the inspection is limited to the interior and the immediate exterior of the particular residence to be inspected. It does not cover the common property. Purchasers or other interested parties, should be aware that their liability for the cost of repairing building defects is not restricted only to the particular unit that is being purchased, but may include contribution to the whole of the common property.
Acceptance Criteria: The building shall be compared with a building that was constructed in accordance with the generally accepted practice at the time of construction and which has been maintained such that there has been no significant loss of strength and serviceability.
Special Requirements: It is acknowledged that there are no special requirements placed on this inspection that are outside the scope of the abovementioned Australian Standard.
Changes to the Inspection Agreement: It is acknowledged that if any inspection agreement is in place in respect to this inspection, no changes have been made between the scope of that agreement (if applicable) and the scope of this inspection report.
This report is limited to a visual inspection of areas where safe and reasonable access is available and access permitted on the date and at the time of inspection. The Inspection will be carried out in accordance with AS4349.1-2007. The purpose of the inspection is to provide advice to a prospective purchaser regarding the condition of the property at the date and time of inspection. Areas for Inspection shall cover all safe and accessible areas. It does not purport to be geological as to foundation integrity or soil conditions, engineering as to structural, nor does it cover the condition of electrical, plumbing, gas or motorised appliances. It is strongly recommended that an appropriately qualified contractor check these services prior to purchase.
As a matter of course, and in the interests of safety, all prospective purchasers should have an electrical report carried out by a suitably qualified contractor.
This report is limited to (unless otherwise noted) the main structure on the site and any other building, structure or outbuilding within 30m of the main structure and within the site boundaries including fences.
Safe and Reasonable Access
Only areas to which safe and reasonable access is available were inspected. The Australian Standard 4349.1 defines reasonable access as "areas where safe, unobstructed access is provided and the minimum clearances specified below are available, or where these clearances are not available, areas within the inspector's unobstructed line of sight and within arm's length. Reasonable access does not include removing screws and bolts to access covers."
Reasonable access does not include the use of destructive or invasive inspection methods nor does it include cutting or making access traps or moving heavy furniture, floor coverings or stored goods.
Roof Interior - Access opening = 400 x 500 mm - Crawl Space = 600 x 600mm - Height accessible from a 3.6mladder.
Roof Exterior - Must be accessible from a 3.6m ladder placed on the ground.
Subfloor - Access hole - 500 x 400mm - Crawl space (timber floor) = 400mm to bearer, joist or other obstruction, (concrete floor) = 500mm.
Important Note: “The Summary”, in the report is only a general overview of the property and must not be relied upon on its own. You MUST read the report in its entirety.
The purpose of this inspection is to provide advice to the Client regarding the overall condition of the property at the time of the inspection. The inspection is a visual assessment only of the property to identify major defects and to form an opinion regarding the condition of the property at the time of inspection.
Any Summary within this Report regardless of its placement in the Report is supplied to allow a quick overview of the inspection results. These Summary items are NOT the Report and cannot be relied upon on their own. Any Summary MUST be read in conjunction with the entire Report and not in isolation from the Report. If there should be any discrepancy between anything in the Report and anything in a Summary, the information in the Report shall override that of the Summary. In any event, should any aspect of this report not be fully understood, you should contact the Inspector BEFORE relying on this Report.
The following forms an integral part of the report and MUST be read in conjunction with the entire report.
General Definitions used in this report:
The Definitions of the Terms (Good), (Fair), & (Poor) below apply to defects associated with individual items or specific areas:
Good - The item or area inspected appears to be in Serviceable and/or Sound Condition without any significant visible defects at the time of inspection.
Fair - The item or area inspected exhibits some minor defects, minor damage or wear and tear may require some repairs of maintenance.
Poor - The item or area inspected requires significant repairs or replacement and may be in a badly neglected state due to age or lack of maintenance or deterioration or not finished to an acceptable standard of workmanship.
The Definitions (Above Average), (Average), (Below Average) relate to the inspectors opinion of the Overall Condition of the Building:
Above Average - The overall condition is above that consistent with dwellings of approximately the same age and construction. Most items and areas are well maintained and show a high standard of workmanship when compared with building of similar age and construction.
Average - The overall condition is consistent with dwellings of approximately the same age and construction. There will be areas or items requiring some repair or maintenance.
Below Average - The Building and its parts show some significant defects and/or very poor non- tradesman like workmanship and/or long term neglect and/or defects requiring major repairs or reconstruction of major building elements.
Appearance Defect - Where in the inspectors opinion the appearance of the building element has blemished at the time of the inspection and the expected consequence of this cracking is unknown until further information is obtained.
Serviceability Defect - Where in the inspectors opinion the function of the building element is impaired at the time of the inspection and the expected consequence of this cracking is unknown until further information is obtained.
Structural Defect - Where in the inspector's opinion the structural performance of the building element is impaired at the time of the inspection and the expected consequence of this cracking is unknown until further information is obtained.
Accessible Area - An area on the site where sufficient, safe and reasonable access is available to allow inspection within the scope of the inspection.
General and Important Information:
Note: In the case of strata and company title properties, the inspection is limited to the interior and immediate exterior of the particular unit being inspected. The Exterior above ground floor level is not inspected. The complete inspection of other common property areas would be the subject of a Special-Purpose Inspection Report which is adequately specified.
Shower Recesses: Tests may be made on shower recesses to detect leaks (if water is connected). The tests may not reveal leaks or show incorrect waterproofing if silicone liquid or masonry sealant has been applied prior to the inspection. Such application is a temporary waterproofing measure and may last for some months before breaking down. The tests on shower recesses are limited to running water within the recesses and visually checking for leaks.
As showers are only checked for a short period of time, prolonged use may reveal leaks that were not detected at the time of inspection. No evidence of a current leak during inspection does not necessarily mean that the shower does not leak.
Glass Caution: Glazing in older houses (built before 1978) may not necessarily comply with current glass safety standards AS1288. In the interests of safety, glass panes in doors and windows especially in trafficable areas should be replaced with safety glass or have shatterproof film installed unless they already comply with the current standard.
Stairs & Balustrades: Specifications have been laid down by the Australian Building Code - Section 3.9 covering stairs, landings and balustrades to ensure the safety of all occupants and visitors in a building. Many balustrades and stairs built before 1996 may not comply with the current standard. You must upgrade all such items to the current standard to improve safety.
Rooms below ground level: If there are any rooms under the house or below ground level (whether they be habitable or non-habitable rooms), these may be subject to dampness and water penetration. Drains are not always installed correctly or could be blocked. It is common to have damp problems and water entry into these types of rooms, especially during periods of heavy rainfall and this may not be evident upon initial inspection. These rooms may not have council approval. The purchaser should make their own enquiries with the Council to ascertain if approval was given.
Trees: Where trees are too close to the house this could affect the performance of the footing as the moisture levels change in the ground. A Geotechnical Inspection can determine the foundation material and advise on the best course of action with regards to the trees.
The septic tanks: Should be inspected by a licensed plumber.
Swimming Pools: Swimming Pools/Spars are not part of the Standard Building Report under AS4349.1-2007 and are not covered by this Report. We strongly recommend a pool expert should be consulted to examine the pool and the pool equipment and plumbing as well as the requirements to meet the standard for pool fencing. Failure to conduct this inspection and put into place the necessary recommendations could result in fines for non compliance under the legislation.
Surface Water Drainage: The retention of water from surface run off could have an effect on the foundation material which in turn could affect the footings to the house. Best practice is to monitor the flow of surface water and stormwater run off and have the water directed away from the house or to storm water pipes by a licensed plumber/drainer.
Important Information Regarding the Scope and Limitations of the Inspection and this Report
Any person who relies upon the contents of this report does so acknowledging that the following clauses, which define the Scope and Limitations of the inspection, form an integral part of the report.
1) This report is not an “all encompassing” report dealing with the building from every aspect. It is a reasonable attempt to identify any obvious or significant defects apparent at the time of the inspection.
Whether or not a defect is considered significant or not, depends, to a large extent, upon the age and type of the building inspected. This report is not a Certificate of Compliance with the requirements of any Act, Regulation, Ordinance or By-law. It is not a structural report. Should you require any advice of a structural nature you should contact a structural engineer.
2) THIS IS A VISUAL INSPECTION ONLY limited to those areas and sections of the property fully
accessible and visible to the Inspector on the date of Inspection. The inspection DID NOT include breaking apart, dismantling, removing or moving objects including, but not limited to, foliage, mouldings, roof insulation/sisalation, floor or wall coverings, sidings, ceilings, floors, furnishings, appliances or personal possessions.
The inspector CANNOT see inside walls, between floors, inside skillion roofing, behind stored goods in cupboards and other areas that are concealed or obstructed. The inspector DID NOT dig, gouge, force or perform any other invasive procedures. Visible timbers CANNOT be destructively probed or hit without the written permission of the property owner.
3) This Report does not and cannot make comment upon: defects that may have been concealed; the
assessment or detection of defects (including rising damp and leaks) which may be subject to the prevailing weather conditions; whether or not services have been used for some time prior to the inspection and whether this will affect the detection of leaks or other defects (eg. In the case of shower enclosures the absence of any dampness at the time of the inspection does not necessarily mean that the enclosure will not leak); the presence or absence of timber pests; gas-fittings; common property areas; environmental concerns; the proximity of the property to flight paths, railways, or busy traffic; noise levels; health and safety issues; heritage concerns; security concerns; fire protection; site drainage (apart from surface water drainage); swimming pools and spas (non-structural); detection and identification of illegal building work; detection and identification of illegal plumbing work; durability of exposed finishes; neighbourhood problems; document analysis; electrical installation; any matters that are solely regulated by statute; any area(s) or item(s) that could not be inspected by the consultant.
Accordingly this Report is not a guarantee that defects and/or damage does not exist in any inaccessible or partly inaccessible areas or sections of the property. (NB Such matters may upon request be covered under the terms of a Special-Purpose Property Report.).
4) CONSUMER COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE. In the event of any controversy or claim arising out of, or relating to this Report, either party must give written Notice of the dispute to the other party. If the dispute is not resolved within ten (10) days from the service of the Notice then the dispute shall be referred to a mediator nominated by the Inspector. Should the dispute not be resolved by mediation then either party may refer the dispute to the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators of Australia for resolution by arbitration.
5) ASBESTOS DISCLAIMER: "No inspection for asbestos was carried out at the property and no report on the presence or absence of asbestos is provided. This is unless clearly stated otherwise (Asbestos inspection carried out) in the summary or body of the report. If during the course of the Inspection asbestos or materials containing asbestos happened to be noticed then this may be noted in the Additional Comments section of the report. Buildings built prior to 1982 may have wall and/or ceiling sheeting and other products including roof sheeting that contains Asbestos. Even building built after this date up until the early 90s may contain some Asbestos. Sheeting should be fully sealed. If concerned or if the building was built prior to 1990 or if asbestos is noted as present within the property then you should seek advice from a qualified asbestos removal expert as to the amount and importance of the asbestos present and the cost of sealing or removal. Drilling, cutting or removing sheeting or products containing Asbestos is a high risk to people’s health. You should seek advice from a qualified asbestos removal expert."
6) Mould (Mildew and Non-Wood Decay Fungi) Disclaimer: Mildew and non wood decay fungi is commonly known as Mould. However, Mould and their spores may cause health problems or allergic reactions such as asthma and dermatitis in some people. No inspection for Mould was carried out at the property and no report on the presence or absence of Mould is provided. If in the course of the Inspection, mould happened to be noticed it may be noted in the report. If Mould is noted as present within the property or if you notice Mould and you are concerned as to the possible health risk resulting from its presence then you should seek advice from your local Council, State or Commonwealth Government Health Department or a qualified expert such as an Industry Hygienist.
7) Estimating Disclaimer: Any estimates provided in this report are merely opinions of possible costs that could be encountered, based on the knowledge and experience of the inspector, and are not estimates in the sense of being a calculation of the likely costs to be incurred. The estimates are NOT a guarantee or quotation for work to be carried out. The actual cost is ultimately dependent upon the materials used, standard of work carried out, and what a contractor is prepared to do the work for. It is recommended in ALL instances that multiple independent quotes are sourced prior to any work being carried out. The inspector accepts no liability for any estimates provided throughout this report.
8) Cracking of Building Elements: The use of cracking of building elements as an indicator of structural performance can be problematic. Where any cracking is present in a building element, that cracking may be the result of one or more of a range of factors and that the significance of cracking may vary. Cracking can be generally categorized into:
Appearance Defect: Where in the inspectors opinion the appearance of the building element has blemished at the time of the inspection and the expected consequence of this cracking is unknown until further information is obtained.
Serviceability Defect: Where in the inspectors opinion the function of the building element is impaired at the time of the inspection and the expected consequence of this cracking is unknown until further information is obtained.
Structural Defect: Where in the inspector's opinion the structural performance of the building element is impaired at the time of the inspection and the expected consequence of this cracking is unknown until further information is obtained.
The criteria for determining whether cracking is a structural defect are not solely related to crack width.
Cracks 0.1mm wide may be a structural defect while cracks 5.00mm wide may not be structural defects. Cracking in a structural element does not necessarily indicate a structural defect.
9) CONDITIONS :- This standard property report is conditional upon or conditional in relation to -
· the assessment of any apparent defect including rising damp and leaks, the detection of which may
be subject to prevailing weather conditions;
· information provided by the person, the employees or agents of the person requesting the report;
· the specific areas of expertise of the consultant specified in the report;
· apparent concealment of possible defects; or
· any other factor limiting the preparation of the report.
10) If the property to be inspected is occupied then You must be aware that furnishings or household
items may be concealing evidence of problems, which may only be revealed when the items are moved or removed. Where the Report says the property is occupied You agree to:
a) Obtain a statement from the owner as to
i. any Timber Pest activity or damage;
ii. timber repairs or other repairs
iii. alterations or other problems to the property known to them
iv. any other work carried out to the property including Timber Pest treatments
v. obtain copies of any paperwork issued and the details of all work carried out
b) Indemnify the Inspector from any loss incurred by You relating to the items listed in clause a) above where no such statement is obtained.
11) The Inspection Will not cover or report the items listed in Appendix D to AS4349.1-2007.
12) You agree that We cannot accept any liability for Our failure to report a defect that was concealed
by the owner of the building being inspected and You agree to indemnify Us for any failure to find such concealed defects
13) Where Our report recommends another type of inspection including an invasive inspection and report then You should have such an inspection carried out prior to the exchange of contracts or end of cooling-off period. If You fail to follow Our recommendations then You agree and accept that You may suffer a financial loss and indemnify Us against all losses that You incur resulting from Your failure to act on Our advice.
14) The Report may not be sold or provided to any other Person without Our express written permission, unless the Client is authorised to do so by Legislation. If We give our permission it may be subject to conditions such as payment of a further fee by the other Person and agreement from the other Person to comply with this clause. However, We may sell the Report to any other Person although there is no obligation for Us to do so.
15) You indemnify Us in respect of any and all liability, including all claims, actions, proceedings,
judgments, damages, losses, interest, costs and expenses of any nature, which may be incurred by, brought, made or recovered against Us arising directly or indirectly from the unauthorised provision or sale of the Report by You to a Person without Our express written permission.
DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY: -No Liability shall be accepted on an account of failure of the Report to notify any problems in the area(s) or section(s) of the subject property physically inaccessible for inspection, or to which access for Inspection is denied by or to the Inspector (including but not limited to or any area(s) or section(s) so specified by the Report).
DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY TO THIRD PARTIES: - We will not be liable for any loss, damage, cost or expense, whatsoever, suffered or incurred by any Person other than You in connection with the use of the Inspection Report provided pursuant to this agreement by that Person for any purpose or in any way, including the use of this report for any purpose connected with the sale, purchase, or use of the Property or the giving of security over the Property, to the extent permissible by law. The only Person to whom We may be liable and to whom losses arising in contract or tort sustained may be payable by Us is the Client named on the face page of this Agreement.
CONTACT THE INSPECTOR
Please feel free to contact the inspector who carried out this inspection. Often it is very difficult to fully explain situations, problems, access difficulties, building faults or their importance in a manner that is readily understandable by the reader. Should you have any difficulty in understanding anything contained within this report then you should immediately contact the inspector and have the matter explained to you. If you have any questions at all or require any clarification then contact the inspector prior to acting on this report.
PART 2 Pest Agreement
TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF A PEST INSPECTION REPORT
Any person who relies upon the contents of this report does so acknowledging that the following clauses which define the Scope and Limitations of the inspection form an integral part of the report.
THIS IS A VISUAL INSPECTION ONLY in accord with the requirements of AS 4349.3 - Inspection of buildings Part 3: Timber Pest Inspections.
The visual inspection was limited to those areas and sections of the property to which reasonable access (See Section 2.0 Reasonable Access) was both available and permitted on the date and at the time of Inspection. The inspection DID NOT include breaking apart, dismantling, removing or moving objects including, but not limited to, foliage, mouldings, roof insulation/sisalation, floor or wall coverings, sidings, ceilings, floors, furnishings, appliances or personal possessions. The Inspector CANNOT see inside walls, between floors, inside skillion roofing, inside the eaves, behind stored goods in cupboards, or other areas that are concealed or obstructed. The inspector DID NOT
dig, gouge, force or perform any other invasive procedures. In an occupied property it must be understood that furnishings or household items may be concealing evidence of Timber Pests or damage which may only be revealed when the items are moved or removed. Inspection of fence lines and posts is restricted to those timbers above ground level and facing the property inspected. The inspection does not extend nor should comments be inferred in respect to timbers, palings, fence posts below ground level, or where timbers are obstructed by plant life or overgrowth or other materials which restrict or prevent physical bodily access. No inspection is inferred to areas of trees or external areas over 3.6 metres above the natural ground level. An Invasive Inspection will not be performed unless a separate contract is entered into. In the case of Strata type properties only the interior of the subject dwelling is inspected.
Nothing contained in the Report implies that any inaccessible or partly inaccessible area(s) or section(s) of the property being inspected by the Inspector on the date of the inspection were not, or have not been, infested by Timber Pests. Accordingly, this Report is not a guarantee that an infestation and /or damage does not exist in any inaccessible or partly inaccessible area(s) or section(s) of the property, nor is it a guarantee that a future infestation of Timber Pests will not occur or be found. Australian Standard for Termite Management Part 2: In and around existing buildings and structures (AS 3660.2-2000) recommends that properties should be inspected at least every twelve (12) months but more frequent inspections are strongly recommended and may be recommended in this report.
SCOPE OF REPORT
The report is confined to the reporting on the discovery, or non discovery, of infestation and/or damage caused bysubterranean and dampwood termites (white ants), borers of dry seasoned timber and wood decay fungi (hereinafter referred to as "Timber Pests"), present on the date and at the time of inspection by visual inspection of those areas and sections of the property accessible to the Inspector. The inspection did not cover any other pests and this Report does not comment on them. Dry wood termites ("Family: KALOTERMITIDAE") and European House Borer (Hylotrupes bujulus Linnaeus) were excluded from the Inspection, but have been reported on if, in the course of the
Inspection, any visual evidence of infestation happened to be found. If Cryptotermes brevis (West Indian Dry Wood Termite) or Hylotrupes bujulus Linnaeus are discovered we are required by law to notify Government Authorities. If reported a special purpose report may be necessary.
DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY
No liability shall be accepted on account of failure of the Report to notify of any Timber Pest activity and/or damage present at or prior to the date of the Report in any area(s) or section(s) of the subject property physically inaccessible for inspection or to which access for inspection is denied by or to the Inspector (including but not limited to) any area(s) or section(s) so specified by the Report.
DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY TO THIRD PARTIES
Compensation will only be payable arising for losses payable in contract or tort sustained by the Client named in this report either under the heading Report Commissioned By or the heading Purchaser. This Report CANNOT be on sold by the Client or any other party other than the Report Author to any other party.
In the event of any dispute or claim arising out of, or relating to the Inspection or the Report, or any alleged negligent act or omission on Our part or on the part of the individual conducting the Inspection, either party may give written Notice of the dispute or claim to the other party. If the dispute is not resolved within twenty one (21) days from the service of the written Notice then either party may refer the dispute or claim to a mediator nominated by Us. the cost shall be met equally by both parties or as agreed as part of the mediated settlement. Should the dispute or claim not be resolved by mediation then one or other of the parties may refer the dispute or claim to the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators of Australia who will appoint an Arbitrator who will resolve the dispute by arbitration. The Arbitrator will also determine what costs each of the parties are to pay.
DETERMINING EXTENT OF DAMAGE
This Report is NOT a structural damage report. We claim no expertise in building and any inexpert opinion we give on timber damage CANNOT be relied upon. The Report will not state the full extent of any timber pest damage. The Report will state timber damage found as 'minor', 'moderate', or 'severe'. This information is not the opinion of an expert. If any evidence of Timber Pest activity and/or damage resulting from Timber Pest activity is reported either in the structure(s) or the grounds of the property, then You must assume that there may be concealed structural damage within the building(s). This concealed damage may only be found when wall linings, cladding or insulation are removed to reveal previously concealed timbers. An invasive Timber Pest Inspection (for which a separate contract is required) is strongly recommended and You should arrange for a qualified person such as a Builder, Engineer, or Architect to carry out a structural inspection and to determine the full extent of the damage and the extent of repairs that may be required. You agree that neither We nor the individual conducting the Inspection is responsible or liable for the repair of any damage whether disclosed by the report or not.
Any person who relies upon the contents of this Report does so acknowledging that the above clauses define the Scope and Limitations of the inspection and form an integral part of the report. The Report is made solely for the use and benefit of the Client named on the front of this Report and no liability or responsibility whatsoever, in contract or in tort, is accepted to any third party who may rely on this Report wholly or in part. Any third parties acting or relying on this report do so at their own risk.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER ACCESS
Where recommendations are made for further access to be gained, whether those recommendations are made in the brief summary at the front of the report, the main body of the report or the summary in detail at the end of the report, such access and any further inspection required subsequent to access being gained must be carried out prior to committing to the property in question.
This Brief Summary is supplied to allow a quick and superficial overview of the inspection results. This summary is NOT the Report and cannot be relied upon on its own.
Where recommendations are made for further access to be gained, or further inspections to be carried out, whether those recommendations are made in this brief summary, the main body of the report or the summary in detail at the end of the report, such access and any further inspection required subsequent to access being gained, or any further inspection recommendations, must be carried out prior to committing to the property in question.
This Summary must be read in conjunction with the full Report and not in isolation from the Report. If there should happen to be any discrepancy between anything in the Summary and anything in the Report then the information in the Report shall override that of this Summary.
For complete and accurate information, please refer to the report.
14.1 PLEASE NOTE:
The following information is very important and forms an integral part of this report.
Any structure can be attacked by Timber Pests. Periodic maintenance should include measures to minimise possibilities of infestation in and around a property. Factors which may lead to infestation from Timber Pests include situations where the edge of a concrete slab is covered by soil or garden debris, filled areas, areas with less than 400mm clearance, foam insulation at foundations, earth/wood contact, damp areas, leaking pipes, etc; form-work timbers, scrap timber, tree stumps, mulch, tree branches touching the structure, wood rot, etc. Gardens, pathways or turf abutting or concealing the edge of a concrete slab will allow for concealed entry by timber pests. Any timber in contact with soil such as form-work, scrap timbers or stumps must be removed from under and around the buildings and any leaks repaired. You should endeavour to ensure such conditions DO NOT occur around your property.
We further advise that you engage a professional pest control firm to provide a termite management program in accord with AS 3660 to minimise the risk of termite attack. There is no way of preventing termite attack. Even AS 3660 advises that "the provision of a complete termite barrier will impede and discourage termite entry into a building. It cannot prevent termite attack. Termites can still bridge or breach barriers but they can be detected more readily during routine inspections."
In relying upon the report you should read and understand the following important information. It will help explain what is involved in a timber pest inspection, the difficulties faced by a timber pest inspector and why it is not possible to guarantee that a property is free of timber pests. It also details important information about what you can do to help protect your property from timber pest attack. This information forms an integral part of the report.
For the purpose of this inspection, the definitions below apply.
1.1 Active - The presence of live timber pests at the time of inspection.
1.2 Inactive - The absence of live timber pests at the time of inspection.
Note: Where visual evidence of inactive termite workings and/or damage is located, it is possible that termites are still active in the immediate vicinity and the termites may continue to cause further damage. It is not possible, without the benefit of further investigation and inspections over a period of time, to ascertain whether any infestation is active or inactive. Continued, regular inspections are essential.
1.3 Minor - Damage that is surface damage only and does not appear to require any timber replacement or repairs to be carried out.
1.4 Moderate - Damage that is more than surface damage but is unlikely to necessitate any timber replacement or repairs to be carried out.
1.5 Severe - Damage that appears to be significant and the integrity or serviceability of timbers may be impaired. A builder's opinion must be sought in the case of severe damage.
1.6 Timber Damage - Where this report includes comments in relation to the severity of timber damage, it must be understood that this is not a qualified builder's opinion. It is essential that any timber damage be referred to a suitably qualified building professional and obtain a special purpose building report relating to the extent of the timber damage.
The full extent of damage may only be revealed by invasive inspection methods including probing and the removal of lining materials. This type of invasive inspection has not been carried out and you should understand that the extent and/or severity of timber damage may be found to increase significantly on such an invasive inspection. The references contained within this report that may refer to the extent of timber damage have only been included to assist in determining treatment specifications and not to quantify the damage and must not be relied upon to determine the costs of repair or replacement.
2.0 REASONABLE ACCESS
You should read and understand the following important information. It will help explain what is involved in a timber pest inspection, the difficulties faced by a timber pest inspector and why it is not possible to guarantee that a property is free of timber pests. It also details important information about what you can do to help protect your property from timber pests. This information forms an integral part of the report. Only areas to which reasonable access is available were inspected. The Australian Standard 4349.3 defines reasonable access as "areas where safe, unobstructed access is provided and the minimum clearances specified below are available, or where these clearances are not available, areas within the inspector's unobstructed line of sight and within arm's length. Reasonable access does not include removing screws and bolts to access covers."
Reasonable access does not include the use of destructive or invasive inspection methods nor does it include cutting or making access traps or moving heavy furniture, floor coverings or stored goods.
Access hole = 450 x 450 mm - Crawl Space = 600 x 600mm - Height accessible from 2.1m step ladder or 3.6m ladder placed against a wall.
Access hole = 500 x 400mm - Crawl space (timber floor) = 400mm to bearer, joist or other obstruction, (concrete floor) = 500mm.
Must be accessible from a 3.6m ladder.
3.0 A MORE INVASIVE AND PHYSICAL INSPECTION IS AVAILABLE AND RECOMMENDED
This inspection was a visual inspection only. As detailed above, there are many limitations to this visual inspection. With the written permission of the owner of the premises we will perform a more invasive physical inspection that involves moving or lifting of insulation, moving stored items, furniture or foliage during the inspection. We will physically touch, tap, test and where necessary force/gouge suspected accessible timbers. We will gain access to areas, where physically possible and considered practical and necessary, by way of cutting traps and access holes.
This style of report is available by ordering with several days notice. Inspection time for this report will be greater than for a visual inspection. It involves disruption in the case of an occupied property, and some permanent marking is likely. You must arrange for the written permission of the owner and must acknowledge all the above information and confirm that our firm will not be held liable for any damage caused to the property. Prices available on request.
4.0 CONCRETE SLAB HOMES (Part or full slab)
Homes constructed on concrete slabs pose special problems with respect to detecting termite attack. If the edge of the slab is concealed by garden beds, lawns, paths, pavers or any other obstructions then it is possible for termites to affect concealed entry into the property. They can then cause extensive damage to concealed framing timbers before being detected. Even the most experienced inspector may be unable to detect their presence due to concealment by wall linings or other obstructions. Only when the termites attack visible and accessible timbers in the roof void, which may be concealed by insulation, or some other visible timbers, can their presence be detected. Where termite damage is located in the roof it should be expected that concealed framing timbers (if present) may be extensively damaged.
With a concrete slab home (part or full) it is imperative that you expose the edge of the slab. This may involve the excavation of soil or the complete removal of garden beds, paths, pavers or other features which concealed the slab edge. It is recommended that at least 75 millimetres of the slab edge above ground level remain exposed at all times to facilitate the detection of termite entry. Weep holes must also be kept free of obstructions at all times.
In some buildings built since July 1995 the edge of the slab forms part of the termite shield system. In these buildings an inspection zone of at least 75mm should be maintained to permit detection of termite entry. The slab edge should not be concealed by render, tiles, cladding, flashings, adjoining structures, paving, soil, turf, or landscaping etc.
5.0 EVIDENCE OF TERMITE DAMAGE
Where visual evidence of termite workings and/or damage was noted in any structure or on the grounds of the property, you must understand that termite damage and/or activity may exist in concealed areas. Termites are secretive by nature and they will often temporarily desert their workings to later return. It is not possible, without benefit of further investigation and a number of inspections over a period of time, to ascertain whether any infestation is active or inactive. Active termites may simply have not been present at the time of inspection due to a prior disturbance, climatic conditions, or they may have been utilising an alternative feeding source. Continued regular inspections are essential.
As damage or activity may exist in concealed or inaccessible areas, a further INVASIVE INSPECTION is available and is strongly recommended, see Section 3.0 - Further Invasive Inspections. Additionally, regular inspections are strongly recommended at intervals not exceeding the interval recommended in the report.
6.0 SUBTERRANEAN TERMITES
No Property is safe from termites! Termites are the cause of the greatest economic losses of timber in service in Australia. Independent data compiled by State Forests shows 1 in every 4 homes are attacked by termites at some stage in its life. Australia's subterranean termite species (white ants) are the most destructive timber pests in the world. In fact it can take as little as 3 months for a termite colony to severely damage almost all the timber in a home.
How termites attack your home!
The most destructive species live in large underground nests containing several hundred thousand timber-destroying insects. The problem arises when a nest matures near your home. Your home provides natural shelter and a food source for the termites. The gallery system of a single termite colony may exploit food sources over as much as one hectare, with individual galleries extending up to 50 metres or more to enter your home. Concrete slabs do not act as a barrier as termites can penetrate cracks through the slab or over the slab edge.
They even build mud tubes to gain access to above ground timbers. In rare cases termites can create their nest in the cavity wall of the property without making ground contact. In these cases it may be impossible to determine their presence until extensive timber damage occurs.
Once in contact with the timber they can excavate it often leaving only a thin veneer on the outside. If left undiscovered the economic species can cause many thousands of dollars damage and can be costly to treat. Treatment costs vary and can range from two to five thousand dollars (or more) to treat.
Subterranean Termite Ecology.
These termites are social insects usually living in underground nests. Nests may be in trees or in rare instances they may be in above ground areas within the property. They tunnel underground to enter the building and then remain hidden within the timber making it very difficult to locate them. Where timbers are concealed, as in most modern homes, it makes it even more difficult to locate their presence. Especially if gardens have been built up around the home and termite barriers are either not in place or poorly maintained. Termites form nests in all sorts of locations and they are usually not visible. There may be more than one nest on a property. The diet of termites in the natural environment is the various hardwood and softwood species growing throughout Australia. These same timbers are used in buildings. Worker termites move out from their underground nest into surrounding areas where they obtain food and return to nurture the other casts of termites within the nest. Termites are extremely sensitive to temperature, humidity and light and hence cannot move over ground like most insects.
They travel in mud encrusted tunnels to the source of food. Detection of termites is usually by locating these mud tunnels rising from the ground into the affected structure. This takes an expert eye.
Termite barriers protect a building by forcing termites to show themselves. Termites can build mud tunnels around termite barriers to reach the timber above. The presence of termite tracks or leads does not necessarily mean that termites have entered the timber though. A clear view of walls and piers and easy access to the sub-floor means that detection should be fairly easy. However many styles of construction do not lend themselves to ready detection of termites. The design of some properties is such that they make the detection by a pest inspector difficult, if not impossible.
The tapping and probing of walls and internal timbers is an adjunct or additional means of detection of termites but is not as reliable as locating tracks. The use of a moisture meter is a useful aid for determining the presence of termites concealed behind thin wall panels, but it only detects high levels of activity. Older damage that has dried out will not be recorded. It may also provide false readings. Termite tracks may be present in the ceiling space however some roofs of a low pitch and with the presence of sisalation, insulation, air conditioning ductwork and hot water services may prevent a full inspection of the timbers in these areas. Therefore since foolproof and absolute certain detection is not possible the use of protective barriers and regular inspections is a necessary step in protecting timbers from termite attack.
7.0 BORERS OF DRY SEASONED TIMBERS
Borers are the larval stage of various species of beetle. The adult beetles lay their eggs within the timber. The eggs hatch out into larvae (grubs) that bore through the timber. The larvae may reside totally concealed within the timber for a period of several years before passing into a dormant pupal stage. Within the pupal case they metamorphose (change) into the adult beetle that cuts a hole in the outer surface of the timber to emerge, mate and lay further eggs to continue the cycle. It is only through the presence of these emergence holes that their presence can be detected.
When floors are covered by carpets, tiling or other floor coverings and where no access or restricted access underfloor is available, it is not possible to determine whether borers are present or not. This is particularly the case with the upper floors of a building.
Anobium punctatum borer (furniture beetle) and Queensland pine borer.
These beetles are responsible for instances of flooring collapse, often triggered by a heavy object being placed on the floor (or a person stepping on the affected area). Pine timbers are favoured by this beetle and while the sapwood is preferred, the heartwood is also sometimes attacked. Attack by this beetle is usually observed in timbers that have been in service for 10-20 years or more and mostly involves flooring and timber wall panelling. The frass from the flight holes (faeces and chewed wood) is fine and gritty. Wood attacked by these borers is often honeycombed.
Lyctus brunneus borer (powder post beetle). These borers only attack the sapwood of certain susceptible species of hardwood timber. Since it is a requirement that the structural timbers contain no more than 25% Lyctus susceptible sapwood, these borers are not normally associated with structural damage. Replacement of affected timbers is not recommended and treatment is not approved or required. Powder post beetles mostly attack during the first 6-12 months of service life of timber. As only the sapwood is destroyed, larger dimensional timbers (such as rafters, bearers and joists) in a house are seldom weakened significantly to cause collapse. In small dimensional timbers
(such as tiling and ceiling battens) the sapwood may be extensive, and its destruction may result in collapse.
Replacement of these timbers is the only option available.
8.0 TIMBER DECAY FUNGI
The fruiting bodies of wood decay fungi vary in size, shape and colour. The type of fungi encountered by pest controllers usually reside in poorly ventilated subfloors, below wet areas of the home, exterior timbers and in areas that retain water in the soil. The durability and type of timbers are factors along with the temperature and environment.
Destruction of affected timbers varies with the symptoms involved. Removal of the moisture source usually alleviates the problem. Fungal decay is attractive to termites and if the problem is not rectified it may well lead to future termite attack.
9.0 MOULD CLAUSE
Mildew and non wood decay fungi is commonly known as Mould and is not considered a Timber Pest. However, Mould and their spores may cause health problems and allergic reactions such as asthma and dermatitis in some people. No inspection for Mould was carried out at the property and no report on the presence or absence of Mould is provided.
If Mould is noted as present within the property and you are concerned as to the possible health risk resulting from its presence then you should seek advice from your Local Council, State or Commonwealth Health Department or a qualified expert such as an Industry Hygienist.
10.0 CONTACT THE INSPECTOR
Please feel free to contact the inspector who carried out this inspection. Often it is very difficult to fully explain situations, problems, access difficulties or timber Pest activity and/or damage in a manner that is readily understandable by the reader. Should you have any difficulty in understanding anything contained within this report then you should immediately contact the inspector and have the matter explained to you. If you have any questions at all or require clarification then contact the inspector prior to acting on this report.