It’s always exciting when you’re house-hunting and one of the most exciting aspects is finding a property that’s on at a bargain price. There may be a reason for that attractive asking price, though, because there may be some defects or issues. Some of those issues may be hiding in plain sight, like poorly-installed or failing cladding.
Queensland gets a fair amount of rain, especially in the first few months of the year and if your cladding is damaged, porous or improperly installed, it can let water in, which is bad news. Here’s how to spot cladding that could cause you problems down the line.
Patchy or badly-maintained paint
Some types of cladding, especially timber, need regular coats of paint and sealant to keep them weather and waterproof. If you see some areas where the paint is faded, blistered or peeling, there may be a problem with water seeping into the cladding and getting to the timber frame.
Improperly fixed roofing
The joins between the cladding and the roofing must be installed ina way that guides water towards the guttering. If the roofing is behind the cladding, it can take water behind it, affecting the structures underneath.
Other fixings and structures that are damaging the cladding
There should be nothing fixed to the cladding itself. By fixing a light, a canopy or something similar to the cladding creates holes which may let water in.
A lack of a step-down onto patios, decks, drives and doors
Your cladding shouldn’t be in contact with these paved surfaces; there should be a step-down at the bottom of the cladding to guide water away. Similarly, there should be a gap of at least 175mm between the bottom of the cladding and an unpaved surface like a lawn.
Failing or corrupted sealant joints
If there are gaps in the cladding to let in pipes or similar, then there must be a sealant to prevent water ingress. If you see a failed sealant joint, you don’t know how long it’s been letting in water, or what lies behind it.
Recessed windows and flat sills
This is a bad combination because the flat sill collects water, which can seep into the timber frame via cracked or damaged cladding or seals.
If you spot one or more of these defects, then you can ask for a reduction in the price or you can ask the vendors to fix the issues before you buy. Don’t overlook any of these signs as neglecting them can lead to a very expensive fix several years in the future.