The good news is that, generally, concrete, stone, brick and masonry walls and concrete or screeded floors that have cracks less than 1 mm wide (the thickness of a credit card) are common and usually do not warrant any corrective action. Most of these small tight cracks are caused by normal shrinkage as the moisture in the walls and floors evaporates over time or settlement of the structure which usually occurs within the first few years after construction.
Be warned, however, that changes in condition around the structure may also cause settlement many years later! Examples are planting a new garden or tree or removing a garden or tree that is against or close to the house.
Moreover, if a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal masonry crack is filled with hard masonry patching compound, any substantial future movement is likely to show up as a new crack in the patched area or nearby. Therefore, always use a non-shrinking grout to prevent stressing yourself!
Cracks that continue to move are a reason for concern! Continued movement in cracks should be evaluated as there may be a need for corrective action. Therefore, if you notice a crack has re-cracked or the crack has opened or gotten larger it should be monitored! However, first, make sure there is no shrinkage of the filler product. All cracks that are 5 mm and greater should be carefully monitored to ensure there is no continued movement.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult when unscrupulous sellers use tricks to hide defects. Here are the 10 most common seller tricks, and how you can recognise each one of the issues.
A home may be the biggest purchase you’ll ever make. So it makes sense to do everything possible to ensure you’re making a sound investment.
Painting over problem areas.
Fresh paint itself is not a sign of dishonesty, but it can be used to cover water stains, mould and more. Many honest sellers use paint to update or freshen up walls. Take note if many areas were recently painted and mention that to the home inspector. You can also ask the seller for before-and-after photos.
Choosing to remain in the dark about potential problems are seller tricks.
By law, a seller cannot be held liable for problems he or she didn’t know about. Thus, a seller trick is not to allow home inspections to be performed when it’s time to sell. Another seller trick is not to agree to a reasonable inspection contingency time period. Some will even tell potential buyers they don’t want to know what the home inspection reveals. This is all the more reason to get a thorough home inspection. It’s a small price to pay to ensure you’re making a sound investment.
Wise sellers have their property Move In Certified!
You will probably be selling your house with the “Voetstoots Clause” in the Offer to Purchase. But, if you think you are fully protected against any comebacks for latent defects you are wrong!
Under the law, you have a duty to disclose the defects on the property that you are aware of. Your estate agent may also point out defects that need to be corrected.
If you don’t disclose those defects you may be liable to pay for the correction of the defects after the property has been sold.
As a home seller, you should have your home “Move-in Certified”! Move-in certified homes sell better, faster and for higher prices!
Besides being a great marketing tool, the seller’s home inspection report is also the “Seller’s Disclosure”. This safeguards you against any later legal action that the buyer may want to bring against you for both latent and patent defects!
Do the wise thing, have your home inspected before you sell it!
10 Things A Seller Should Do Before Having Your Home Inspected
Home sellers should prepare for the likelihood of a home inspection in advance. Moreover, getting your house ready for a home inspection helps to prevent delays and can prevent surprises. Also, a seller doesn’t need a home inspector to break fixtures or cause damage because the seller was ill-prepared.
In South Africa, sellers are required by law to providefull disclosure of the condition of the property. However, buyers usually pay for their home inspection.
Whether you’ve decided to produce a seller’s home inspection report for buyers or expect the buyer’s home inspector to show up for a buyer’s inspection, the best thing is to be well prepared.
1)Clean the house and swimming pool
Sellers should always try to create a good first impression. Notably, clean homes and pools are an indication of how you maintain the house and property.
Don’t underestimate the importance of making a good impression. Don’t make the mistake of thinking inspectors see past stuff.
2)The Inspector will be on time
You can expect the home inspector to be on time. Therefore, if an inspector makes an appointment with you at 9:30 a.m., have the house ready for inspection at 9 a.m.
Moisture absorbed into brickwork and plasterwork causes them to expand slightly. When the brickwork and plasterwork dry they contract slightly. The water absorbed by the bricks and plasterwork usually causes a slight vertical crack at the edges of the internal window sills. The paint then starts to bubble along the vertical crack. This crack may continue around the length of the window sill before you notice it. What started out as a small vertical crack then becomes a horizontal crack along the bottom of the window sill on the interior face of the sill wall.
The cracks are usually not significant unless allowed to continue unabated.
Sometimes the moisture intrusion at sills are mistaken for rising damp! Water leaking in at the window sill may bypass the damp proof course (DPC) built in under the window sill as a water-resistant barrier. The moisture may then appear as bubbling paint or crazing cracking of plasterwork, or both, below the window, extending down to floor level.
On external face-brick walls, this may appear as efflorescence (a white powder).
Internally, this may appear as bubbling paint above the skirting or discolouration of the skirting itself.
How do you prevent the moisture intrusion into window sills?