Renovation EssentialsTips & Advice

Renovation Tips: Must Know Common Defects Before Taking Over

Inspecting defects in your new homes can be very challenging and tiring to most of the new homeowners. However, it is inevitable to ensure the satisfactory and quality of the newly-built units.

If the defects are not properly rectified before taking over, it may become harder and costlier for homeowners to rectify after the completion of the renovation works.

In this article, we will discuss the most common defects widely seen in residential units. We will start with the most disastrous defects that will bring you lots of headaches!

1) Window

Renovation Tips: Must Know Common Defects Before Taking Over

An opening like the window is designed for natural lighting and ventilation. However, if the fabrications and installations are not properly done due to poor workmanship, it will result in defects like water seepage through the window frames and poor sound insulations. As a result, the house owner will suffer from problems like rainwater ingress in the event of heavy downpour and also noise pollution.

To prevent this from happening, a proper water-tightness test and air-tightness test should be conducted upon the completion of the installation works.

As a home owner, it is always advised to conduct a visual inspection during taking-over. There are few things to take note during your visual inspection:-

   a. To check if the gaskets are in good condition and right position.

   b. To check if there are any gaps surrounding the window frame.

   c. To ensure no physical damages to all components of window.

2) Kitchen and Bathroom’s Waterproofing

Renovation Tips: Must Know Common Defects Before Taking Over —

Waterproofing membrane is commonly applied in wet areas like bathroom and kitchen. This is to prevent potential water leakage to lower floors. However, if the waterproofing membrane is not applied properly due to poor workmanship or improper construction techniques, it may contribute to problems like water leakage in future. As a result, the house owner will suffer from water damage problems like water dripping, water stains, even worse dampness molds.

A proper water ponding test is required after the application of waterproofing membrane.

Unfortunately, as a home owner, you may not be able to check if the waterproofing system is properly applied during your take over. However, in general, the developer will provide a 5 years to 10 years of indemnity for completed waterproofing system. On the other hand, you are still able to conduct simple water ponding test in your toilet during your taking-over, as follows:

   a. Temporary seal off the opening in toilet like waste pipe.

   b. Contain the water up to certain level, says 50mm high. Leave it for few hours or overnight.

   c. To observe is there any drop in water level or any water leakage from lower floor. If yes, most probably the waterproofing system has been compromised.

3) Plumbing and Sanitary Wares

Renovation Tips: Must Know Common Defects Before Taking Over

It is very common that rubbish or cement may be carelessly thrown into the toilets during the construction period. This will result in pipe choke and backflow of waste water. To make sure that your pipes are choke-free, you have to activate your utilities and run the water to ensure that the water can flow freely to the waste pipe. This will also let you see if your taps and basins are functioning.

4) Tiling (Walls and Floors)

Tiles are commonly used as the flooring and walling finishes due to its variety of choices and aesthetic. However, if the tiling works are not done properly, it will definitely affect the aesthetic of the design and poses as potential cutting hazards.

These are the few common defects in tiling works:-

Renovation Tips: Must Know Common Defects Before Taking Over

   a. Jointing

Tile jointing appears to be out of alignment due to the improper setting out.

   b. Finishing

It appears to have efflorescence, inconsistent tonality and splotches on the tile surface that look unsightly.

   c. Evenness

The tile surface appears to be uneven due to uneven bedding screed or insufficient levelling. Home owners may feel the floor undulating when they walk on it. 

   d. Hollowness

It is mostly due to the voids between the tile and bedding screed. Hollow tiles will tend to crack when it is loaded as it is not backed by bedding screed.

5) Painting

Painting defects can have many causes. However, paint defects occur mainly due to paint storage, application and poor paint quality.   

There are few common defects in painting works:-

Renovation Tips: Must Know Common Defects Before Taking Over

   a. Peeling

It starts with cracks and end up flacking off of the paint layer. This usually due to insufficient adhesion between paint and the surface to be painted. It is important to choose the right paint for different type of surfaces. Also, paint shall only be applied when the surface is ready (free of debris & dry).

   b. Blistering

It appears to have bubbles on the surface of paint layer. This is mainly caused by the water vapour under the paint layer. To prevent this from happening, the painter shall ensure moisture of the surface is in acceptable range prior to application of paint.

   c. Wrinkling

This type of paint defect is more evident when a thick layer of paint is applied on the surface.

   d. Sagging

These defects occur then too much of paints is applied on the surface. The paints will go downward and form water dripping effect on the surface.

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