After finding out from my clients that many of them could not differentiate inspection from expertise, I decided to add this blog post to try to shed some light on this topic. .
Here are some questions I must answer frequently:
- What is the difference between an inspection of the pre-purchase building and an expertise?
- Why did the building inspector recommend several expertise in his pre-purchase report?
- Can the building inspector tell me if the French drain is functional or not during the pre-purchase inspection?
- Why do I need to consult a structural engineer when I have already paid for a pre-purchase inspection?
Building inspection: inspection visual and in-depth expertise
The examination of a building is divided into two main categories, namely:
- Visual inspection
1. Visual inspection
As part of a visual inspection, the building inspector conducts a non-exhaustive visual examination of the condition of building components and systems that are easily accessible and visible at the time of the inspection.
at. Pre-purchase inspection
This inspection must be done prior to the purchase of a building for a house, condo, commercial, industrial or institutional building. This inspection includes analysis of the following:
- The structure
- The exterior
- The roof
- Central air conditioning
- The interior
- Insulation and ventilation
The pre-purchase inspection is intended to present the purchaser with a clear and authentic picture of the condition of the building at the time of the inspection. During this period, the potential buyer can have a good idea of the maintenance work to be done according to the degree of severity of the deficiencies. Thus, relying on the pre-purchase report, the buyer can gauge the cost of the work according to his budget. Therefore, this allows the buyer to guide him in his decision to buy or not the building. The great advantage of this inspection is to avoid, as much as possible, bad surprises that could reduce the enjoyment of the premises, harm the safety of the occupants and burden the budget.
It should be noted, however, that the pre-purchase inspection remains a visual inspection, that is, the building inspector performs, as we said, a non-exhaustive visual examination of the condition of the building components that are readily available. accessible and visible at the time of inspection.
If the inspector discovers, during his inspection, obvious or potential deficiencies of the components or systems, he must recommend one or more in-depth expertises to a professional (engineer, technicians, etc.).
Examples of recommended expertise
For example, if the basement inspector examines the basement, the building inspector notes the presence of star-shaped cracks on the slab on the ground, efflorescence (white powder) on the slab and in the bottom. walls of foundations, high humidity in the basement, he can draw the conclusion that the French drain is not functional. On the other hand, the inspector can not visually inspect the French drain, as this examination requires in-depth expertise using a drain camera and a mini-excavator. In this case, the building inspector must recommend an expertise with a professional in the field.
To expand on this, here is another example: the pre-purchase inspector notices during the inspection that there are significant cracks in the foundation walls. The visual examination does not make it possible to determine the cause of these cracks. He must therefore suggest an expertise, with a specialized engineer, to carry out a more detailed analysis of the cracks. Thereafter, the engineer issues his opinion before the buyer concludes the transaction.
b. Building condition certificate
THEstate of building is also a visual building inspection for all types of buildings (house, condo building, residential building, commercial or industrial building) when the owner, the manager or the condominium union wants to know what maintenance work is needed .
This is an important step for anyone who wants to keep their building in good condition. For example, the building condition certificate is a reflection of the current condition of the building components at the time of the inspection. This report contains the findings relating to the problems detected in the building, recommendations for additional expertise to be carried out and the list of corrective and renovation work to be carried out. The goal is to keep it in a proper state of occupant safety and functionality.
Some homeowners have an inspection of the building condition of a building before the sale of it. It's about a presale building inspection the purpose of which is to discover the deficiencies of the building in order to carry out the works before the sale or to declare these deficiencies to the prospective purchaser to avoid any conflicts in the future.
As for condominiums, the certificate of building condition allows the professional to estimate the amount to be reserved for major repairs to the common parts of the building. This estimate is recognized as the " provident fund ».
Thereafter, the Board of Directors may establish the monthly contribution for each condo unit based on the state building inspection report and the contingency fund.
c. Pre-acceptance inspection
THEpre-acceptance inspection is a visual inspection of a new building. This inspection is essential to determine which construction works are to be completed as well as those to be rectified.
La receipt of a private portion (condo, house) can be done by a professional in the field of the building to check that there are no defects or deficiencies in the inspected unit.
La reception of common areas in a condominium building, on the other hand, must be carried out by a building professional (engineer, architect, technologist) who is mandated by the Syndicat des copropriétaires. This is to ensure that the common elements have no deficiencies and / or visible defects in the structure, finish and to guide the Union in its process to correct the deficiencies attributable to the contractor on the common parts of the building. building. The engineer will submit a detailed report based on the forms approved by theAPCHQ.
The building inspector may also suggest additional expertise as needed.
2. What is an expertise?
THEexpertise is a thorough and comprehensive building inspection to determine the cause of a specific building-related defect in order to find a solution to the problem. During an expert appraisal, the professional (engineer, building inspector, technologist, etc.) can use sophisticated equipment. It can also conduct exploratory holes in building components to gather enough data to discover the nature of the deficiencies and find the appropriate solution.
For example, for a expertise in water infiltration to determine the causes and source of the problem and the damage caused by this infiltration of water, the professional carries out a visual inspection and tests in places likely to provide a waterway to the interior of the building. These tests are as follows:
- A leak test that consists of watering the outside of the areas studied with a garden hose and / or a high-pressure electric sprayer;
- Moisture tests in materials using a moisture sensor;
- Detection of insulators or wet materials behind finishes with an infrared camera for the purpose of capturing thermographic images;
- Exploratory sections in affected areas to check the condition of building materials as needed;
If damage is observed (appearance of molds harmful to health, weakening of the building structure, etc.), the professional advises the client of the seriousness of the situation and the measures to be taken to make the appropriate repairs.