Preparing for a Pe Purchase Inspection

Preparing for your buyers Pre Purchase Inspection

Formally accepting an offer on your home is an exciting moment for any homeowner but it can become quite a nervous time waiting to hear the results of the potential buyers building and pest report. While there is no pass or fail, preparing for a pre purchase inspection can help calm the nerves.

Any responsible “Contract of Sale” will include a condition subject to building and pest reports.

Rest assured, you cannot pass or fail a pre-purchase building and pest inspection. It is also important to remember that the report is in no way a reflection of you as a homeowner.

The building inspection is a snapshot of the condition of the home at a point of time.  Condition is compared to similarly constructed and reasonably maintained buildings of approximately the same age.

The pest inspection is looking for the presence of or damage from subterranean termites, seasoned wood borers and fungal decay (rot).

What to expect on the day of your buyers Building and Pest Inspection

The inspector will be at your home for 2-3 hours to carry out the inspection.

Generally, 1-1.5 hours is spent outside the home inspecting the roof system, exterior of the home, subfloor (if applicable) and any outbuildings or structures within 30m of the home. The remaining 1-1.5 hours will be spent inside the home inspecting all internal areas of the home. This includes the interior of the roof space.

Please ensure access is available to these areas prior to the arrival of the building and pest inspector by unlocking gates, garages and outbuildings and ensure subfloor and roof space access is kept clear and unlocked.

Pre-Purchase inspections are visual, non-invasive which means the inspector will not cut, break apart, dismantle, remove, or move objects in the course of the inspection. The inspector will be taking many photos of all areas of the home as part of the inspection as well as using non-invasive tools including moisture meters, radars and thermal imaging cameras.

Be mindful that buyers often accompany building and pest inspectors at the time of inspection and may feel uncomfortable asking questions are present throughout the process. It may be worth considering vacating the property for the duration of the inspection.

Tips for preparing for your Buyers Building and Pest Inspection

Do everything you can to present your home in its best possible state but don’t be discouraged if your inspector comments on a number of defects, they will report on everything they see. The inspection is not a wish list for the buyer, it is an overview of the condition of the home at the time of inspection.

Some quick tips to assist your inspector in providing the buyer an informed overview of the home.

  • Have a spring clean
  • Documentation of previous pest control
  • Clear vegetation away from the homes foundation

A vendor building and pest report is also a great way to gain confidence in the condition of your home. Check out our blog post on vendor inspection reports for more information!

Inexpensive Maintenance

Your buyers building and pest report will include anything the inspector observed at the time of the inspection.

Here is a handy list of common maintenance items you can address prior to your inspection!

  • Remove loose timbers from around the home and sub floor
  • Seal around any external wall penetrations
  • Check subfloor is dry and well ventilated
  • Caulking behind kitchen sink, laundry trough, vanities, showers and baths
  • Replace cracked/broken glass
  • Replace damaged fly screens
  • Secure loose railings
  • Tighten loose door hardware
Smoke Alarm Inspections

Smoke Alarm Inspection

A Venatic Smoke Alarm Inspection service provides both rental providers and home owners with peace of mind that this critical safety device is maintained and ready to perform and protect both the home and its occupants.

Our 12 month subscription service includes a complete peace of mind smoke alarm service.

Smoke Alarm Safety Check (smoke test, button test, decibel reading)

Free Callouts for Smoke Alarm Faults for 12 Months

Free Battery Replacement

Free Replacement of Expired and Faulty Alarms

Online Digital Record of Compliance and Manuals

Annual smoke alarm inspections are now mandatory in Victoria under the Residential Tenancies Act.

Venatic ensure rental providers have peace of mind that this obligation is managed by an experienced and fully insured team.

Clients are provided a comprehensive report published within 24 hours of inspection with photo and video evidence of testing as proof of compliance. Included with every report is an electronic copy of your detector manual to provide to your tenant for monthly testing.

Every service offers free replacement of expired and faulty detectors and comes with a 12 month guarantee with unlimited free callouts if your detector experiences faults within this period.

Check out our blog for more information on Smoke Alarm Safety!

Vendor Inspection Reports

Vendor Inspection Reports

We know a building and pest inspection is a critical part of due diligence for any serious home buyer; but did you know Vendor Inspection Reports are also one of the most valuable investments a seller can make before listing their home?

As a seller, we want to achieve the best possible price in a process that is seamless. A Vendor Inspection Report provides peace of mind for all parties with regards to the condition of the home. Having completed an independent building and pest inspection prior to listing also provides you a competitive edge and paves the way for a seamless transaction.

Let’s walk through some of the benefits of a Vendor Inspection Report –

Peace of Mind

At the heart of every report, we strive to provide all parties Peace of Mind.

A Vendor Inspection Report provides the seller an awareness of any hidden defects or pest activity in the home. This empowers the seller to remove the possibility of nasty surprises that can impact the buyer’s enthusiasm about the property prior to listing.

From the buyers perspective, they find comfort from a seller that is being honest and transparent about the homes condition. Because of the investment made in an independent report by the seller profits are less likely to be diminished through negotiation and the risk of the buyer pulling out all together is significantly reduced.

Competitive Edge

A Vendor Inspection Report can give you the competitive edge to stand out in the market.

Marketing yourself as a seller with nothing to hide provides a point of difference that boosts the confidence of buyers. With every Vendor Inspection Report we provide a QR Code that directs your buyers to the interactive Building and Pest Report in seconds.

As simple as scanning a QR Code at an inspection or open house provides buyers confidence in the home. Buyers at an auction that may not want to pay for their own inspection in case they miss out on the property or couldn’t arrange one in time now have the ability to bid with confidence. Even buyers that were planning on having their own inspection completed have the confidence to make a serious offer!

Seamless Transaction

When buyers are keen on your property, they will be as eager as you are to close the sale fast.

Because you have been transparent, buyers are able to act with confidence and are less likely want their own inspection. No nervously waiting for the buyers building and pest inspection to be published, hoping they don’t find anything that may cause a renegotiation or even break the sale. Even if the buyer decides to have their own building and pest report completed, you have peace of mind and confidence in the health of the home you are selling.

Venatic Vendor Inspection Reports

A Venatic Vendor Inspection Report is completed to the same Australian Standards as a pre purchase building and pest inspection. This provides you and buyers assurance that there will be no surprises on any subsequent reports ordered by the purchaser.

After the Vendor Inspection Report is provided, sellers have the opportunity to rectify any issues identified in the report. Venatic can provide a Re Inspection to confirm the identified issues have been rectified.

After the Re Inspection, a report will be provided to reflect that the original issue has been appropriately rectified.

A QR Code linking directly to the report is provided with each Venatic Vendor Inspection Report.

Schedule your Vendor Inspection online today or call us on 0499 524 865.

Check out our blog for more information on the building or pest components of the inspection.

conditions conducive to timber pests

Top 5 Conditions Conducive to Timber Pests

When inspecting your home for timber pests, your inspector will note evidence of the presence of timber pests and any damage they have caused. Another important aspect of the inspection is taking note of any Conditions Conducive to Timber Pests. These are defects in the home or elements in the design that increase your homes susceptibility to timber pest attack.

Here are the top 5 Conditions Conducive to Timber Pests we find in our inspections-

  1. Poor Subfloor Ventilation

In homes with a timber sub floor, adequate ventilation is critical to the health of your home. Poor subfloor ventilation leads to a damp, dark environment which is conducive to fungal decay and attracts termite activity. Check out our blog post on Subfloor Ventilation for more helpful information on improving the ventilation in your home!

  1. Plumbing Leaks

Plumbing leaks create elevate moisture in timber elements of the home. When an timber element reaches a moisture content above 20%, it is already considered to be in a state of decay. The moisture also provides termites with a source of water to sustain activity in the home. Keeping on top of plumbing leaks in the home is essential to the health of your home. If you see any sign of active leaks, contact a licensed plumber to ensure it is rectified as a matter of priority.

  1. Improper Discharge of Hot Water and Air Conditioner Drains

We often find air conditioner drains and temperature pressure relief valves from hot water services discharging close to the home’s foundations. This creates an environment of constant moisture close to the home providing conditions for fungal decay and attracting termite activity. Check out our blog for more information on TPR Valves, there is also a great VBA Technical Solution Sheet on Air Conditioner Water Discharge.

  1. Inappropriately Stored Timbers

Building debris sored under the home and firewood stored near the home are another common issue found in inspections. Untreated timber stored around the home structure or utilised as garden edging provide foraging termites a food source close to the home. Once termites become established close to the home, there is an exceptionally high risk for activity inside the home. We recommend storing timber away from the home and off the ground.

  1. Timber Building Elements in Direct Contact with the Ground

A common element of design we find in inspections that is conducive to timber pests is veranda posts that are in direct contact with the ground. The direct contact with the ground promotes moisture which encourages fungal decay and termite activity. Termites can then make their way through the timber elements of the veranda and in to the home undetected. We recommend installing veranda post to metal stirrups to provide a gap between the timber structure and the ground.

Subfloor Ventilation

Subfloor Ventilation

High levels of moisture in the subfloor area of a home can lead to a number of issues including fungal decay and increased risk of termite attack.

In sub floor areas with poor ventilation water can pool or moisture can escape from the soil which increases the humidity in the subfloor space. This in turn increases the moisture content of timbers in the sub floor area. When the moisture content of timber is above 20%, it becomes more susceptible to fungal decay and termite attack.


In Gippsland (Climatic Zone C), the minimum subfloor ventilation openings is 6000mm2 per meter of wall. Vents should be evenly spaced and a vent should be placed no more than 600mm in from each corner.

A practical example of this is a common Pryda 230×165 Vent. As this vent provides 14157mm2 of ventilation, the maximum spacing for this vent is 2.36 meters.

Clearance Requirements for Subfloor Ventilation 

For inspection purposes, a ground clearance of 400mm is required between the finished ground level and any structural components such as bearers. For sloping sites, the minimum clearance may be reduced to 150mm as long as it is within 2m from an external wall.


Subfloor clearance requirements


The ground under a suspended floor must be graded to prevent water pooling under the home. This means low areas must be filled so they are higher than the external adjacent finished ground level.


Other Impacts on Subfloor Ventilation

Materials stored under the home impact the efficiency of sub floor ventilation. As well as blocking airflow in the sub floor, stored items containing wood increase the risk of timber pest attack.

Vegetation and garden beds against the home commonly impede the subfloor ventilation of homes. While garden beds against the home can enhance the visual appeal of the home, it is important to ensure sub floor vents are not impacted.

Where the subfloor space is excessively damp (from high water tables) or subject to flooding, the BCA offers 3 options.

  • Subfloor ventilation is increased by 50% (to 9000mm2 per meter of wall); or
  • The ground in the subfloor space is sealed with an impervious membrane; or
  •  Durability class 1 or 2 timbers or H3 (above ground) and H5 (below ground) treated timbers must be used.
Gas Heater Safety

Gas Heater Safety

Gas heaters present a heath risk in the home if not adequately maintained. All gas heaters including central heating units, wall furnaces have the potential to leak carbon monoxide (CO) into the home.

Health Issues Linked to Faulty Gas Heaters

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas which can cause serious health problems.

While symptoms from carbon monoxide are non-specific, they may appear as a ‘flu-like’ illness.

Common symptoms include-

  • Headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath

The Victorian Department of Heath has developed a guide ‘Could it be carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning‘ for more information. If you believe your symptoms may be related to CO poisoning from a gas appliance in the home there are 3 steps you should take.

  • Open windows/doors to ventilate the room.
  • Turn off the appliance and do not use until it has been serviced by a licenced gasfitter.
  • See your GP to discuss your symptoms and any links to CO exposure.

Maintaining Gas Heater Safety


All gas heaters should to be serviced at least every two years by a licenced gasfitter with an endorsement to service Type A gas appliances. In fact, new Residential Tenancies Regulations came in to force in March 2021 for rented properties. Gas safety checks are to be conducted every 2 years under these regulations. You can find more information on gas safety checks on this Gasfitter Toolkit from Energy Safe Victoria.


When air is removed from a space more quickly than it is replaced, it creates a negative pressure environment. Negative pressure environments cause CO to be drawn into the home rather than being vented outside. It is imperative that there is adequate ventilation in the home to ensure there a negative pressure environment cannot be created by the use of extraction fans.

Installation of carbon monoxide monitors

Because you cannot see or smell carbon monoxide, installing a carbon monoxide monitor is can be a useful method of early detection. When installing a monitor, ensure it complies with either the US (UL2034) or European (EN50291) Standards. While beneficial, installing one of these monitors is no substitute for safe installation and regular maintenance of your gas appliances.

Safety Alerts 

Energy Safe Victoria maintains a safety alerts list for open flued gas heaters that have been identified as posing a serious risk to health. Do not use any heater on this list until it has been tested and serviced by a qualified gasfitter.


What is mould?

Mould is a organically occurring fungus and varies in its presentation. It can appear as a fuzz, stain or smudge commonly in shades of green black and white.

What causes mould?

Mould spreads and grows from tiny particles called spores which attach to surfaces conducive to their survival and reproduce. To survive and produce more spores to spread, it must have access to both food and moisture.

Most surfaces in the home, particularly organic surfaces such as timber will have an abundance of food to sustain the growth of mould. It is with the introduction of moisture that areas of the home become more susceptible to the presence of mould.

Wet areas such as bathrooms are among the most common areas of the home that attract mould due to high levels of humidity and moisture. There are some great advice on condensation management in the home to ensure at risk areas have adequate ventilation.

Compromised weather seals and plumbing leaks, poorly maintained gutters all lead to moisture in building elements of the home and create an environment that promotes the growth of fungi. It is important to address moisture issues as they arise; engage appropriate qualified plumbers to rectify plumbing issues and ensure gutters are inspected and maintained appropriately

It is also important that all areas of the home have access to adequate ventilation, particularly areas of poor lighting. Dark sub floor and roof space areas are an ideal space for mould to grow undetected and spread spores around the home. It is important these areas have adequate ventilation.

Will my building and pest inspection report on fungi?

During a Building and Pest Inspection, your inspector is specifically looking for fungi that damages timber. While mould is found on the wood surface only and does not decay the timber, it does indicate an environment conducive to timber decay.

Your home inspector will report on areas noted with heightened levels of moisture or poor ventilation. This commonly includes areas where mould is present.

What are the health affects?

The Victorian Department of Health advise that mould can cause nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing, wheezing and respiratory infections.

People with severe asthma, allergies, weakened immune systems and lung diseases are more susceptible to these symptoms.

You should always seek medical advice from your GP if you have any concerns about the affects of mould on your health.

How to remove mould in the home?

The first and most important step is to remove the source of moisture. Moisture is the cause of the presence of mould, if this is not rectified at the source, the mould will regenerate.

The second step is to remove the mould. Fabric items such as clothing and soft toys must be washed in a hot cycle in the washing machine. Fabric items that cannot be washed in a washing machine such as couches or carpet should be professionally cleaned. Hard surfaces such as walls and ceilings can be cleaned with a vinegar solution (one part vinegar, three parts water) and microfibre cloth.

The last step is to prevent mould regrowth. Small areas of regrowth can be treated with the same vinegar solution used in the second step. If large areas of regrowth appear, it is recommended that professionals are consulted.

There is a great community guide provided by the Victorian Department of Health on Removing Mould at Home.

Do I need smoke alarms?

Absolutely! Smoke alarms are compulsory safety devices in every residential building. There must be at least one working smoke alarm on or near the ceiling of each story of the home between the sleeping areas and the rest of the home.

Homes constructed before 1 August 1997 must have at least one battery powered smoke alarm per floor of the home while homes constructed after this date must have smoke alarms connected to 240V mains power. 

Where should smoke alarms should be installed?

It is important to always follow manufacturers installation instructions, there are also general recommendations for the installation of smoke alarms. Generally, they should be installed on or near the ceiling. 

On the ceiling means on the center of the ceiling (or at least 300mm from any wall or cornice).

Near the ceiling means 300mm-500mm off the ceiling.

On a cathedral or sloping ceiling the smoke alarm should be 500mm-1500mm of the highest point of the roof.

Maintaining a Smoke Alarm

It is important to familiarize yourself with your operation manual for specific maintenance guidelines.

Check your smoke alarm is working each month by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds, you can also use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust particles that may affect the performance of the smoke alarm.

A general rule of thumb is to replace smoke alarm batteries when we change our clocks for daylight savings. The CFA now recommends lithium battery operated smoke alarms which have a life of 10 years – removing the need to replace batteries every 6 months. They are becoming increasingly common and provide peace of mind that there is enough charge in battery operated detectors and battery backed up hard wired detectors for the life of the detector. 

Smoke alarms must also be replaced in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations which is generally 10 years. 

Requirements for rental properties 

On March 29, 2021, there were changes to obligations of rental providers under Residential Tenancies Act with regards to Smoke Alarms.

  • Annual smoke alarm safety checks are now mandatory, not just recommended.
  • Smoke alarms that are faulty are now an urgent repair.
  • Renters are now to be provided operation manuals for all installed alarms.

Venatic offer smoke alarm inspections to ensure rental providers comply with these new obligations. These inspections include a detailed report including photo and video evidence of testing, operation manuals of all installed smoke alarms, free replacement of expired and faulty units and free ‘urgent repair’ call outs for 12 months from inspection.

As part of any pre-purchase or pre-sale Venatic inspection, your inspector will perform a smoke alarm safety check and attach an operation manual to your report wherever possible.

What do the CFA Recommend?

While it is mandatory to have one smoke alarm per floor of the home between sleeping areas and the rest of the home, the CFA recommends that in addition to this smoke alarms should be installed in all living areas in bedrooms. 

 Legislation requires that all new homes built after May 2014 with multiple smoke alarms, all of the alarms must be interconnected so if one alarm activates, they all do. Beyond this requirement for new homes, the CFA recommends that all smoke alarms should be interconnected.


What to do when your smoke alarm sounds in the event of a fire?

Knowing how to react if a fire occurs in the home can be a matter of life and death. The CFA have put together 6 rules to practice with your family to escape a fire in your home. 

  1. Get down low and stay out of smoke
  2. If it’s safe, close doors on your way out to slow down the spread of fire and smoke. 
  3. Alert other people on your way out of the building 
  4. Get out and stay out 
  5. Meet at a safe place such as the letterbox outside of your home
  6. Call 000 from a mobile or neighbor’s phone. Ask for FIRE

You can find more information on smoke alarms on the CFA website here.


Schedule Your Inspection

Gutters play a vital role when working efficiently by collecting and directing storm water away from the home and preventing damage to the structure of the home.

It is recommended that gutters are regularly inspected and cleaned at least twice yearly.

It is recommended that gutters are inspected and cleaned in early autumn prior to a wet winter period to ensure gutters can effectively direct water away from the home, as well as prior to summer when deciduous trees have lost their foliage, creating a fire hazard.

There are three major concerns with debris accumulating in gutters –  

  • Gutters overflowing into eaves and roof space causing damage.
  • Increased fire risk.
  • Deterioration of gutters.

Your Venatic inspector will inspect the gutters of the home during their inspection and may comment on the overall efficiency of the gutters.

Gutter Overflow

To ensure water does not overflow from gutters back into the structure of the home, overflow measures must be designed to accommodate a 1 in 100-year rain event.

When gutters or downpipes become obstructed or are designed and installed with inadequate drainage provisions, gutters will overflow. No gutter system should allow water to enter the walls or internal structure of the home when overflowing occurs. 

Examples of accepted overflow measures for high fronted gutters include a 10mm gap between the gutter and fascia or a flashing that prevents water ingress behind the fascia as depicted in Figure G1. 

Installation of gutters must be completed by appropriately licensed Plumbers with overflow provisions in accordance with the Plumbing Code of Australia.

diagram of gutters

Fire Risk

Debris left in gutters from the autumn and winter periods present an increased fire risk once dried out in the warmer summer months. 

Flying embers can easily ignite the dry debris in the gutters and spread fire to the roof cavity of the home. The CFA recommend on high fire risk days to check gutters for debris and when fire is in your area to plug downpipes and fill gutters with water. 

When filling gutters with water it is important that gutters are installed to prevent overflow entering the structure of the building.

Deterioration of gutters

If dirt and debris are allowed to build up in gutters, it can lead to the gutters retaining water and remaining moist at the built up areas. This can often lead to an increased rate of deterioration of the gutters, particularly around joins and penetrations. 

Even when gutters appear relatively clear, it is a good idea to flush gutters when inspecting to remove any dirt which may be retaining moisture in the gutter.


Regular inspection or cleaning of gutters can be completed as a DIY project or by hiring a professional. There are a number of licensed plumbers who provide gutter cleaning services in the Gippsland area with industrial vacuums who can also assess and repair gutters as required to ensure they are operating efficiently and without risk to the home should they overflow.

To reduce the amount of debris built up in gutters, appropriately installed Gutter guards can prevent larger debris such as sticks and leaf litter entering the gutter system of the home. Homes with gutter guards installed still need to be inspected and cleaned regularly to ensure they continue to operate effectively, and dust and dirt debris are not causing and obstructions to drainage.

Consideration should be made to having an appropriately qualified roofing plumber install a gutter guard system to your gutters as inappropriate installations often inadvertently cause obstructions to build up.

Schedule Your Inspection


It is a legal requirement for any stored heated water to be kept at a minimum of 60ᵒC to prevent the growth of bacteria such as Legionella. However, storing water at this temperature poses scalding risks to users should the water temperature not be reduced before reaching facets and shower heads. 

For example, it takes as little as one second for a full thickness burn from contact with water at 68ᵒC while if the temperature was reduced to 50ᵒC it takes 5 minutes. This risk can be minimised by installing tempering valves in your home.

The recommended bathing temperature is 37-38ᵒC, this should also be considered as a maximum temperature for young children. 

As part of your Venatic inspection, your inspector will measure the temperature from the outlets in the bathroom areas of the home and report on any temperatures over 50ᵒC with a recommendation to seek further advice from an appropriately qualified plumbing contractor. While your system may have been installed in line with regulations at the time of installation and remains compliance, it is worth considering improvements to increase the safety of your home. 

Water supplied to kitchen and laundries is not required to be reduced as appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines may require hotter temperatures to operate efficiently. 

The Regulations 

The Plumbing Code of Australia sets standards that aim to protect residents from illness caused by bacteria such as Legionella while also significantly reducing the risk of scalding.

As mentioned above, all stored heated water must be stored at above 60ᵒC to prevent the growth of bacteria.

Tempering valves are now required for all new builds, bathroom and ensuite renovations to reduce the delivery temperature to a maximum of 50ᵒC for personal hygiene purposes (typically in bathroom areas). It is not a requirement for tempering valves to be installed during replacement of a hot water service or replacement of parts of a hot water service.

For early childhood centres, schools, nursing homes and similar facilities for young, aged, sick or disabled persons the delivery temperature for personal hygiene purposes must not exceed 45ᵒC and be controlled by a thermostatic mixing valve.

Tempering Valves and Thermostatic Mixing Valves 

 Tempering Valves are typically found in the home as a means of reducing the temperature of stored water. 

Thermostatic Mixing Valves are similar in design and can be found in residential settings however, they are more typically found in commercial environments as they are more accurate (within 1ᵒC) and respond more quickly to variations in temperature and pressure. 

These valves can be installed at the water heater itself or can be installed further downstream to reduce the water temperature in specific areas of the home.

Instant/Continuous Flow Hot Water Heaters

As instant hot water heaters do not store heated water, there is no requirement to heat the water above 60 . 

Water heaters complying with AS 3498 are designed with a maximum temperature of 50 C and do not require further tempering. It is worth noting that if the entire home is supplied for this unit, the kitchen and laundry temperature of 50 C may not be appropriate for the appliances in the home. 

Continuous flow water heaters with electronic temperature control are typically supplied with a set default maximum delivery temperature of 55 C or 60 C, if this default setting cannot be reduced to 50 C, installation of a Tempering Valve may be necessary. Alternatively, if the unit is supplied with a set default maximum delivery temperature of  C, it must be marked as such by the manufacturer.

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