Property Defects

Property Defects

Defects analysis is a specialised form of inspection to identify the source and cause of a defect affecting a property.

In recent years, Kelleher & Associates have seen a marked increase in the number of clients requesting this service. For a reasonable fee, one of our experienced surveyors will visit the property and carry out a visual inspection of the defect, record all necessary information including photographs and measurements and provide a detailed report shortly after.

In the majority of cases, we will be able to provide recommendations to remedy the defect. For the remainder of cases, we recommend further investigations in the form of opening up works to be carried out. In the case of properties affected by cracking, it may be necessary to carry out monitoring over a prolonged period, usually 12 – 18 months.

The following are common list of property defects which we are regularly asked to assess and report on:

  1. Cracking affecting the interior and exterior of properties.
  2. Rising damp and damp problems generally.
  3. Water ingress.
  4. Condensation.

We have compiled four cases studies with accompanying photographs of recent defects analysis cases which we have been involved in.

Case Study 1 - Cracking

This example the Client engaged us to carry out monitoring of cracking that had appeared on the interior and exterior of the property. The accompanying photographs are a sample of the cracking. In total 11 tell-tales were fitted internally and externally. Readings were taken four times over the course of 12 months. Following the completion of the monitoring period it was concluded that despite very minor differences noted at a number of monitoring points, no significant increase in the width of the cracking had occurred.

It was recommended that all internal cracking be filled during the redecoration of the property.

Case Study 2 - Rising damp

We frequently encounter rising damp while carrying our Pre-Purchase Surveys on behalf of clients. The problem is most common in older properties, particularly in poorly constructed extensions. In the case of this property, rising damp was affecting the kitchen walls to the left and right hand side of the internal door to the adjoining dining room area. It is possible that a damaged rainwater downpipe was contributing to the dampness to the left hand side of the door, however the source of the damp to the right hand side is more than likely the absence of a damp proof membrane which would not be uncommon in a property of this age.

We recommended that opening up works be carried out by a competent building contractor to establish the source of the damp ingress. Following this, all necessary remedial works should be carried out including the treatment and elimination of the rising damp issue and the replacement of all damaged plasterwork.

Case Study 3 - Condensation

In this example, our Client was concerned about high levels of staining and mould to the interior of his apartment.

Previous tenants terminated their leases due to the on-going condensation problems.

Apartments constructed within the last 10 years are frequently similarly affected. Our recommendations were as follows:

  1. An extractor fan should be fitted over the cooker hood and ducted to the exterior.
  2. Poor levels of heating in both bedrooms is contributing to the condensation staining affecting the walls. The main bathroom is similarly poorly heated, with a wall mounted electric blow heater the only source of heating. A competent heating contractor should be engaged to assess the heating system throughout the apartment and to carry out remedial works as required.
  3. A timer overrun should be fitted the main bathroom fan to ensure that it continues to operate for 15 minutes after the light has been turned off.
  4. The length of the extractor fan ducting serving the main bathroom and the ensuite bathroom off bedroom 1 is excessive. Additionally, no external wall vent has been fitted for the ensuite ducting. Horizontal ducting runs of this length cause vented, moisture laden warm air to condense, form water droplets and stagnate in pools at the base of the duct. In the case of the ensuite bathroom, in order to reduce the length of the ducting, a permanent wall vent should be fitted on the exterior of the apartment gable wall and the extractor fan ducted to this vent. Permission should be sought from the property management company to carry out this work.
  5. A dehumidifier should be located in the hallway outside both bedrooms and allowed to operate on a continuous basis while the apartment is unoccupied. When occupation of the apartment resumes, a de-humidifier should be allowed to operate when the apartment is unoccupied or for the normal working hours of the day on an on-going basis. All stained walls should be thoroughly disinfected with a fungicidal wash to kill all mould.

Case Study 4 - Water ingress

In this example, our Client contacted us following serious on-going water ingress problems which have affected the interior of a duplex style apartment. Water ingress had affected the interior of the property, most seriously a first floor room below and behind the second floor balcony area. The water ingress caused serious damage to an area of the ceiling in this room to the extent that the ceiling was at risk of collapsing. Additional water ingress staining to varying degrees has affected other wall and ceiling areas, particularly in the area of the stairwell.

Because the development was not covered by Home Bond or Premier Guarantee a claim was made through our Client’s home insurance policy for repair works to be carried out to the second floor flat roof area and to replace all damaged plasterboard.


We provide Property Defects Analysis in Dublin, Galway, Limerick and the surrounding counties. To book your Property Defects Analysis simply fill in the form below or phone us in Dublin on 01 6856935 or Galway on 091-399935.

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