There are two main types of damages that can occur to a house. The first one is a case of Wear & Tear and the second is a Defect. It is expected that during the occupancy of a house, there will be some amount of damage done to the building’s fixtures, furniture and fittings, etc. However, the nature in which these damages occur needs to be clear to homeowners, so they are aware of which can be categorized as a Wear & tear and a defect before attempting/requesting repairs.
A defect is a form of damage that can be visible to homeowners. Defects are mostly flaws in the materials of the home such as faulty electrical wiring hiding behind the walls or a well-hidden termite or mold problem due to poor roofing designs. Such damages will not be noticeable at first, but after some time they may appear.
There are two types of defects; latent and patent defects. According to Suttling (2021), latent defects are flaws that are not visible and cannot be found by reasonable inspection during or in completion of construction. Whereas, patent defects are flaws that can be easily identified during regular inspection in the course of construction.
Defects may occur due to the following factors:
- Poor workmanship
- Changes of use
- Poor design
- Environmental influences
A defect being a flaw in a building/property, can be replaced or repaired. Some defects may easily be fixed while others will take longer due to availability of manpower and materials in accordance to the nature of the defect. For example, a roof leakage will require equipment such as a hydraulic crane (cherry picker) if this is unavailable, scaffolding will need to be erected, which will cause the repairs to take much longer. This also depends on the availability of materials, for example, a flooring defect, if the materials required to fix this are not available, repairs will be delayed.
A defect is a flaw in the structure of the home either due to the production stages of the materials used or poor handling of materials during construction. However, most often, defects can be repaired once identified.