Building inspections are intended to spot potential problems so that remedial action can be taken before a catastrophic failure occurs. This article discusses some of the red flags you should look for in an inspection report of the garage of a home that you are about to buy.
Wrong Bearing Points
Roof trusses are supposed to transfer the weight of the roof to specific sections of the home, such as the weight-bearing exterior walls. You should be concerned when the building inspection report reveals that the trusses are resting on interior walls of the building. Such a roof can easily collapse because the interior walls aren't designed to bear such a heavy load. Avoid buying a home with such an attached garage in case the previous owner can't fix the problem.
You should also pay attention to the section of the report that refers to the type of fasteners that were used at the connection points of the roof trusses of that garage. Some types of fasteners, such as deck screws, were not designed to have any significant shear resistance. This is because deck screws are intended to resist being pulled out once they have been driven into a surface. However, roofs need fasteners with strong shear resistance, such as joist hangers. The massive forces acting on the roof will not cut such screws. The presence of inadequate fasteners shows that the garage roof is likely to collapse in case large forces, such as a strong wind or snow-load, bear down on it.
Wrong Fastener Installation Site
Another red flag that you should be wary of is the observation that the truss fasteners were installed at the wrong place, such as through drywall. Drywall isn't strong enough to withstand any pressure exerted on it by the weight of the garage roof. The fasteners are therefore likely to be dislodged or ripped out when there is a heavy load of snow on that roof. This can cause the roof to collapse.
Roof truss systems are engineered to handle the loads that will be acting on them after installation. Any change, such as cutting some trusses, should therefore be evaluated by a structural engineer so that it is confirmed that the truss system can still perform according to the design specifications. Don't buy the house in case the inspection report reveals that the trusses were altered without the involvement of an appropriate engineer.
As you can see, a building inspection can save you from needless expenses and inconveniences later on after you have purchased a residential property. It is therefore prudent for you to hire a provider of building inspection services so that you can make an informed decision after reading the inspection report.