A property is only as stable and solid as its foundations – that’s pure common sense. So if something goes wrong down under, like the stumps that support it start to rot, crack or sink, it could wreak havoc with the integrity of the whole structure. If it’s not dealt with soon by specialist restumpers or reblockers, it can be a nightmare for any homeowner. But for investors in rental properties, it can be a total disaster. Baxton Property Management outlines the problems it can cause for the property investment sector, in a guest blog for Restumping Melbourne.
Why are Rental Properties Vulnerable?
Rental property is particularly vulnerable, as any problems with the structure not only impact owners in terms of the costs of repairs and possible rebuilding, but also in the potential loss of rental income that is at the very core of their ROI. In addition, as they do not occupy the premises themselves, the chances are strong that the problem will not be identified before the damage has become fairly advanced. There is also the possibility of injury to tenants, or damage to their property, should the problem not be addressed timeously.
It therefore becomes vital that investment property owners and their property managers become alert to the signs of the stumps that support the foundation starting to rot, crack or sink, both at the purchase stage, and in the course of routine property inspections. Routine checks of stump condition are also recommended. This involves digging down next to any accessible ones to see whether there are signs of deterioration, and is certainly necessary before undertaking any renovations.
This is essential where the property has wooden floors, as they are highly likely to rest on wooden stumps. These were popular in older buildings in Australia, but have a tendency to fall victim after a couple of decades to mould, rot, or termite infestation. However, concrete and steel stumps are also not impervious to deterioration because of moisture and rust.
Signs that Restumping may be Necessary
At first it is not so bad. A tenant might notice that if they drop a bottle, or anything round on the floor, it rolls towards one particular side of the room. Or they might hear some of the floorboards starting to creak under their feet. These could be early signs that the stumps which support the whole house could be starting to show their age. But the tenant may not immediately see the importance of this in terms of the structural integrity of a building they occupy, but do not own. Their reaction might simply be to start looking for another rental.
If they stay, they might notice it’s getting harder to close windows or doors, or see gaps under the skirting boards as the floor starts to sink. Then fine cracks start to appear in the plaster and, later, in the walls themselves. It’s a scary situation, and quite rightly so, as changes in the base can lead to structural damage to the building with serious consequences which could end with your rental property collapsing.
Solving the problem
However, there is a solution. Specialist companies have restumping, or reblocking, down to a fine art, and can solve the problem by replacing the stumps that are starting to fail. To accomplish the task, the house is lifted with a powerful jack in the area which needs repair, the offending stumps are removed, and are replaced with new and stronger ones. The earlier the signs are noticed and action is taken, the simpler the job and the more likelihood of a positive outcome. The longer the problem is left unresolved, the greater the chance of structural damage and the need for more complex, lengthy and costly solutions.
As the future of your rental property rests (quite literally) on the stability of the stumps that support it, it is vital to make sure they don’t let you, your property and your investment down. Working with a specialist property management service like Baxton, makes managing your property and keeping an eye on repairs and maintenance a lot easier. They also have a wide database of reliable contractors like Restumping Melbourne, developed through a century of collective service in this sector.
Guest Author: Baxton Property Management