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Buying a property is a dream come true for many, but it can soon turn into a nightmare if you slip up on its maintenance. While owners are mostly concerned about a broken tile or a tap that does not work, many overlook the more serious defects like dangerous wiring, leaking water or sewage pipes, and condensation traps.
Faulty electrical wiring can wreak havoc, and homeowners should remain alert about the threats. Some of the signs of dodgy electrical wiring in the walls are breakers and fuses that go out regularly. Dimming and flickering lights are also warning signs. Buzzing, charred, and discolored outlets and switches should also make you cautious and reach out for the technicians. An acrid burning smell with no visible spark or fire should also be perceived as a major threat.
Moisture is the enemy of many construction materials affecting the walls and ceilings. Repeated exposure to moisture can cause the paint to eventually peel. Fixing the problem includes addressing the seepage issue before repairing the wall or ceiling surface.
Another common problem is condensation which is caused when water vapor comes into contact with cold surfaces and condenses to form dampness or water droplets. Condensation is most likely to appear on windows, the colder parts of walls, around external door and window openings, and where ceilings and floors meet with outer walls. Effective ventilation and air circulation hold the key to stopping this menace.
Since homeowners are not often technically qualified to check all the snags that may be inherent in a building, it may be wise to employ a property inspector. He can study the flaws in the building and suggest ways to plug them. He can also look at how effective the fire preventive mechanisms are in the building. There have been suggestions that the UAE government should make property inspection mandatory for all new property handovers.
• Faulty wiring is a major flaw in buildings which can cause great damage
• Moisture in the walls and ceilings is a common complaint of homeowners
• One can employ a property inspector before taking possession of a house
Source: S. Dhar, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer