ComSpec Inspect (Pty) Ltd

Your one stop building inspection consultancy


The PR70 ROTOR blade of a helicopter has a thin outer stainless steel sheet with an inner honey comb aluminium core for stability. The image of rotor blade with an impact scar and just below that the yellow area indicating the delaminating. Further down one can see the honeycomb pattern formed by the inner core inside the blades body giving a feeling of looking through the outer stainless steel sheeting which is not the case but indicates that there are no delimitation in this area.

Slide 1 - Clearly visible in dark blue is the dripping area of the water leak onto the ceiling after the contractor claimed that it was repaired. After these photos he wasn't argumentative anymore and the dispute was sorted.

Slide 2 - The presence of moisture in laminated wooden flooring.

Slide 3 - Is the result of a leaking waterline in a brick wall.

Slide 4 - Is the result of a parapet wall not properly sealed and moisture penetration caused major blistering of the paint.


A good quality infrared camera will detect a crack in a super structure wall previously repaired. The camera creates an image from the 43 000 temperature sensing points and displays it as a picture. 

Valleys of tiled roofs are 90% of the time the reason for leaks, the underlying sheet channel gets blocked with broken tile corners, leaves and twigs, this builds up and with one decent down poor and the water will overflow the edge of the channel ending up on the ceiling. Straight forward and simple to rectify with membrane and matching colour acrylic epoxy paint followed by a maintenance cote every 3 to 5 years.

This is a common occurrence especially on newly build housed after about 3 to 5 years the paving settles, sometimes pulling away from the wall creating a gap for easy penetration, every time the irrigation is activated or during rainy periods. The main function of the paving to keep excess moisture away from the foundations is failing, the crack in the slide above is a primary example of a the result from excess water around the foundation. Clean the gap and fill it with a expansion joint sealer that does not harden when it sets this will allow the paving to move independently from the foundation walls and remain sealed.

Porcelain tiles was used as coping tiles for aesthetic value a normal practice in the building industry, due to the incorrect installation (but joining the tiles) there are no gap left for thermal expansion the only way is upward forcing, The adhesion cannot withstand this force and gave away. Although the tile has a 0% water absorption rating contractors tend to forget about thermal expansion a minimum gap is 4mm on a 450 to 500mm tile. The consequences are twofold, a fourteen kg tile onto somebody’s head and water ingress into the parapet wall damaging paint and plaster.

An excellent example of mud cracking on external walls that were left unattended for far too long the repair cost of this wall is 4 fold to normal preparation and painting. #1 every crack needs to be scratched out to form a “V” grove either by hand or a baby angle grinder works well. #2 Sand down the entire wall to remove all old and blistered paint. #3 Wash the wall with a pressure cleaner not higher than 3 bar if patches of the plaster are washed off this is completely normal and are the whole idea behind the pressure washer, you can end up replacing up to 30% of the plaster on that wall. #4 Walls need to be touch dry to repair with a plaster skimmer for a fine smooth surface #5 Wait until the wall has dried out best yet to check with a moisture analyser. (could be rented). Then apply 2 coats of a bonding liquid that will penetrate the plaster (transparent light blue in colour) #6 Apply good quality exterior wall paint of your choice. There are no short cuts in repairing this wall it is a costly and labour intensive exercise the best method is prevention.

A good indication of roof tiles that has not been maintained for the past 50 odd years. With every rain fall water penetrates into the cement tile and add to the chemical breakdown of the cement tile. Currently this roof tiles are so week they are beyond repair. Nearly every 3rd tile are cracked and repaired with binding wire, one cannot even walk on this roof you will fall through. Rule of thumb a cement tile roof need to be painted 10 - 12 years after with a follow-up maintenance cote every 5 - 7 years depending on the supplier specification. One other resultant defect is the trusses and battens that rotted and has to be replaced.