GTA Inspectors were called to make an inspection at a high end villa in Dubai that has been bought as a resale. The new owner decided to do a massive fit out job through a private contractor with very expensive finishing material in every inch of the villa. The videos below give a small part of the miss discovered during the inspection !
The photos above were taken during an inspection completed this week in a residential 10 story building in Al Warqaa, Dubai.
The photos are among many more tat represent a lack of air tightness and a major source of moisture intrusion into the building, where most "through penetrations" found to be missing a proper fire proofing and air seal caulking or devices.
This is where many of the apartments are suffering from wall damages, mold formation, and a major AC condensation issues.
Images from a recent "Indoor Air Quality" inspection performed by GTA Inspectors in the UAE. The test used is called "Blower Door Test".
A blower door is a powerful fan that a trained energy professional temporarily mounts into the frame of an exterior doorway in your home. After calibrating the device, the fan pulls air out of the house, lowering the air pressure inside. The higher outside air pressure then flows in through all unsealed gaps, cracks and openings such as gaps, cracks, or wiring penetrations, which is checked through a smoke test. These penetrations represents a source of air leak and moisture penetration that causes many issues, including but not limited to damages to walls, ceiling and furniture, mold formation and energy waste
During a high end residential apartment inspection today, our engineer observed and reported on this major defect! On what the owner was thinking that it is water splashes from floors above, the reality was a "broken seal" of the double glazed window panel that is causing water condensation between the two layers of the glass (double glazing). This defect cannot be repaired, and the entire window panel has to be replaced, which is very costly.
#engineer #homeinspection #glazing
When we think of air quality, people mostly think of the outside world, smog from cars and industry or the fresh air of woods. However, 90% of our daily life is spent indoors: our home, workplace, public buildings and schools. Indoor quality is one of the most important components of well-being, feeling comfortable in a room. Besides, bad air quality has implications on your productivity and may even harm your health. The Volatile organic components (VOC) may be the least known.
TVOCS affects the wellbeing, feeling comfortable and healthTVOCs affect your sense off wellbeing and if you feel comfortable inside a building. Some VOC’s are even bad for health. Some VOCs are more harmful than others. If a TVOC is harmful also depend on factors as level of exposure and length of time being exposed. Besides, some people -especially children and elderly people- have a higher sensibility then others. Immediate symptoms that some people have experienced soon after exposure to VOCs are eye and respiratory tract irritation, headaches, dizziness, visual disorders and memory impairment. An example: some people get immediately a headache from being in a room which is just painted. Others may find the smell just uncomfortable.
TVOCs can cause:
What is TVOC?
What is TVOC? TVOC means Total Volatile Organic compounds. Volatile organic compounds are organic chemicals that become a gas at room temperature. There are thousands of VOCs and a multiple of VOC’s are at the same time present. Therefore, the Total VOC is used at most times: measuring the concentration of the total of VOC’s This is easier and less expensive then measuring individual VOC’s.
Some examples of VOC’s are:
VOC in the outside world Vehicle exhaust and industry pollution may also cause bad indoor air quality when the polluted air can enter the building due to open windows or air condition that doesn’t work properly. Especially when the building stands in congested or industrial areas.
Are all VOC’s harmful? “EPA’s Total Exposure Assessment Methodology (TEAM) studies found levels of about a dozen common organic pollutants to be 2 to 5 times higher inside homes than outside, regardless of whether the homes were located in rural or highly industrial areas. Additional TEAM studies indicate that while people are using products containing organic chemicals, they can expose themselves and others to very high pollutant levels, and elevated concentrations can persist in the air long after the activity is completed.” (What are volatile organic compounds (VOCs)?, EPA, https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/what-are-volatile-organic-compounds-vocs)
TVOC can be measured in micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) of air (or milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3), parts per million (ppm) or parts per billion (ppb)). The table below shows that less than 0.3 mg/m3 are considered low TVOC concentration levels. And levels between 0.3 mg/m3 to 0.5 mg/m3 are acceptable.
TVOC Level mg/m3Level of Concern
Less than 0.3 mg/m3Low
0.3 to 0.5 mg/m3Acceptable
0.5 to 1 mg/m3Marginal
1 to 3 mg/m3High
TVOC Level mg/m3 and Level of ConcernThe ASN Airmex measures the TVOC in your building, for a safe and comfortable indoor air quality
Videos above is taken at a Pre-Handover Inspection of a Luxury Villa in Dubai. Our inspector was able to reveal a loose pipes connection through our proprietary pressurized testing method. Please make sure you get your properties inspected by a professional who know what to look for.
Termite infestation is a major problem and when it start appearing indoors, it means the it is well established in the soil and foundation around the property. It definitely can be treated and there are specialized pest control companies in Dubai that can do that. However, treatment involves drilling holes in the tiles and around the perimeter of the villa, injecting some sorts of pesticides and then filling the holes with cement. This can be successful from first attempt but might also need to be repeated.
The photo below is from a recent inspection of a property. Although it doesn’t conclude that there is structural damage, possible hidden damage may exist. This was very close to the tub and external wall, which is expected as Termite love tub traps.
When you bought your first house, you likely felt excitement with a hint of nervousness and maybe you even had a “What have I gotten myself into?” kind of moment. However, those emotions passed and you settled in and made that house your home. Whether you’ve stayed in this home for a couple of years or a couple of decades, when you decide it’s time to sell, you might experience a very similar emotional roller coaster, especially in today’s housing market. To ease your stress, here are 10 awesome real estate tips that will help you get started and possibly even take some of the emotion out of the ride.
Published On March 14, 2021 by Alison Bentley
Updated on March 30th, 2021
Tip #1 Find the perfect listing agent
Probably the best real estate tip there is: find a dedicated, responsive, and knowledgeable real estate agent – someone you can trust to guide you through every step of selling your home. A good seller’s agent will make informed recommendations about a listing price, advise you on which repairs will help you sell your home, and make recommendations about decluttering, staging, and maximizing your curb appeal.
A good seller’s agent shines the most when it comes time to negotiate an offer. The goal is to make sure you earn top dollar for your house and to sell it quickly. This process starts by honing in on the right listing price.
Tip #2 Determine the best time to list your home
Reliable real estate wisdom suggests that spring into summer is when most people start hunting for a new house. Buyers will typically research properties online months before touring their first home in person. This way they can understand how much house they can afford in neighborhoods that appeal to them most.
Usually, the end of March or the beginning of April is considered the start of homebuying season. However, this year’s homebuying season seems to have hit early as nearly half the homes listed mid-January into February went under contract in under two weeks. Meaning we are currently in a seller’s market and you don’t have to wait to fetch top dollar for your home.
Tip #3 Professional photography and 3D walkthroughs are key
Many real estate agents now offer 3D tours of their listings. Virtual walkthroughs are a massive advantage for both buyers and sellers. Buyers can “shop” any time of the day or night, and sellers can “show” their house 24/7. It also cuts down on showings to only the serious buyers. If a buyer is genuinely interested, they will view the virtual walkthrough (probably several times) and then request a showing.
Professional photography is another great option to show your home in its best light.. Homes listed with high-quality, professional images are known to sell quicker and for more money. A professional real estate photographer will capture each room at the best angle, and highlight its best features. You can also request photos shot at dusk with both interior and exterior lights shining. It’s all about painting those special pictures in your buyer’s mind.
If you’re selling a luxury listing with a view or large plot of land, consider drone photography to fully capture everything your property has to offer.
Tip #4 Handle the repairs from a pre-listing home inspection
It might be tempting to put off small repairs and let the next owner handle them. Unfortunately, if you list a house with evident and necessary repairs, prospective buyers will also scrutinize your property more closely for larger deferred maintenance issues. If you want to be proactive, one of the best real estate tips for selling your home is setting up a pre-listing home inspection.
When you choose to fix everything the inspector finds before you list your house, you gain valuable peace of mind during the closing process. Your buyer will most likely want their own inspection as part of the sales contract, but when that inspector finds everything is in perfect order, your buyer will have confidence in the sale.
Tip #5 Boost your curb appeal
It may feel counterintuitive to work on the outside of your home as you get ready to sell. But when you keep up with lawn maintenance, pull weeds, fix the fence, power-wash the siding, and clean up the cobwebs, your property will stand out and really “wow” prospective buyers.
Think back to the last time you drove around looking at houses for sale. If the house looked like it was in rough shape on the outside, most of the time, you probably didn’t bother to request a showing. Good curb appeal will draw buyers into your home. They will start to envision themselves playing basketball, grilling in the backyard, or relaxing on the porch. You want to help buyers fall in love with your house and curb appeal will help you do that.
Tip #6 Declutter… and then declutter some more
It’s no secret, we all accumulate stuff. However, you want potential buyers to be looking at your home, not your belongings. So another great real estate tip is to have your home appear move-in ready so homebuyers can see themselves – and their things – in your space. To do this, you’ll need to be relentless about removing as many personal items as possible and commit to a minimalist lifestyle, at least until you go under contract on your house.
Of course, you have items you use daily and weekly. Keep those accessible but out of sight if you can. Remove anything seasonal, like decorations, extra blankets, or anything you won’t use for months. Renting a storage unit or on-site storage container could be helpful and allow you to eliminate extra furniture and other items from your home until you move into your new space. It’s all about perception. A house with minimal furniture, unstuffed closets, tasteful artwork, and a general lack of surface clutter will look clean, spacious, and appealing.
Tip #7 Stage your home
One of the most important real estate tips is staging your home. Key staging tactics involve placing furniture and throw pillows invitingly. You can also set a dining room or kitchen table. And placing a vase or two of fresh flowers around the home is a nice touch. The purpose of staging is to show buyers the home’s potential. You want all the main rooms – kitchen, dining room, living room, bathrooms, and master bedroom – to create the feeling that they are already home.
Tip #8 Always be ready for a showing
When you list your home, you could get calls from agents within hours regarding potential buyers who want to see your home. It’s easier to handle those calls if you do your best to keep your home “show ready.” Of course, that involves keeping the home clean at a minimum. Before you list the house, do a good deep cleaning in every room.
Be sure to give extra attention to air vents and ductwork by cleaning out the dust and any debris stuck in the vent. Dust all remaining furniture and artwork. Wash the windows and glass doors so they sparkle, and run the vacuum to help refresh the carpets.
Finally, use an odor remover to eliminate any pet odors or lingering smells from last night’s dinner. You can make an incredibly positive impression if the only scent a buyer remembers is the smell of fresh-baked cookies or fresh flowers.
Tip #9 Accommodate requests for last-minute showings
Unfortunately, buyers are not always available to see the home when it’s most convenient for you. Here’s a list so you can easily clean up and be out of the house in 20 minutes.
And real estate tip #10 Respond to offers in a timely manner
Be respectful of all reasonable offers. You know what price you’ll accept and on what terms, including what you’d be willing to negotiate on if asked. Most contracts expect a response within 48 hours, but why wait? Respond with a counteroffer or acceptance as soon as a good offer comes in.
Selling your first house is not easy. But with these 10 real estate tips, moving on to the next chapter in your life can be just as exciting.
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