How Water Can Damage Your Home

high water

Living in Brisbane subjects you to severe weather conditions as what can be expected of living in a country with a sub-tropical climate. It’s no longer new to local residents to experience heavy rainfall every year that causes long-term damages to homes and other structures. Read more

How Important is Hiring a Pool Safety Inspector?

Pool Safety

The primary role of a pool safety inspector is to find out whether pools are compliant with the standards or not. They will issue a pool safety certificate to pools that are compliant. On the other hand, if the pool failed to meet the standards, the inspectors will issue a nonconformity notice.

Consult an Inspector

You can consult an inspector if you need advice about your pool and its fencing. If possible, try to get a few quotes in order to get the best service at a reasonable, if not cheaper, price.

Just so you are aware, some inspectors may carry out minor repairs such as latch replacement or adjustment and removing climbable objects.

Finding a reliable pool safety inspector

One of your best options is to find pool safety inspectors online. There you can choose from a list of safety inspectors around your area.

You can also find an inspector within your local government. It is their obligation to provide a pool safety inspection service when requested.

What happens when you are issued with a non-conformity notice?

If you feel like the non-conformity notice served to you is a mistake, you can appeal through the Building and Development Dispute Resolution Committee. To find out how to lodge an appeal, call 1800 804 833.

On the other hand, if you feel like the inspector is being negligent or is not doing their job right, you can make a complaint against them by completing a Complaint form (Form 1) so they can be investigated and disciplinary actions will be imposed when necessary.

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Tips For A Child-Friendly Property

Your home is the place for keeping the entire family comfortable and protected. Especially for the little ones, it is where they spend most of their time – playing in the living room, running around the backyard, helping mum in the kitchen. This makes it very important that your house is always clean and well-maintained. Ignoring damages and leaving the place too cluttered and untidy can be hazardous to both your child’s health and safety.

As a parent, it is your responsibility to make sure that necessary steps are taken so that children get to enjoy a clean surrounding and a safe environment both for play and rest. Here are some of the tips that we share with our clients at Twinspectors Building and Pest Inspections about keeping homes safe for the little ones:

Avoiding Falls

Children are energetic individuals and it is most likely that they will be constantly on the move, even jumping and running around the house. For this reason, always pay attention to the surfaces around your home; make sure that there aren’t chipped tiles or damaged floorboards that may cause injury.

Windows should be properly locked, especially windows in the upper floors. Window screens can be used to prevent access, and latches can be installed to prevent the windows from being opened completely. Furniture, pots and other objects should be kept away from windows to avoid children from using them to climb up the windows.

Electrical Safety

Electrical wires and cords must be properly secured to avoid children from tripping or playing with them. Any worn cords should be replaced and damaged electrical wires should be repaired.

A socket must not be easily accessible to children as it can cause electrocution if they accidentally play with it and insert their finger or other objects into the socket.

Safety in the Bathroom

Take care that children don’t play or run inside the bathroom, especially when the floor is slippery as this can cause accidents. If you are cleaning the bathroom and using chemicals, make sure your child is unable to enter the area without your supervision. Installation of safety taps that children can’t turn on is ideal, otherwise, hot and cold taps should be labelled accordingly.

Exposure to Pests and Allergens

If your child has allergies, be careful with the allergens that can be found in your surroundings. For seasonal allergies, close your windows and prevent children from going outside where they may have increased exposure to pollen.

Have your home inspected and treated for pest infestations, such as bird mites, cockroaches, termites and cockroaches that could cause illnesses and compromise the health of your children and the entire family.

Other Precautions

  • Do not leave chemical products lying around. Any substances and items that can cause health hazards should be kept secured and out of reach.
  • Smoke detectors must be installed for general safety purposes.
  • If you have a pool inside your property, be sure that you are strictly complying with the safety laws regarding the construction and ownership of a pool.

You can also have our team from Twinspectors Building and Pest Inspections assist you with pool inspections and other building regulations that need to be followed to ensure the safety of your children.

Complying With The Pool Safety Standards

Having a pool in your own backyard sounds a lot of fun, but property owners and investors must also be aware that there are responsibilities that come with owning a pool. The first step is to understand the pool safety law in Queensland and second, getting your pool listed in the official pool safety register by making sure you comply with all the guidelines for operating a pool.

Prior to the introduction of the pool safety standards, the number of drowning incidents involving children was alarming. The aim of the pool safety law is to reduce the incidents and ensure that enjoying the pool will remain safe not only for children but for the entire family and other users of the pool.

Pool Safety Certificate for Homeowners with a Backyard Pool

If you own a pool in your residential property, your pool must already be included in the pool safety register. You must also be able to comply with the updated pool safety standards by 30 November 2015 to avoid fines and to obtain a certificate. Property owners who are planning to build a pool must likewise comply with the safety guidelines.

Pool Safety Certificate for Rental Properties

For landlords and lessors, a pool safety certificate needs to be acquired before sealing a contract with a tenant. It will be the landlord’s responsibility to make sure that the property meets the standards for healthy and safe habitation, including compliance with the pool safety regulations. Our team at Twinspectors Building and Pest Inspections can assist you in complying with the safety law and acquiring a certificate.

Properties for Sale

Similar to rental properties, properties that are being sold are the responsibility of the sellers. The seller should ensure that if a pool exists on a property, it complies with the pool safety standards and a certificate is issued as a supporting document. However, in the event that a pool safety certificate cannot be obtained and provided by the seller, a notice of no pool safety certificate must be issued by the seller. The existence of such notice will pass on to the buyer or new owner the responsibility of obtaining a certificate, which will be required within 90 days of settlement.

Making Your Pool Compliant with the Safety Standards

To be able to obtain a pool safety certificate, you must first comply with the safety regulations. The guidelines included in the pool safety law are mostly very basic, such as:

  • The use of resuscitation signs that must be visible from the pool area;
  • Pool gates must have a self-close and self-latch design, and the swing should be away from the pool area;
  • Fences should be high enough and non-climbable;
  • Objects that might allow climbing, including tree branches and water pump, must not be located near the fences.

There are also specific standard measurements for the fence height, fence gaps, door latch and distance of climbable objects. Our pool safety inspectors at Twinspectors Building and Pest Inspections can help you identify specific areas that will require remedial work to make your pool compliant with the safety standards.

What You Need To Know About Owning A House With A Pool

Owning a property with a pool is an exciting thought for many house hunters in Australia. And why not? A pool is not only a beautiful addition to your outdoor space; it also provides a venue for family fun and recreation. It allows you to spend your time with family and friends by the water all year round, without even the need of leaving your own lot.

However, having a property with a pool also requires the owner to ensure that the pool passes all safety standards set by the state. Many of the clients we’ve worked with at Twinspectors hire our services for this purpose – to help them ensure that the pool in their lot is safe for use.

Why and How Pool Inspections are Conducted

Whether you’re buying, selling or leasing a property with a pool, it is required that you obtain a pool safety certificate. Acquiring this certificate indicates that you can operate a pool that is compliant with the safety laws of Australia. For landlords and sellers, obtaining the pool safety certificate is a necessity prior to sealing a contract.

The pool safety certificate is issued by a licensed inspector, after a complete inspection of the pool. If your property is unable to meet the guidelines, you will be given a period of days to complete the remedial work and ensure that you comply with the safety standards. After this, another pool inspection will be conducted before a certificate is released.

Ensuring that You Meet the Pool Safety Requirements

At Twinspectors, we commonly help swimming pool owners determine whether or not there are changes needed to be made to their property so they can obtain the safety certificate. As part of the guideline, here are some of the things that inspectors will be looking at:

  • Safety signs The pool area should have the safety signs visible to all individuals in the area. Even persons in the pool should be able to clearly see the resuscitation signs from all views.
  • Swimming pool fences Pools must have surrounding fences, so that no one can directly access the area without a barrier. The height of the fence must be at least 1.2 metres and if there are gaps in the fence, they must be 100mm or less.
  • Pool gates To avoid the hazards of children running into the pool area accidentally, the gates must swing out from the pool area. They should also be able to close and latch by themselves.
  • Climbable objects Any climbable object located near the pool fences should be removed, or kept at a distance of at least 900mm. Branches that are located near the pool fence and the pool area must also be cleared.
  • Doors No door from the house can open directly on to the pool area. The pool area must be secured with a fence and a separate gate.

Things To Consider Before Building A Pool

A swimming pool is perhaps one of the most exciting additions to your property. Especially during the warmer months, what fun it would be to just go out into your backyard and have a cool splash? Exciting, isn’t it? Perhaps this is one of the reasons why many property owners often inquire from our staff at Twinspectors about the requirements of building a pool.

However, if you are planning to have a pool built, know that there are considerations you have to make. Here’s a checklist of the things you need to keep in mind when planning to build a pool:

Why Are You Building A Pool?

For any building or structure – including pools – the function is the most important point to think about when planning your design. Ask yourself, what purpose will your pool serve? Is it for the children to enjoy their weekends? A place to keep the family physically active? An area for hosting parties and entertainment?

Once you have figured this out, then you can determine where the pool will be best located, as well as its dimensions and its possible overall look. As the modern architectural principle says, “form follows function”, so always consider why you are building a pool before everything else.

How Big Should It Be?

When you’ve considered how often your pool is going to be used, who will use it and where it will be built, then you will have an idea of how big it will be. Not all pools need to be so big to make it look elegant – in many cases, smaller pools look more inviting.

Keeping the Design in Style

Perhaps the most challenging part for property owners when it comes to building a pool is the style of design that they will adapt. The first thing you need to think about when it comes to considering the design is how the pool area will match or complement the overall design of your home.

You may also want to think about how your pool blends with your landscape design, especially when it is located outdoors.

Queensland Pool Safety Law

Like all structures, property owners should know that there are requirements and regulations when it comes to owning a pool. Regardless of whether it is a public facility or a privately-owned pool, the state has put policies in place, which need to be met in order for a property owner to obtain a pool safety certificate.

The regulations touch on the use of signs, proper fencing and gates. A pool inspection will be conducted by a licenced inspector before a safety certificate is released. If you require help on pool inspection and in determining what the requirements are for operating a pool facility, Twinspectors has licenced inspectors who can assist you.

Promoting Safe Use of Swimming Pools

Pool safety is of utmost importance to authority. Because of higher incidence of accidents and deaths related to swimming pools, whether private or public pools, Queensland enforced pool safety laws in 2009. All pools fall under the rules and regulations that are aimed at promoting the safe use of pools, which may be in a residential, commercial or public property.

Law Coverage

Under the relatively new pool safety laws, if you are looking to build a new pool, you will be required to obtain a pool safety certificate stating the pool has complied with all safety requirements for swimming pools. Twinspectors, which provides reliable building inspections Brisbane, can also be trusted in providing pool safety inspection to help you comply with the laws. We take pride in the quality of service we provide our clients. Whether it is a new or an existing swimming pool, our licensed inspectors can provide you with only the best type of service you will expect from trusted company.

All pools must be listed in the pool safety register. Failing to have the pool listed can result in fines as high as $2000. The register is one way of controlling and monitoring the compliance of the pools in Queensland.

The new pool safety laws cover elements in the pool area that will promote or affect the safety of pools. These include pool fences, pool gates, dividing fences, doors, tree branches and other climbable objects.

Who are Affected?

All pools that exist on any type of property are covered under the new safety laws. These would include such properties as hotels, residences, caravan parks, hostels and other types of accommodation.

If you are homeowner with an existing pool, you will have until the end of November 2015 to fully comply with the pool safety laws. However, if you decide to sell or rent the property, then compliance must be done immediately.

If you are a property owner who intends to lease or sell the property, you will need to obtain a pool safety certificate indicating compliance before you can offer the property for rent or sale. The law clearly provides that a certificate is required before the property is leased or sold.

If you are an owner of a short-term accommodation, then you have a six-month period to comply with the new pool safety regulations. Shared pools such as those in townhouses have 2 years to comply with the new laws.

To find out how Twinspectors can help you in pool safety compliance, visit our website at www.twinspectors.com.au.

Building, Pest and Pool Inspections-The Holistic Approach

How often have you had to hire three different specialists to inspect for pest, structural soundness and to inspect your pool area to make sure its is up to safety standards. Doing this can cost you a small fortune, especially if you have it done on a yearly basis. So what can you do to save money you ask? Look around and find a company that does all three types of inspections. A single inspector trained in all three areas of building, pest and pool inspections can save you a lot of money and ensure that you are protected.

Regular building and pest inspections are important to maintaining structural soundness and making sure the termites don’t get a foothold on your home. Termites can do quite a lot of damage in a short space of time and end up costing you a small fortune in repairs.

An inspector who is trained in all three areas can look at your property as a whole, inspecting the structure of the building, they can check for any signs of termites or other pests that can invade your home to do damage and also check your pool fencing and surrounding area to make sure that it complies with the new pool safety regulations. Having regular inspections done on you property can give you peace of mind and lower the stress levels, knowing that your property is one hundred percent up to code.

Regular annual inspections can protect your property from major damage and ensure that any problems are detected early so that they can be corrected. This in turn can help to save you hundreds, perhaps even thousands of dollars in repair bills. Think of what you could do with the money you save on repairs! Maybe a holiday, a new wardrobe or maybe a new car? Endless possibilities come to mind when thinking about all the money you will save.

If you have a pool, then it is wise to get the company to inspect the pool area as well. A pool inspection professional can let you know if your pool fencing and such meets with the new pool safety regulations. By 2015 every home with a pool must comply with the new pool safety regulations otherwise they will face harsh penalties such as fines. The government has brought in these regulations in an effort to protect our children from drowning accidents.

With that in mind, hiring a building, pest and pool inspections professional to inspect your premises gives you a more holistic approach and will save you money.

Safeguarding our Children Around Pools

Our children are important therefore their safety is also important. That is why, as of December 1st, new pool safety laws will come into effect. The most common cause of death and injuries in young children is water related, making it doubly important to safeguard our children. If you are a pool owner then common sense and reason must prevail. If you own a pool then you must be in compliance with pool safety laws and regulations. The only exemptions allowed are disability exemptions. No other exemptions will be allowed.

With the new laws in place, you must obtain a pool safety compliance certificate. To obtain this, an accredited inspector must be engaged to check that your pool is in compliance with the new safety laws. If your pool is in compliance then the inspector can issue a compliance certificate. If it is not in compliance with the new laws, then the non-compliance certificate must have on it the reason it is not in compliance. Either way you must also be registered with the Pool Safety Register. These new laws are necessary to protect our children. Being a responsible pool owner is important and it is necessary to get a pool safety inspector in to have your pool inspected in order to be issued with a safety compliance certificate. Anyone selling a home or renting out a home must have one of these certificates if there is a pool on the premises. There is no getting around these new pool laws, they are in place for good reason and must be adhered to.

A safety inspector must be trained. There are thorough courses available that teach them what to look for and about the new laws. Inspectors completing pool fence inspections must be qualified before they can issue compliance certificates. Qualified Brisbane building inspectors are available now to come out and inspect your pool and make sure it complies with the new laws. If your pool fence requires repairs then the inspectors can refer you to an accredited firm that may be of assistance. It’s a good idea to hire a professional to make sure your pool is in compliance. If you don’t then it could end up costing you more then you had bargained for. Not being in compliance with the law could land you with a big fine. So do yourself a favor and make sure you are in compliance with these new laws.

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Decks and Veranda’s-A Great Place to Relax

Imagine sitting back on a deck chair, sipping a tall, cool drink and relaxing on your veranda. It is a great place to kick back and catch the breeze, especially through summer. Or maybe you have a deck around your pool? Certainly a great place to relax as well. There is just something about relaxing by the pool, a reminder of endless summers full of fun. Kids love the pool as much as we do, so its important to make sure the area is safe for them as well. So what do you need to do to ensure the area complies with the new safety regulations and is safe for the kids?

A veranda or deck’s timber can look to us like it is in good condition, but to the trained eye it may need a few repairs. The best way to find out if they need attention or treatment is to hire a building and pest inspections Brisbane professional to check on the timber. An inspector is trained in termite detection as well as pool inspections and structural soundness of a building. They can check your entire property and give you a more holistic view of where your property is at structurally. An inspector will pick up on any damage that will need repair, as well as checking for termites. Termites, while they may be small, can cause large amounts of damage in a really short amount of time.

A deck around a pool can be subject, not only to termites, but also the weather elements. Damage such as wood rot can weaken the timber and render it unsafe, the same as a veranda, so it is important to get an inspector out on a regular basis to check your home.

If you are building a deck around the pool or a veranda on the house, then its a good idea to check with the council about the building regulations in your area and what requirements will need to be met to gain building approval from them. The requirements will change for each electorate.

If you have an existing deck around your pool or have just built one, it is a good idea to get pool inspections done to make sure that you are in compliance with the new pool safety regulations. These came into effect from the 1st of December and every pool owner is expected to be in compliance by 2015, there will be no exceptions. Large fines will apply to those who are not.

Get your pool, veranda and deck inspected today. It will save you money later on down the track and give you peace of mind knowing they are safe and solid.