Home & Property Owners

Retaining walls revisited

Retaining walls are generally not given much thought by home owners until they begin to fail, which can prove to be a devastating and costly occurrence.

So, we thought it was about time that we revisited this hot topic and offer informed tips on maintenance, requirements, common concerns and drainage.

Asbestos lurks in more places than you think

It’s not just those who work in the construction industry who need to beware of exposure to asbestos. In you are renovating, maintaining or carrying out alterations on a property built before 1990, you need to be aware of the hidden dangers of asbestos.

Despite asbestos use being banned since 2003, about one-third of Australian homes still contain asbestos products. It was used in more than 3,000 common building materials before it was banned, and these can be found in homes and gardens across Queensland.

Have you prepared your home for bushfire season?

In Queensland, the bushfire season typically begins in August and while our emergency services do an amazing job keeping us safe, there is a part to play for every homeowner in being prepared.

Even if you don’t live directly next to bushland, you may be impacted by embers and smoke from fires that are kilometres away from your home.

According to the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, an unprepared property is not only at risk itself, but may also present an increased danger for neighbours.

Hot water heaters in winter

After a number of serious incidents in the past two months involving hot water heaters, including injuries to home owners, the QBCC Plumbing Investigation Unit has produced a home owners guide to help minimise potential risks associated with hot water heaters.

The QBCC advises that the best way a home owner can mitigate any issues arising with a hot water heater is to contact an appropriately licensed contractor.

Below is a list of issues that could potentially occur, how home owners can identify these to better protect themselves, and who to contact if necessary.

Lead in plumbing products

Lead in plumbing products blog

In Australia lead is used in the manufacture of some plumbing products, such as brass fittings. These products are widely used in drinking water systems in homes and commercial and industrial buildings. Lead can be released from some brass plumbing fittings, either as small particles or through dissolving into the drinking water, particularly where the water has been sitting in contact with these brass plumbing products for long periods. 

Ensure you are insured - hire a QBCC licensed painter

Photo of someone holding paint samples.

Are you thinking of having painting work done to your home, garage or shed? 

We’d like to remind home and property owners that if the value of your painting work is over $3,300 (including labour, materials and GST) an insurance premium must be paid under the Queensland Home Warranty Scheme.

The premium amount should be included in the price of your painting work and paid to the QBCC by your QBCC licensed contractor. 

Protect your drinking water supply

Home owner drinking water.

As a home and property owner, we recommend you learn where your underground pipes are before having work done around your property.

The QBCC has identified health and safety concerns relating to underground water service pipes being susceptible to infiltration of chemicals, which could make you sick.

You should always take care when using chemicals, such as pesticides, weed control products, paint, fuels and oils, at your property.

Regular maintenance is essential for your on-site sewerage facility

If you are a property owner in an unsewered area, you will likely have an on-site sewerage facility (OSSF) installed at your property for the treatment and disposal of wastewater.

OSSFs can include different types of treatment and methods of disposal, such as septic tanks with transpiration trenches, aerobic sand filtration systems with surface irrigation, and aerated wastewater treatment systems with sub-surface irrigation.

Regardless of the type of OSSF on your property, all OSSFs require regular maintenance and it is your responsibility to make sure this is carried out.

Get your hot water system serviced

Regardless of whether you are a property owner or tenant, you need to be aware that hot water systems require regular, routine maintenance.

As a property owner, it is your responsibility to check the owner’s manual to find out how often you should have your hot water system serviced.

When you engage someone to do plumbing and drainage work on your property, which includes servicing a hot water system, you should always contract with a licensed plumber.

Make sure your balustrades and railings measure up

In Queensland, we have strict requirements when it comes to balustrades.

Where a deck or balcony is one metre or higher above the ground, balustrades need to be at least one metre high.

For decks more than one metre above the ground, openings in balustrades, including decorative balustrades, cannot be greater than 125 millimetres.

If your deck is more than four metres above the ground, balustrades cannot have any climbable elements located between 150 millimetres and 760 millimetres from the floor.