Unveiling the Hidden Risks: A Detailed Commercial Building Inspection in Perth
russell from wa building inspections perth
  • Inspect Regularly, Preserve Stability: Routine commercial inspections are vital for maintaining property stability.
  • Neglect = Consequences: Overlooking inspections can lead to significant issues, emphasising the need for proactive care.
  • Invest Wisely: Spending on a commercial building and pest inspection before you buy is a smart safeguard against potential risks, ensuring a good investment.

In the heart of Perth CBD in Subiaco, a city teeming with potential and growth, Russell McCarthy, the lead inspector at WA Building Inspections Perth, has recently uncovered a stark reality through a meticulous commercial building and pest inspection. This video above exposes a commercial property grappling with a very serious issue—mortar fretting.



Commercial Building Inspection Perth: An Alarming Discovery

McCarthy sets the scene in what can only be described as a disheartening alleyway, heavily soiled not just by neglect but also layers of pigeon droppings. This lays the foundation for the shocking discovery of mortar fretting, a corrosive process silently eroding the building’s structural integrity.

“This is all pigeon poop, by the way. But anyway, so I’m going to point out mortar fretting. So we have brickwork, a lot of mortar fretting.”



Commercial Property Inspection: Structural Compromise

As the video unfolds, McCarthy directs attention to the severity of the situation. The mortar, a vital binding agent, has degraded to the point where the entire structure is now compromised.

“The whole wall is shaking. All of that mortar has come out, and this entire structure is now compromised.”

Signs of Distress: Cracks and Detachments

Further into the inspection, McCarthy highlights visible signs of distress—cracks meandering along the structure and significant detachment at the joins. These cues underscore the advanced stage of mortar deterioration.

“You can see some of the cracking, significant cracking detachment on the joins along here.”


Commercial Inspector’s Insights: Neglect and Consequences

The inspector doesn’t shy away from showcasing the repercussions of neglect and infrequent inspections. The new property owners inherit not just a physical space but a structural quandary, a result of ongoing “mortar fretting to a very, very significant degree.”

“But obviously, they don’t come down here very often. They’ve sold the building, and we have got mortar fretting to a very, very significant degree.”



Lessons Learned and Moving Forward with Commercial Inspection Services

This visual inspection serves as a poignant lesson for property owners and potential buyers. Even the seemingly forgotten corners, like the dirty alleyway inhabited by pigeons, can harbor serious structural issues. If the new owner had spent the few bucks to have this commercial building and pest inspection BEFORE they bought, they would have avoided this huge disaster of a property.



Our Final Say: Prioritise Commercial Building Inspections

In the grand scheme of commercial building inspections, Russell McCarthy’s visual findings echo beyond the confines of this alleyway. Mortar fretting is not just a cosmetic issue; it is a tangible call to action for property owners and buyers —a reminder of the real risks that emerge from neglect. We have created a detailed guide for commercial building inspections here.




  1. How often should commercial buildings undergo inspections?
    • Commercial buildings should undergo inspections at least annually, and more frequently in areas prone to environmental stressors.
  2. Can mortar fretting be prevented with regular maintenance?
    • Yes, regular inspections and maintenance can identify and address mortar fretting before it reaches a critical stage.
  3. What are the common signs of mortar fretting in commercial properties?
    • Wobbly brickwork, visible cracks, and detachment at joins are common signs of mortar fretting.
  4. Who are the best commercial building inspectors near me in Perth?
  5. How much does a commercial property inspection cost in Perth?
    • Commercial property inspection costs vary, but investing in inspections outweighs the potential risks, especially if you’re the potential buyer.