By Colin Scott

Building defects in homes in Kingston Jamaica may be considered to be a failing or shortcoming in the function, performance, statutory or user requirements of a building and might manifest itself within the structure, fabric, services or other facilities of the affected building.

Defects Classification

1. Defects affecting habitability – broadly any defect that diminishes the performance of the structure.

2. Defects affecting appearance – any defect of a superficial largely aesthetic nature.

3. Defects affecting safety – any defect that involves or may involve hazard to life.

Causes of defects

1. Faulty design: failure to follow established criteria, for example, Building Regulations,

Codes of Practices, Building Standards and other criteria that is generally acceptable building practices.

2. Faulty execution construction: failure on the part of the builder to effectively carry out a design which was satisfactory in itself and properly specified.

3. Faulty materials, components or proprietary systems: failure of these elements to meet their advertised or otherwise accepted performance levels.

4. Unexpected user requirements: defects caused by the user expecting more from the design than the designer anticipated.

One major problem is that homes in Kingston Jamaica were subject to scrutiny by the KSAC or Kingston and St. Andrew Council. They are constantly overburdened and realistically cannot and could not reach everyone as quickly as possible.

Wall finish defects

External Rendering Defectt:

Surface crazing: This is caused by mixture too rich; sand used in mix is too fine and structural movement.

Spalling: This is caused from poor workmanship, sulfate attack and steel corrosion.

Lack of adhesion: This is caused when the background is too smooth.

Shrinkage cracks: This is caused from too strong a mix.

Building defects

Rot in roof fascia: This is caused from roof sarking cut short of gutter.

Horizontal cracks to eaves of flat concrete roof: Caused by thermal movement.

Concrete lintel sags: Caused from faulty shuttering or formwork.

Fracture in wall: This is caused when there is moisture movement and soil heave.

Crack in wall wider at bottom than top: This is caused from differential settlement of building.

Excessive deflection at centre of beam: This is caused when the beam ends are not adequately supported and the depth not adequate.

Painting problems and their remedy


Identification: When raised circular bubbles or blisters is on the painted surface.

Causes: From painting over surfaces that contains moisture with an impervious coating.

Remedy: Eliminate the source of moisture, scrape off the blisters, rub down and repaint.


Identification: The presence of pigment particles on a piece of black cloth used to rub the painted surface.

Causes: Destruction of oil paint by chemical or physical changes, for example, exposure to ultra violet light.

Remedy: Repaint with an appropriate paint.


Identification: Loosening of small piece of paint from the substitute.

Causes: Loss of adhesion to its substrate usually the result of painting over unprepared surfaces with emulsion paint.

Remedy: Thoroughly clean and rub down surface and repaint.


Identification: A severe lifting and loosening of large pieces of paint several square inches in area.

Causes: Loss of adhesion to its substrate usually the result of painting over unprepared surfaces with emulsion paint.

Remedy: Thoroughly clean and rub down surface and repaint.


Identification: Furrows and ridges in the surface of the paint film.

Causes: Application of too thick a paint film or rapid surface drying of the paint film resulting in the underlying layer remaining soft and the normal drying function being retarded.

Remedy: Allow surface to thoroughly harden, rub down, preferably with a waterproof abrasive paper and repaint with the appropriate material.

Water stains

Identification: Discolored patches appearing on the emulsion and oil painted surfaces.

Causes: Soluble matter from the substrate carried through the paint film by moisture resulting from building defect, for example, leaks from open joints.

Remedy: Repair leak, touch up stained area with one or two coats of sealer and repaint with emulsion or oil paints.

Rust stains

Identification: Brown or red stains appearing on or under any painted surface.

Causes: Corrosion of steel reinforcement or other ferrous metal.

Remedy: Scrape off paint over stained area, remove rust by sandblasting or wire brushing and then treat the surface with a rust remover. Apply one or two coats metal primer and when dry, finish with the appropriate paint.

While not all these defects can be found in homes in Kingston Jamaica, there are times when one must look for the common things; this will help in bargaining the sale price by the vendor.

Colin Scott is a real estate marketing expert. For more great tips on homes in Kingston Jamaica and affordable Jamaican real estate visit any one of the links in this Author Bio.

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