Defects in buildings occur when a component, material or finish fails to meet its performance requirements. These performance requirements vary from element to element. Building defects therefore vary in severity. The urgency in which defects need to be addressed can also vary greatly.
Cracking in walls, dampness and structural movement are symptoms of defects that most people recognise and are familiar with.
At some stage in their lifespan, all buildings suffer from defects to one degree or another. Even implementing the most thorough regime of maintenance cannot guarantee that defects will not arise if, for example, the building has been constructed in a way that is inherently defective. Maintenance and failure cycles can be affected by the quality of the materials used and how they have been installed.