Most Common Home Inspection Findings

If you’re about to purchase a home, there is a lot that you need to know about the home inspection process. A home inspection can often make or break a home purchase if serious issues are found.

There are a number of issues that may be commonly found when inspecting a home. Let’s discuss the top 5 most common home inspection findings now.

1. Roofing Issues

Roof covering is your first line of defense from water intrustion

Roofing problems are quite common in home inspections. As the house ages, the materials that cover the roof do, as well. Most asphalt shingles last between 15-40 years, so a typical roof will have its shingles replaced multiple times throughout its lifespan.

Harsh weather is prone to can take a toll on a roof. Missing shingles are very common, and easily replaced. Soft spots or serious structural damage does show up from time to time though, which can become a costly and time-consuming repair.

If the roof has been improperly maintained, it’s more likely to be faulty. However, this is not usually a deal breaker when a home is inspected. You can simply negotiate a lower price on the home, as you will have to invest money into roof repairs or replacement.

2. Faulty Or Inadequate Electrical Wiring

It is important to know basic electrical safety

Inspectors commonly find stripped wires, improper connections, under powered breakers, exposed wiring left over from previous repairs or renovations. These problems are considered a safety hazard and should be addressed immediately.

This is mostly a problem in older homes. Most modern homes have an ample supply of electrical power, and are wired to meet all modern electrical codes and standards, This is often not the case in older homes, which were built in the 1940s-1960s.

Depending on the scope of the wiring issues, this could be a big problem after a home inspection. It may be a simple fix, or require the complete overhauling of the electrical system – it really depends on the specifics of the wiring found. Ask your home inspector for a recommendation on next steps.

3. Improper Attic Ventilation And Insulation

ventilation can be the key to longer lasting building materials

Some homes were not built with energy efficiency in mind. An attic that lacks proper ventilation may be stifling and hot in the summer, and can even increase the risk of mold and other problems, due to the buildup of heat. Some attics may also not have proper insulation, which reduces energy efficiency.

Typically, this is not a big deal. It’s fairly simple to ventilate an attic, or add more insulation, so if your inspector finds this, it’s not a cause for concern.

4. Poor Grading And Drainage Around The Home

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When it rains, the water needs to go somewhere, and not anywhere close to the house. Because rain run off isn’t a constant threat, these are often issues that are found by inspectors. Pooling water around a foundation can cause decay, mold and stability issues for the house as a whole.

This is a major cause for concern. If the grade and drainage around the home are not adequate, water can easily leak into the basement, or even make it to the foundation, which may crack or become damaged.

Water damage is a serious issue. If your inspector finds that the grading and drainage around the home could pose a risk, hire a professional to assess the integrity of the basement and foundation before continuing the home-buying process.

5. Plumbing Problems

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Your inspector may notice several plumbing problems, such as low water pressure, leaks, damage to pipes, slow drains, or signs of leaks. Plumbing problems are very serious, due to how the high costs of water damage. If signs of water damage or serious plumbing issues are found, a more thorough assessment should be performed.

Usually the issues found within a plumbing system are easily repaired. Things such as leaky connections or dripping faucets. However, every now and then inspectors come across grossly damaged and defective systems that require total replacement.

Know What To Expect During Home Inspections!  

Home inspections may seem complicated, but they don’t have to be! Just make sure to hire the right inspector, listen to their advice, and do your due diligence before you decide to purchase a home.

Original article on Spectora

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home inspection 101

Home Inspection 101

HVAC

  • “A standard home inspector will confirm that a home’s heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system (HVAC) is functional at the time of inspection, but will make no guarantee that it will keep working once you purchase the home,” says Lynnette Bruno, Trulia’s vice president of communications. They should, however, be able to tell you how long your home air conditioning condenser (the unit outside) should last, simply by checking the serial number. Most condensers will last 12 to 15 years before requiring replacement.

Roof

  • 2. Roof problems are responsible for 39 percent of homeowners insurance claims, according to Trulia. “Find out how old the roof is and if there are any issues,” says Bruno, adding that if there are any problems, you will likely have to bring it up to code.

Water drainage and disbursement

  • “The biggest issue of any home is always going to be water disbursement,” Turner says. “There’s the potential for damage to the foundation. If water is found to be in the vicinity of the house, you want the water to flow away from the house, not towards it.” “While external water damage is pretty easy to spot with a visual inspection, potential damage hidden inside a home’s walls can bet harder to detect,” Bruno says. “To ensure that your home is safe from water damage that can lead to moldy walls, make sure your inspector takes the extra precautions of wielding an infrared camera to find water damage that exists beneath the surface of a home.” That includes checking your gutters and spouts, because if they aren’t functioning properly, it can damage the foundation. “Water is the biggest enemy of your home,” adds Turner.

Electricity system

  • Turner says there are a couple of specific techniques and systems to look out for. One is something called knob and tube wiring, also known as K&T, usually found in homes from about 1880 to the 1930s. The strange system is usually ungrounded, which leads to potential for electric shock. “Any home inspector with their salt would recommend that knob and tube wiring gets replaced.” Another thing to look out for is a Federal Pacific Electric panel. When circuit breakers are tripped on those systems, it often leads to overheating and fire.

Foundation

  • You want to make sure the house’s foundation is stable. Like the roof, it’s possible you’ll have to bring it up to code as the new owner. “Foundation issues can be extremely costly,” Bruno says.

Quality of the flooring

  • “Beyond the standard inspection of flooring that is in plain sight, sub floors that are covered up with carpet, tile, or laminate can cause additional issues if not carefully examined,” says Bruno. “Prospective homeowners can use their feet to detect soft spots in sub floors where wood is weak, or user their sense of smell to look out for a moldy, musty odor that could be a clear indication of wood rot.

Noxious gases

  • Radon is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, but it is radioactive and carcinogenic. “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends all homes be tested for the presence of radon. Before a home inspection, a potential home buyer can ask the seller if they have already tested for radon,” Bruno says. “Sellers often test their homes before placing them up for sale, so recent test results may be available during the closing process. If not, radon tests are reasonably priced, around $125, and the test results can be processed in a matter of days.”

Asbestos

  • “For home buyers considering a home built before 1980, it’s worth asking a home inspector if they have frequently worked with asbestos and can make a reasonable judgment about whether disturbed asbestos fibers are present based on a visual inspection,” Bruno says. Asbestos was used as insulation in construction for a long time, but it turned out it was hazardous to human health. If undisturbed, it might be safe, but abating it before it becomes a problem is often wise. Turner says you can find it everywhere from interior heating pipes to exterior shingles.

Exhaust fans

  • Turner says to make sure they’re venting to the outside. Even up to 15 years ago, people were building townhouses with systems that vented into the attic. That can cause mold.

Lead paint

  • Lead paint is mostly an issue with older houses, particularly when you replace old windows. “So, with old metal windows, there’s the potential for lead,” Turner says. “If we get the feeling that there could be the potential for lead paint, in certain areas, we would recommend a lead paint testing company.”

Waste systems

  • “There is a potential, if it’s an older house, that [there] could have been a septic system,” Turner says. “There have been instances where a septic system has been abandoned and, over time, it created a cave-in.” He says he saw one example where the system collapsed, swallowing a child’s play set. So, you need to find out if there was a septic system. Along with that, even sewer pipes can be damaged by tree roots. They should be checked out, too, and that can be done with a snake. While having a professional home inspector is great, Turner recommends you also do your own home inspection. Just see if things are working the way you think they should and do basic things like going outside and checking the gutters when it’s raining.