The majority of home buyers are not overly surprised by the findings of their home inspection. Before getting this far, they have usually had a very close look at the property. It is when an inspection uncovers something unexpected that an inspection condition in your contract could save you from making a major mistake. Below are some of the more common problems found in a typical home inspection. While most of these problems are usually obvious and have already been reflected in the purchase price, a home inspection lets you know if your personal opinion of the structural condition of the property is correct.
Most important is the number-one defect detected during the inspection process: moisture and drainage. This is the leading cause of dry rot, major structural damage and toxic mold. It is important that grading of the property slopes away from the home. The roof must be inspected and be watertight. Plumbing throughout the home must be free from leaks. These criteria must be met or the results will be catastrophic. Look for the following indicators:
- Moisture stains around the ceiling, walls or windows
- Worn roof
- Water ponding under or by the foundation
This would include insufficient electrical service to the house, aluminum wiring, inadequate overload protection, improper grounding and dangerous amateur wiring connections. Electrical system problems are safety related and require immediate attention.
Asphalt shingle roofs only last about 15 to 20 years. Leakage from the roof from old and or damaged shingles is common and usually an easy fix. We also see poorly installed or missing flashing at transition areas.
Heating/cooling system defects
Improper installations, inadequate maintenance and aged components are common.
Inadequate insulation and ventilation in attic
Poor insulation and poor ventilation cause excessive utility costs and lack of occupant comfort.
Whole house is poorly maintained
Deferred maintenance represents a potential high cost situation to bring the home back into condition. If the homeowner did not properly care for the home, someone will need to later.
Some defects can be more or less serious than you think so it’s always important to hire a professional that can let you really get to know your property. Better to know ahead of time than to be surprised when it’s too late.