A home inspector, who is realistic, knows that he or she will see many of the same things time and time again. Let me name only a few: Gutters full of debris; downspouts that drain against the foundation; trees over the roof, moss on the roof; creosote in fireplaces, wood stoves and chimneys; B-vents touching flammables; uneven stairs; rot on decks and siding; crawl spaces that have been devoured by wood destroying organisms.
That is a short list but few inspections go by, except maybe on brand spanking new houses, where the inspector does not run into some of these things. Another one that is so very common is shown in the photo below. I cannot even begin to count the number of houses, some of them high-end homes, where the bath fans venting steam from showers and baths go straight into the attic. People buying houses, naively, think that the fans go through the roof or through an exterior wall to the outdoors. Dream on. Obviously, that is how it should be done, but over and over, and then over again, we inspectors see exhaust fans including those from baths, laundry rooms and dryers and range hoods that end up in the attic. In attics with this condition, almost always there will be dark stains on the sheathing or structural lumber. People today claim to be so concerned about mold and fungus, yet they do things like this when they build or remodel houses. Go figure! We hope the code inspectors will catch this, but I have seen a number of homes, built since the code inspectors got involved, that have this problem. Often it is caused by some homeowner who adds a bathroom but does not want to go to the work to vent it properly.
Thanks for breezing by
Steven L. Smith
Bellingham Home Inspector