The most important process of buying and selling houses is the home inspection. Always pay close attention to advice your home inspector provides. Regardless of being the seller or buyer, you should consider their recommendations against the home’s price or estimated value. Home inspection problems are common for any home, whether new or old. While there are several problems that can be noted, we're going to be discussing the top ten most common issues our Home Inspectors find.
1. Electrical Wiring
Your inspector will test and assess the outlets throughout the home or property. Some common problems that our Home Inspectors find regularly include reversed polarity outlets and double taps. Reverse polarity outlets happen when the neutral and hot wires are attached to the opposite terminal. This is corrected by switching the wires to the correct terminals. Double taps happen when two electrical feeds are attached to one breaker. This problem can be remedied by installing a twin breaker. Faulty wiring could lead to major fire hazards that could result in the destruction of the home or property and potentially spread to surrounding structures. This danger is why wiring is a highly essential part of any home inspection.
Please do not attempt to work with any electrical equipment unless you have been adequately trained.
Additional Electrical Issues our Home Inspectors encounter:
- Exposed/damaged electrical wires
- Obstructed entrance wires/no drip loop
- Outdated knob and tube wiring
- Missing or faulty GFCI outlets
- Missing covers for receptacles, light switches, junction boxes and lights
- Improper use of permanent wiring/extension cords
- Aluminum wiring
- Missing/burnt out light bulbs
- Service panel issues
2. Home Heating & Air Conditioning Problems
Did you know you should maintain your heating system annually? Most homeowners forgo the crucial inspection that keeps their system in good working order. Your home inspector will thoroughly check your heating system unit for signs of maintenance that generally include blower, blower belt if applicable, ductwork, and presence of soot. These issues can cause your heating system to fail, and the easiest remedy is to have your heating system checked and maintained annually, to ensure that the system is clean and in working order. The remedy for a failed heating system is to have it properly cleaned and inspected by an HVAC specialist.
Common HVAC Issues our Home Inspectors encounter:
Dirty or clogged coils
Condenser unit issues
Cracked Heat exchanger
Exhaust system issues
3. Plumbing Problems
When it comes to plumbing issues, our Home Inspectors often find small leaks in areas around sinks and toilets. The cause of a leak can be any number of things, a broken seal, incorrect plumbing materials, or corroded plumbing. If this shows up on a home inspection report, it's vital that you speak with a plumber to have the source of the problem identified and fixed. Leaks are not something that you want to ignore because a steady leak will only lead to more damage over time.
If your inspector discovers signs of active leaks, you should consult with a plumber. They can locate and fix issues quickly. If the water damage is old, you will need to address that too ensure mold isn’t present in the areas and that structural damage hasn’t occurred.
More Common Issues our Home Inspectors Encounters Regularly:
- Main sewer line clog
- Leaks inside of a wall
- Faulty Water Heater Plumbing
4. Exterior Home Maintenance Issues
Apart from the inside of the home, the exterior is another essential part of the inspection. Most home inspection problems with the exterior of a home usually have to deal with the fascia. This is an important part of the home that allows for proper ventilation of the roof. A lack of the fascia being properly installed can cause a decreased lifespan of a home's roof. Another major factor that is examined in the external maintenance inspection is the gutter system. Any lack of a gutter system to remove water from the home can cause issues with mold and water damage in the home.
5. Faulty Windows
A simple concept that many people buying a home overlook is the use of the windows. Common home inspection problems are faulty windows. This could be anything from the window being painted shut to cracks in the window. It's important that all windows are operable and do not let air escape in or out when shut. Older homes tend to possess more problems with faulty windows due to the way windows were previously installed.
6. Structural Problems
The foundation of the home is what all the rest stands on. If there are major problems with the foundation, it can affect the structural integrity of the rest of the home. It's also important to note that fixing foundation issues can get quite pricey, which is why you want to know any issues ahead of time when buying a home. Common structural problems include cracks in the foundation, floors that slope, and doors that stick.
7. Roof Integrity
Roofs are another very costly expense to replace and repair. This is why a home inspector can be very tedious when accessing the roof of a home you're thinking about buying. You don't want to be dealing with a few thousand-dollar bill over a problem that the seller should've fixed. Common roof problems include missing or broken flashings, curled shingles, leaks, and improper ventilation. These problems can lead to the degradation and premature aging of the roof.
8. Improper or Poor Drainage
Checking basements and crawl spaces for mildew and other signs of water leaks is a must of every home inspector. When these signs are identified in the basement or crawl space, it's an indication that the home has poor drainage. This typically is due to improper grading around the home that forces water against the home's foundation instead of away from the home. Grading requires a large expense to bring in soil and, in some cases, requires the removal of porous soil from around the home. You want to ensure this is not a problem that a potential home has that you're thinking about buying as the costs could be significant.
9. Water Heater
Due to new housing requirements, it's very common for older homes to have water heater inspection problems. These issues typically are dealing with the size of the vent for the heater and the lack of the temperature pressure relief valve, or TPRV. If you're buying a home that wasn't recently built, it's likely you're going to see the water heater on the list of housing problems.
10. A Poorly Maintained Home
Keeping up with the regular maintenance that a home requires is something that a home inspector will look for. This category encompasses many potential issues that can be noted about both the interior and exterior of the home as well as the property. Some common signs of a poorly maintained property include worn carpeting, cracked driveway, peeling paint, stained flooring, and loose caulking.
A home inspection is meant to give both the buyer and seller necessary insight into the health of a home. As a buyer, you want to ensure that the home is structurally sound and has no major hidden issues that will require a large investment later down the road. As a seller, it's important to look over these ten common issues and ensure they are fixed so that your home can be sold for the highest value possible.
A home inspection offers both parties a win-win solution and peace of mind.
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