Hundreds of different problems can be found during a Home Inspection. Here are ten of the most common:
1) Improper Surface Grading and Drainage Problems. This is by far the most frequent problem. It is responsible for the most common household aggravations, including water penetration into the basement or crawlspace. In Texas, excess moisture around the foundation can cause the clay soil to expand too much and damage your foundation.
2) Improper Electrical Wiring/Wiring Problems. Many homes have minor electrical problems, while many older homes can have major electrical problems. This includes such situations as insufficient electrical service, inadequate overload protection, and amateur (often dangerous) wiring connections or installation.
3) Roof Damage. Ranked third, leaking roofs are a very frequent problem. This is caused by old or badly damaged shingles, improper flashing and drainage, or structural problems with the roof decking.
4) Heating System Problems or Defects. Defect items in this category include broken or malfunctioning controls and components, blocked chimneys, and unsafe or blocked exhaust disposal.
5) Poor Overall Maintenance. A common problem with all homeowners. Signs of poor maintenance include cracked, peeling or dirty painted surfaces; crumbling masonry; makeshift wiring or plumbing; and broken fixtures and appliances. Broken tiles or missing caulk around the showers or bath is also a sign.
6) Structural Related Problems. As a result of the problems in one or more other categories, damage is sustained by such structural components as foundation walls, floor joists, walls, rafters and window and door headers.
7) Plumbing. Plumbing problems are extremely common problem found during a home inspection. This includes the existence of old or incompatible piping materials, as well as faulty fixtures and waste lines. Leaking faucets and pipes happen in just about every home at one time or another.
8) Exteriors. Flaws in this exterior, such as doors, windows and wall surfaces, rarely have structural significance but may cause discomfort to the occupants due to water and air penetration. The most common culprits are inadequate caulking and/or lack of weather stripping.
9) Poor Ventilation in the home. In an effort to save energy, a lot of homeowners have "oversealed" their homes, resulting in excessive moisture in the interior of the home. Too much moisture is a problem that can lead to rotting and failure of both the structural and non-structural elements.
10) Shrubs and Vegetation too close to exterior walls. This is extremely common, however shrubs and vegetation shoud be cut back so that they do not touch the home. Vegetation that touches the walls is an invitation for termites to enter the home and it also can trap moisture in this area which can cause damage or mold due to moisture problems.
11) Cosmetic Problems. Many cosmetic items will not even be put on a inspection report because they do not affect the structural integrity or function of the home. These are items that can easily be fixed.
Problems are found in every home inspection. Although many of these problems will be minor, you should educate yourself to know what to expect before the home inspection has been completed.
This information is provided for your general interest and is not intended to be technically exhaustive. Please consult a professional inspector or contractor to obtain an assessment of your particular situation.