Before you buy a home, it can be very important to do an inspection from top to bottom. In the inspection, you’ll be able to find out if there are serious problems with the house and how to get them repaired. Many of the issues contribute to the safety of the house and must be fixed as soon as possible. Understanding this process and what issues are likely to come up will help you know how to better take care of your own home and maybe even be prepared to sell it.
One part of the home that an inspector will look at is the foundation. To find problems in the foundation, you can look at a couple of different things. If there are serious issues inside with doors or windows not closing properly or the walls are having issues, this can be indicative of a foundation issue. But one element that the inspector will look for are large cracks in the foundation. These cracks are indicative of serious problems that will only get worse with time.
The foundation supports all the weight of the house and must be without damage to protect from moisture, natural disasters, sinking, and other general damage. If a foundation crack is left unfixed, it can cause serious damage to the rest of the home and its sale value.
Water damage is another type of house damage that causes more expensive problems as time goes on, and so it is another thing that inspectors look closely for. You can find water damage in the foundation if there isn’t proper moisture control, such as proper surface grading or drainage away from the home. These problems can also cause flooding and structural damage within the home.
Water damage also comes from poor ventilation in the attic or home. Poor ventilation can lead to serious mold problems and ice problems, which can affect the structural integrity and the health of the inhabitants.
Inspectors also closely inspect the electrical system in the home. If something is wrong with the electricity, it doesn’t just deteriorate with time. It can cause serious safety concerns immediately.
Inspectors will look for incorrectly wired switches, ungrounded receptacles, damaged drip loops that will allow water into the electrical system, the number of outlets, missing smoke alarms, trees or bushes leaning on or growing near power lines, and other electrical issues. Be safe when inspecting and repairing your electricity. A lot of electrical system repairs require an expert to avoid injury. If you do any of your own electrical wiring projects, be sure to do plenty of research and have the correct permits.
Your roof is another part of your house that protects it from environmental problems such as water and wind. If something is wrong with the roof, it leads to much more serious problems over time, especially if problems aren’t fixed before winter or another wet season.
An inspector can inspect the roof simply by looking at it. If there are missing shingles, curling, rot, or other issues, the roof needs to be repaired. Whether you need a roof replacement depends on the condition of the roofing material.
Remember how water can cause serious damage in your home? If there are issues with your plumbing, this will cause serious water damage, but from water leaking from your own pipes. It’s also just annoying when the plumbing isn’t working properly. Though a general home inspection will not be as detailed as a plumbing-specific inspection, the inspector will check if the toilets flush, if the taps are working, and if everything drains properly.
Sometimes looking around the pipes at the walls or floor can help you know if something is wrong with the plumbing. If you are worried about serious plumbing issues that the general home inspector may not be seeing, hire a plumber to do a plumbing inspection.
The HVAC system can cause serious air quality concerns in a home. When the filter hasn’t been replaced, the furnace is too old, there are gas or emission leaks, clogged drains, the grates are dirty, or the thermostat doesn’t work, it is a cause for concern and could cost a significant amount to repair.
There are ways that you can check your HVAC system yourself, and it can be a great idea if you would like to know if something needs to be repaired, replaced, or simply cleaned. Doing a regular checkup of your HVAC system can greatly reduce the maintenance cost.
Though much of the inspection is focused on the house itself, the yard can affect the safety of those living in the home. For example, if the grading is done improperly, water will flow into the house. It is also dangerous to have tree limbs that could fall on the house and other shrubbery that could damage the foundation.
Rails and walkways are also important aspects of the safety of the house. If the cement is damaged, it is only going to get worse through the seasons. It may be indicative of roots growing in the wrong places or foundation issues. If the deck is damaged, this also poses a risk to whoever lives in the home, and therefore is included in the inspection.
General Poor Maintenance
If house inspectors enter a house, sometimes there’s just overall poor maintenance. The floors and walls are dirty. The carpets haven’t been cleaned. There are problems with all the appliances like the stove, microwave, dishwasher, and others. Even if they aren’t serious issues in the moment, someone eventually has to fix them. These minor issues can also indicate larger unseen issues, like pest infestations and other problems. Regularly cleaning and dusting your home will help to maintain the state of your home, and lead to better inspection scores if needed. This will also help you find problems before they become too expensive.
Knowing these aspects of a home inspection are important for every homeowner to know and understand. These common problems in an inspection don’t only help you understand what to look out for when buying or selling a home, but they help you to know what to look out for in your own home so you can keep you and your family safe.
If you’re getting your home ready to sell, we can help! Learn more about the selling process and how we can help here.