Every home, even new construction homes, have imperfections. Some of these flaws can kill a home sale and should be considered when planning for maintenance or repair costs down the road. It makes sense for realtors and home buyers to understand the most common home inspection “flags” that might show up in an inspection report so that they can be educated before buying or selling a house. Below are the top 5 problems commonly identified by licensed inspectors.
- Roof Problems
Roof inspections expose deteriorating roof surfaces, improper installation, and leaky roofs. Roofs defects are common due to the fact that roofs are the main barrier between your home and nature. Some of the indicators include crumbling paint, wet surfaces, and moisture stains on your ceiling. Asphalt shingles are commonly used and have a life expectancy of about 15 to 20 years – it’s advisable to replace them earlier to prevent costly repairs due to water damage. Roof repairs may be as simple as replacing shingles or as extensive as replacing your entire roof, including plywood sheathing and the underlayment. Roof replacement can be quite expensive so it’s important to have a roof inspection completed before purchasing a home.
- Drainage Problems
Water is one of the worst enemies of a home…particularly in coastal cities. If it isn’t properly drained away from your home, it can cause pooling of water around your foundation. Some of the common causes of drainage problems are ineffective gutters and/or downspouts and improper or eroded grading. You can correct these issues by repairing or replacing gutters and downspouts, as well as ensuring the area around your home is graded to allow water-flow away from the home. You should clean and maintain your gutters regularly, especially if you have large deciduous trees close to your home.
- Faulty Electrical Wiring
Improper wiring can be a fire hazard. Extension cords that run from one room to another in older homes can and will overburden the electrical system and may cause a fire. Other common electrical issues found in homes of all ages are exposed wires and open splice wires that are most frequent in dropped ceilings, attics, crawl spaces, and garages. Wiring problems are best left to a professional electrician. If you’re unsure if the wiring in your home is safe or working properly you may want to schedule a home inspection, which will pin-point the areas in question.
- Heating and Cooling System Defects
Without regular service, your HVAC system can become dirty, inefficient and a safety hazard. Apart from inadequate maintenance, other common problems identified during a home inspection include aged and faulty HVAC components, ducting and improper installation. Home inspectors usually recommend a thorough inspection of the system by a qualified HVAC contractor.
- Structural Issues
Signs of structural problems include cracks in the exterior walls or foundation, noticeable damage to joists and beams, and falling door and window headers. Most defects are minor and won’t require major repair expenses, for example, replacing a header.
If you need assistance finding a quality licensed inspector or understanding the inspection report you already have, let me know!