What are the most common issues found during a home inspection? When you’re excited to buy a new home you have your heart set on, it’s easy not to notice the flaws that could lead to extremely costly repairs.
That’s why home inspection exists: for a moderate sum of money, you can avoid spending thousands of dollars on repairs. If you’re looking to buy a home, this home inspection article is definitely a worthy read!
What Is a Home Inspection?
A home inspection is a thorough visual examination of a house’s physical structure and systems. A single-family home inspection typically takes between two to four hours to perform, though this varies significantly depending on the size and condition of the home.
Following the inspection, the inspector will provide the customer a report outlining their findings, replete with photographs, analysis, and recommendations.
Why You Need a Home Inspection
Purchasing a new house is a momentous occasion in one’s life. While this is the start of a new adventure, it is also a significant decision that should not be taken lightly.
You may have discovered the ideal home for you and your loved ones, it is critical that you verify that the home is genuinely as wonderful as claimed. Paint colors, kitchen cabinetry, and tiles can easily change, certain other parts of the property may be more difficult to replace or repair.
A home inspection conducted prior to making an offer on a house or condominium can provide the utmost peace of mind prior to signing the contract. This way, you’ll have a clear understanding of what you’re getting into with your new property.
Knowing the genuine state of your potential home enables you to make an informed judgment about the house’s value prior to making an offer. You’ll have an idea of how much money you’ll need to set aside for future maintenance and repairs.
Who Usually Gets the Home Inspection?
Generally, the buyer is responsible for their own evaluation and home inspection. However, there are instances where a seller may elect to bear one or both of these costs.
If you intend to buy a house, you have a specified number of days specified in the contract to arrange for an examination of the property. This is at your expense, and prices vary according to the location and size of the property, with national averages ranging from $300 to $500.
A trained home inspector crawls through the house from attic to basement, inspecting, testing, evaluating, and estimating the life expectancy of different parts of the house.
Your contract should include a financial amount indicating how much you are willing to spend to bring the residence into compliance with your standards.
If the inspection reveals major flaws, such as termites, roof leaks, broken heating systems, or anything else that requires extensive repair, you have three options: walk away, bargain with the seller, or accept the findings and proceed with the transaction.
Common Issues Found During a Home Inspection
A home inspector will ensure that the structure of the home is sound and that the plumbing and electrical systems are safe, among other things. The inspector may even propose contacting professional home inspectors for further examinations as they travel around the house.
1. Electric Issues
Each year, about 51,000 home fires are ignited by electrical faults, so it’s natural for home inspectors to scrutinize a home’s electrical system to ensure that everything appears to be in working order. Electrical inspectors frequently discover fraying insulation, do-it-yourself wiring, misaligned wires, and over-fusing.
2. Plumbing Issues
Plumbing issues and leaking pipes are frequent reasons for a home inspection to fail. These difficulties might be as basic as a slow drain or a leaking faucet, or they can be more complex, such as cross-connection problems (where water from another source contaminates domestic water).
In some situations, pipes will have to be replaced altogether. Plumbing is a major source of concern because if a hidden leak is left unattended, it can result in mold spreading throughout the home.
To locate leaks, the home inspector will look for signs of mil damage, and fractures around pipes throughout the home. Additionally, they will inspect the ceiling for wet stains or fractures.
3. Foundation Issues
If there are foundation issues, the inspector may notice sagging floors, stuck windows and doors, or even doors that swing in just one way when left ajar. Foundation cracks can be caused by a variety of other major problems.
Repairing a home’s foundation is an expensive endeavor, and depending on the underlying reasons of the foundation faults, the underlying issues may exacerbate existing foundation difficulties over time.
Apart from drainage issues and sinking soil, foundations may crack as a result of the following:
- Tree roots encroaching on the foundation.
- Settlement on a differential basis (with only part of the foundation shifting).
- The addition of a secondary story without original footing reinforcing.
- Natural occurrences such as sinkholes, earthquakes, landslides, and slope creep.
4. Old Windows
To begin, the most obvious signs are leaks, failed seals and cracked glass. A failing window seal is easy to see on double-paned windows because the glass panes have signs of condensation between them.
The seals maintain an air pocket between the panes, forming a thermal barrier that contributes to the window’s energy efficiency. Seal failure will cause moisture to seep between the panes and condense upon temperature changes.
Caulking failures or broken windows or window trim might result in leaks. A cracked window pane poses a concern to your safety. Glass that has been broken is extremely harmful.
For repairs or replacements, a skilled window contractor should be consulted.
5. Roofing Issues
Roofing issues are one of the primary areas that a home inspector would evaluate, as they are a critical component of the property. In case of roof leaks, the home is vulnerable to a slew of problems.
Home inspectors will check to ensure that the materials are still in good condition, that they are installed properly, and that there are no visible signs of water damage. Many homebuyers would walk away from a contract if the house has roofing difficulties, as this is one of the most expensive repairs.
6. Drainage Problems
This issue is frequently associated with water damage, as improperly graded homes prevent water from draining properly.
The inspector might notice spongy earth around the home’s foundation and basement leaks. Different circumstances can result in a variety of concerns around the house.
When the terrain surrounding the home slopes downward toward the house, this might result in moist or wet crawl spaces, foundation movement, or foundation cracking. Should water wick up the house’s foundation, it can cause rot and mold in the walls.
7. Sloping Problems
Inspectors will usually be on the lookout for following symptoms of a sloping grade:
- When closed, interior doors have irregular gaps at the top.
- Non-square windows or windows that appear to be out of alignment.
- When left ajar, interior doors that swing clearly to one side or the other.
- Visibly sinking floors on one or both sides.
8. Wood Rot
While the inspector is walking through the house, they will search for any exposed wood. They’re going to inspect the wood to ensure it hasn’t been harmed by termites or mold. It’s critical to remember that inspectors will also look for wood rot caused by age and dampness.
They’ll inspect the outside door jambs, roof, windows, and any wooden constructions, such as a deck or stairwell.
When we think of dangerous mold in a home, we immediately think of black mold. What many people are unaware of is that exposure to any type of mold can result in a range of health problems, including skin irritations and respiratory issues.
It’s worth mentioning that mold is not always visible or has that unmistakable musty odor, which makes it more difficult to locate. This means that whenever there are wet materials and symptoms of a leak, mold can grow.
Did you know that mold can also serve as a breeding ground for termites?
If mold damage is left unchecked — which frequently occurs because homeowners are unaware of a leak — it might attract termites. Termites will tunnel through beams, walls, and occasionally into areas that are not apparent to the inspection.
What is included in a typical home inspection?
In the majority of cases, a home inspection report will include information about the home’s electrical and plumbing systems, the structure of the basement, foundation, and roof, information about the heating and air conditioning systems, as well as an analysis of the entire home’s structure, covering everything from ceilings and floor to doors and windows.
Is a home inspection really worth it?
What’s remarkable is that even residences built within the last 15 years have an average repair cost more than the inspection cost. Thus, while the likelihood of discovering a slew of repair items is reduced, the inspection expense is often justified.
What things fail a home inspection?
The most common issues that inspectors find during a home inspection include: foundation flaws, electrical wiring or plumbing issues, hidden mold, drainage problems, and pest infestations.
The Final Say
While discovering that the house you’re interested in has one or more of the faults on this list can be discouraging, it does not imply you’re out of possibilities. You can either submit a repair addendum (which doesn’t guarantee that the seller will fix the issues), make the repairs yourself (if you find that it’s financially worth it), or just look for a new property.
Did you find this article helpful? Feel free to share your thoughts and comments below! And for more awesome home tips, check out our guide to what to do before buying a home!