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Top 10 Most Common Home Inspection Concerns

June 2, 2011

Top 10 Most Common Home Inspection Concerns

Buyers and sellers may think that their home is unique, but more often than not, home inspectors find that most home defects are very similar.  Below are 10 common home defects that inspectors can typically identify.  And it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with them, so that you can start planning ahead for repairs or work you may have to do if you are on the buying or selling side.
  1. Poor Drainage:  Inspectors will review whether water moves away from the house properly and/or whether the roof needs new gutters and downspouts. They will also check to see if ground-level drainage systems have been properly graded.
  2. Faulty Electrical Wiring:  If electrical wiring hasn’t been properly installed or grounded, a home may be susceptible to fire and inhabitants may risk electrical shock.  If you are looking at an older home, you will find they often need electrical upgrades, including new wiring and circuit breaker panels.
  3. A Leaking Roof:  Leaking roofs often result from poor flashing or aging shingles and roofing materials.
  4. An Aging or Defective Heating System:  Older heating systems may require maintenance and/or may be energy-inefficient.  Non-electrical heating systems also run the risk of emitting carbon monoxide fumes, so a carbon-monoxide detector may be recommended.
  5. Poor Maintenance:  A DIY seller’s “bandaid” fixes to plumbing, electrical, or other problems can sometimes do more harm than good.
  6. Structural Damage:  A leaking roof or settling foundation may mean doorways, walls, and support beams are off-kilter.
  7. Plumbing Problems:  Inspectors look for faulty pipes and fixtures, and also look at whether plumbing parts or made of compatible materials.  Leak-prone polybutylene (PB) plumbing pipes may have to be replaced.
  8. Water Seepage Through Windows and Doors:  If there is evidence of water damage, then re-caulking windows and doors, adding weather-stripping or other more extensive repairs may be needed.
  9. Poor Ventilation:  Installing ventilation fans and keeping windows open can help, but buyers may find that they need to replace walls or other structural aspects of a home.
  10. Hazardous Materials:  Older homes may contain lead-based paint and asbestos materials.  Depending on structure and climate, homes may also contain unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide, radon gas, or toxic molds.
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