If you are purchasing a home, a professional home inspection will reveal a lot about your future home. Besides learning about the mechanical operations of your home the inspection will reveal any obvious defects. A recent national survey of home inspectors revealed some of the most commonly reported home inspection issues. If you are thinking of selling your home you may want to take a look at these areas prior to listing.
Improper surface grading and drainage. This was by far the most frequently found problem and can be an expensive one.
- Improper and undersized electrical wiring. Many inspectors, about 20 percent, found this to be the most common home inspection problem. Another common electrical wiring problem that is found is an outlet with reversed polarity. Reversed polarity is when the “Hot” and “Neutral” wires are placed on the improper terminals.
- Older and damaged roofs. About nine percent of inspectors cited this as the most-common home inspection problem.
- Deficient and older heating systems. Problems include broken or malfunctioning controls, blocked chimneys, unsafe exhaust flues and cracked heat exchangers.
- Poor overall maintenance including cracked, peeling or dirty painted surfaces, crumbling masonry, make-shift wiring or plumbing.
- Damage to structural components such as foundation walls, floor joists, rafters or window and door headers.
- Plumbing defects including the existence of old or incompatible piping materials, faulty fixtures and waste lines and improperly strapped hot water heaters.
- Exteriors items such as doors and wall surfaces, inadequate caulking and/or poor weather stripping.
- Fan ventilation systems should be vented to the exterior of a home. A common finding relates to bathroom vent fans. An inspector should access the attic or crawl space. It’s common that when bathroom vent fans are installed, they are not vented to the exterior of the home, but rather into the attic or crawl space. The moisture from the bathroom vent fan into the attic can potentially cause mold problems.
- A common finding from inspections are issues with the chimney flashing. This can lead to water intrusion into a home. Other common findings are missing mortar, missing chimney caps, or cracked tiles in the chimney flue.
Be sure your inspector has thoroughly covered all these areas in their report. Your inspector should walk you through the inspection with explanations of all entries. It is recommended you have a list of questions ready for the inspector.