No home is perfect. Below are some of the more common problems we find in a typical home inspection. A number of these issues also occur in new home construction. Defects are not limited to older homes.
Although many of the issues listed here seem obvious, it is when an inspection uncovers something unexpected or unseen that the money spent on a professional home inspection could save you from making a major financial mistake.
1. Faulty Wiring – Worn or outdated systems and homeowner additions are the most common defects, especially in older homes. Electrical system problems are safety related and require immediate attention by a properly licensed electrician.
2. Roof Problems – Improperly installed and aged surfaces occur frequently. We also see poorly installed or missing flashing at transition areas. Repairs may be simple or the entire roof may need to be replaced. Follow-up any adverse roofing system findings with an evaluation by a properly licensed roofer.
3. Heating/Cooling System Defects - Improper installations, inadequate maintenance and aged components are common.
4. Plumbing Issues – The most common defects are leaking, outdated (galvanized or cast iron piping) or problematic systems like polybutelene. Repairs can often be made but on occasion total system replacement is the only solution.
5. Inadequate Insulation & Ventilation in Attic – Poor insulation and poor ventilation causes cooling costs that are excessive and lack of occupant comfort.
6. Whole House is Poorly Maintained – Deferred maintenance represents a potential high cost situation to bring the home back into proper operating condition. If the homeowner did not properly care for the home, someone will need to later.
7. Poor Drainage Around the Structure – Water needs to drain away from the structure at its perimeter to prevent water intrusion. Roof gutters and downspouts can sometimes be added to rectify site drainage problems.
8. Water Penetrating Cracks and Window/door Perimeters At Exterior – Structure cracks and separations at the windows/doors can allow water to enter into the wall cavities which is conducive to mold growth.
9. Minor Structural Damage – Cut and broken trusses are often seen in attic cavities and on occasion we also see structural components missing from exposed wall cavities or in crawl space. Usually repairs are needed, however we find it is rarely an imminent safety hazard. If major issues are observed, a Structural Engineer may sometimes be recommended to advise on proper repairs.
10. Potential Environmental Problems – Environmental issues that cause a significant concern include: lead, asbestos, radon and mold. Homebuyers should consider a complete environmental evaluation of the property before buying.
11. Rotted wood – Caused by being wet for extended periods of time, most commonly found around tubs, showers and toilets inside, or roof fascia, soffits and trim outside