Preparing for a Home Inspection

Home buyers are usually very cautious shoppers. They will be investing a lot of money in a home and don't want to move in to a lemon house with a lot of problems. Most home purchasers will hire a professional inspector to come in and identify trouble spots before the due diligence period is up. Inspectors may flag many different things. There are 50+ physical home problems that are scrutinized during a home inspection. 10 of these things are most common and major. Double check these items ahead of the inspection and have them repaired to pass the inspection before they are flagged.

  1. Damaged Roof
    Water leakage through the roof can occur for a variety of reasons such as physical deterioration of the asphalt shingles (e.g. curling or splitting), or mechanical damage from a wind storm. When gutters leak and downspouts allow water to run down and through the exterior walls, this external problem becomes a major internal one.

  2. Structural Problems
    Walls, ceilings, and floors that bow, crack, or dip indicate structural stress. A foundation may have settled or may still be settling. Wet wood may have been used to build the house. Any number of issues may indicate stress and an inspector will recommend that a professional engineer or contractor review the structure for safety factors.

  3. Defective Plumbing
    Defective plumbing is identified in two ways: leaking, and clogging. Leaks are detected either visually or with a damp rag. Clogging is determined using pressure tests by turning on all faucets in the highest bathroom and then flushing the toilet. If you hear the sound of running water, it indicates that the pipes are undersized. Dirty water running from a faucet indicates the pipes may be rusted, resulting in potential severe water quality problems.

  4. Inadequate Wiring and Electrical
    Your home should have a minimum of 100 amps service, and this should be clearly marked. Wire should be copper or aluminum. Home inspectors will look at octopus plugs as indicative of inadequate circuits and a potential fire hazard. A fire hazard is created when more amperage is drawn on the circuit than was intended. 15 amp circuits are the most common in a typical home, with larger service for large appliances such as stoves and dryers. It can cost several hundred dollars to replace your fuse panel with a circuit panel.

  5. Antiquated Heating and Cooling Systems
    Insufficient insulation, and an inadequate or a poorly functioning heating system, are the most common causes of poor heating. While an adequately clean furnace, without rust on the heat exchanger, usually has life left in it, an inspector will be asking and checking to see if your furnace is over its typical life span of 15-25 yrs. For a forced air gas system, a heat exchanger will come under particular scrutiny since one that is cracked can emit deadly carbon monoxide into the home. These heat exchangers must be replaced if damaged - they cannot be repaired.

  6. Foundation Issues
    An inspector will certainly investigate the underlying footing and foundation of your home as structural integrity is fundamental to your home. He/she will check for cracks, chips, and signs of water entry.

  7. Aged Water Heater
    A water heater can go out at any time depending on how it has been maintained. If it begins to leak it can cause quite a mess. An inspector will indicate if there are any immediate visual issues and will raise a flag if it is too old.

  8. Masonry Work
    Re-bricking can be costly, but, left unattended, these repairs can cause problems with water and moisture penetration into the home which in turn could lead to a chimney being clogged by fallen bricks or even a chimney which falls onto the roof. It can be costly to rebuild a chimney or to have it repainted.

  9. Dry-rotted wood
    This can occur in many places (door or window frames, trim, siding, decks and fences). The building inspector will sometimes probe the wood to see if this is present - especially when wood has been freshly painted.

  10. Pest Infestation
    Termites and other pests may scare off many buyers. Inspectors will notice if there are any visible signs. They will not be able to see within the wood but any weak wood or other common signs will raise flags concerning the whole house regardless if the issue is localized or not.

Other issues are also important. We can point out things that will help you prep your home for sale. You will need some time before you begin to market your home to make repairs.


NOTE: Information on this site is not guaranteed to be accurate. Some content is compiled from 3rd party sources. If you are aware of incorrect or outdated information, feel free to contact us.