10 Most Common Home Inspection Issues

A home inspection is a very sensitive part of the home buying process. You’ll likely have feelings about the overall condition of the house based on how lengthy or significant the recommended repairs are. In most cases many items are minor and can be fixed easily.

1. Grading and Drainage –

This is the most common problem. Water needs to drain away from the structure at its perimeter to prevent water intrusion. Proper roof gutters and downspout extensions can sometimes be added to rectify minor-moderate drainage problems.

2. Improper and Undersized Wiring –

This would include insufficient electrical service to the house (100amps), aluminum wiring, inadequate overload protection, improper grounding and dangerous amateur wiring connections. All outlets near a water source (kitchen, bath, exterior) must have a GFCI outlet.

3. Roofing –

Asphalt shingle roofs only last about 15 to 20 years. Leakage in the roof from old and or damaged shingles is common and usually an easy fix though not an inexpensive one. Aluminum flashing can also be a common problem which leads to small leaks around areas such as chimneys.  In some cases the roofing materials are actually being undermined by severe heat and humidity building up in the attic due to lack of air circulation.  This can typically be fixed by adding attic fans, gable vents or ridge vents which all allow air to move through an attic space rather than stay stagnant.

4. Older HVAC Systems –

This could include broken controls, blocked chimney ways, dangerous exhaust fumes and cracked heat exchangers. In any case, if the heating cooling appliance is very old a replacement should be considered for improved maintenance and efficiency. Improper duct work can also contribute to areas of the home with inadequate/excessive heat.

5. Whole House Has Not Been Maintained –

Deferred maintenance represents a potential high cost situation to bring the home back into condition. If the homeowner did not properly care for the home, someone will need to play catch up. Cracked, peeling surfaces or dirty, crumbling masonry, etc.

6. Structural Problems –

Although not usually serious, damage to structural components such as foundation walls, floor joists, rafters, or window and door headers are common especially from installations or repair of surrounding equipment. Cut and broken trusses are often seen in attic cavities near HVAC systems or attic fans. Cracks can be seen in basement foundations which can be minor or significant depending on the size of crack.

7. Plumbing Issues –

Included are old piping materials (orangeburge), leaking fixtures and incorrectly installed or old hot water heaters. Water stains on the ceiling are usually an indication of a plumbing problem from the floor above.

8. Exterior Items –

Windows, door and wall surface flaws are responsible for air drafts and water penetration. Old, cracking or absent caulking can also allow water into windows and doors.

9. Inadequate Insulation and Ventilation in Attic –

Poor insulation can allow heated/cooled air to escape causing your systems to work harder and therefore cost more. Current insulation code requirements are far more than in years past. Poor ventilation can also cause excessive utility costs and destroy the roofing materials from the inside out by trapping heat and moisture.

10. Mold/Radon –

Both are very common and very treatable. Mold is born in any damp dark location and can be remediated quite simply if contained to a small area. Radon gas naturally comes up through the soil and is present in most homes, there is a suggested maximum threshold and repairs can be made if it is deemed too high.