When inspecting a house or building, there are a variety of things that an Inspections Unlimited professional knows to keep an eye out for. A home inspection can uncover numerous areas of damage, problems, and hazards that homeowners might have been completely unaware of prior. There is a long list of possible issues that an inspector could encounter on the job, from a loose door hinge to a colony of bees who have taken up residence under the home. While that last one is rare, what are some of the most common finds during a home inspection?
1. Damaged or hanging insulation
From the attic to the crawlspace, insulation can be found throughout a home. An inspection includes a complete examination of these areas to check for damage. It isn’t uncommon to find insulation damaged and broken down over time. Moisture damage is a perfect example of this. Moisture can dampen insulation, break it down, or allow mold and mildew to grow. Insulation can also have fallen from a floor, either completely or partially, which makes it easier for heat and energy to escape.
2. Old or worn wiring
In older homes, it is not rare to find aging or worn electrical wiring with the potential to become quite dangerous. This can also include old circuits, worn outlets, and fuse boxes or electrical panels – depending on the age of your home – that no longer meet standards. These types of electrical problems can pose serious fire or electrocution hazards. During an inspection, your home inspector will take the time to examine your home’s electrical panel for anything that appears unsafe.
3. Water damage and leaks
Water damage can occur throughout a home, particularly in the roof, attic, walls, floors, and under the home. Areas such as the bathroom and kitchen, where pipes and plumbing appear, are also popular places for leaks and water-related issues. Moisture can soak through wood and cause rotting, which weakens the structure and can be costly to repair. It can also invite mold, mildew and pests such as dampwood termites. Moisture can seep in through cracks or holes in your home’s walls, roof, and foundation. Leaky pipes or excessive water spillage from a shower, bathtub or sink can also damage the floors and areas around them.
4. HVAC system problems
Inspections Unlimited offers a specialized examination of your home’s major systems, including the heating, ventilation, and cooling system (HVAC). As a central operating system of your home, HVAC units are subject to problems that can affect their functions. Plugged filters and other similar issues can stop your HVAC units from functioning properly.
5. Improperly installed flashing or no flashing at all
An important part in weatherproofing your home, flashing is a barrier - often made of sheet metal or other quality materials - that helps to seal out water and protect certain points of a building. Flashing can be found in areas like the roof, underneath siding, and around where an outside deck connects to the home. Improperly installed flashing – or no flashing at all! - can allow water to enter into the sub-layers of your home’s walls or roof, leading to water damage, moisture damage, and wood rot. During a thorough inspection of a house’s exterior, an inspector can identify problem areas in your home’s flashing
6. Rotted or damaged wood
There are a variety of things that can damage or cause rotting in your home’s wood. Moisture or water damage can lead to rotting wood. This creates a prime environment for mold or mildew growth and can also attract unwelcome pests like termites and Carpenter ants. Your home inspection will help to identify areas where possible damage or rotting has occurred. Inspections Unlimited also offers inspections specifically for wood-destroying organisms.
7. Roof damage
As a main form of protection for a house or building, the roof of your home takes the brunt force of outside elements such as the weather. It isn’t uncommon for an inspector to find missing shingles, moss growth or damaged gutters when taking a closer look at the roof. While these types of damages might sound small, there is the potential for extensive damage and wear to occur if they go unresolved. Homeowners can also check for signs of roof damage during routine roof maintenance. Your Inspections Unlimited professional can even offer a special inspection to focus specifically on the condition of your roof.
8. Cracks in the home’s foundation
An inspector might find cracks in the foundation of a home that has experienced settlement, has been altered or added on to, was constructed with poor quality material, or has simply aged over time. While a few small cracks might not be significant, it is important for an inspector to identify them. Larger or wider cracks might be a sign of a failing foundation. Cracks also serve as opening for water, moisture, and bugs to enter more freely into your home or crawl space.
9. Poor drainage
A home with improper water drainage is at high risk for damage. Landscapes sloping towards the house channel water directly towards the structure. Improperly places gutters can also push water into a home. As discussed, water and moisture damage can be extensive and expensive to fix if left unchecked. Poor drainage can result in damaged foundation, water damage and even flooding of basements and crawl spaces. While it might be hard to detect drainage issues in the dryer months, an inspector can uncover specific signs that could hint to a possible problem later.
For over 20 years, Inspections Unlimited and our state-wide inspection team have been a trusted resource for Oregon homeowners. Your Inspections Unlimited professional is there to evaluate the condition of your home and identify a wide variety of household problems that might be a risk to your home and property. From specialized inspections to a complete home condition inspection, a home inspection from Inspections Unlimited is guaranteed to meet your personal needs as we assist in locating common household issues, along with an in-depth look at the place you call home.