Monday, May 2, 2011

Top 10 Home inspection Issues

I am often asked what the most common problems are that I find at home inspections. Here is a quick list that summarizes the things to look for when buying a home.  If you are in the market for a home and need a professional home inspection, just give Judy Browne a call (303-284-6354)
Drainage issues – Water is the worst enemy of a home and drainage issues are common.  Things to look at are downspouts, areas of landscaping that direct water back towards the foundation and leaky or debris filled gutters.
Roof Damage – Watch for tree branches that come in contact with the roof covering.  Inspect your roof for damage after severe weather such as hail or wind storms and look inside your attic on a regular basis to check for leaks.
Exterior Damage (Siding, Brick, etc) Check for any exposed wood surfaces on siding and trim.  Also look for deterioration of mortar between bricks or areas where water can enter behind stucco.
Structural Issues- Are most often caused by drainage issues and can be identified by cracks in the foundation walls, improper support of floor joists in the basement or crawlspace or evidence of efflorescence (a white powdery substance) on basement walls and floors which is evidence of previous water entry.
Electrical – Look for aluminum wiring in homes built in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, also older homes often have an undersized supply.  Most modern homes have 150-200 amps available.  Another common problem is the use of extension cords in place of permanent wiring.
Plumbing – Water heaters don’t last as long with life spans between 8 – 10 years. 
Sewer Problems – I strongly recommend a sewer scope in all of our inspections.  Any problems with the sewer can result in very expensive repairs.  This is $100 very well spent.
Heating systems – Lack of maintenance is the #1 problem we find with furnaces and boilers.  Filters should be changed often in forced air furnaces and all year round if the home has central air conditioning.
General Lack of Maintenance – Unfortunately a general lack of basic home maintenance is more of an issue than you might imagine.  The typical home owner moves every 7 years and often neglects the regular maintenance to keep a home in top shape over the long haul.  Don’t neglect your home!
DIY gone wrong – I am a huge advocate of "Do It Yourself projects", and teach home maintenance classes for women,  but it is imperative that home owners get some training before taking on the more difficult tasks.  Especially when dealing with plumbing and electrical projects, it is very easy to cause extensive damage if things go wrong.  Know when to call in the professionals.