My List Of Top 10 Home Inspection Defects
If you're buying a new home, it is important you know the most common problems found at home inspections. Here is my list of top 10 home inspection defects:
1. Improper Surface Grading/Drainage
This is the most frequent issue I find. If the drainage around a home is not adequate, moisture intrusion problems and even structural settlement can occur. The soil grade at the perimeter of a home should drop at least six inches in the first ten feet.
2. Improper Electrical Wiring
Electrical issues almost always find a place in my home inspection reports. Amateur wiring, shock hazards, inadequate electrical service to older homes, fire hazards due to faulty wiring connections, lack of GFCI outlets where needed, and other electrical defects are all too common.
3. Roof Issues
Evidence of previous leaks, damaged roof materials, and improper installations are frequently found. A home inspector needs to get on a roof to see these problem areas. Many roofing defects will be missed if a home inspector only views the roof from the ground or from a ladder at the eaves.
4. Plumbing Issues
Plumbing problems rank high on my list of top 10 inspection defects. Leaks at fixtures and waste lines, deteriorated drain piping in older homes, amateur installations, slab leaks, and problematic water piping such as polybutylene or galvanized steel are often found.
5. Venting Systems
The flue assemblies for gas-burning appliances often have inadequate clearance from combustibles, improper terminations, or they are sagging or disconnected due to amateur installation. These conditions present a fire and carbon monoxide hazard.
6. Heating/Cooling System Issues
Substandard installations and repairs, poorly maintained, or inoperative heating and cooling systems are seen quite frequently. Less than optimal performance is often found when these systems are tested.
7. Breaches in Fire-Resistance-Rated Walls or Assemblies
Unapproved or improperly operating garage fire doors, missing fireblocking and draftstops, and unrepaired openings in fire-resistance-rated walls or assemblies are found at many home inspections. These breaches are fire safety hazards to the occupants.
8. Poor Overall Maintenance
Sadly, most people take better care of their cars than they do their homes. Neglected painting of exterior wood components results in dry rot and termite damage. Crumbling masonry, trip hazards, amateur wiring or plumbing, and broken fixtures or appliances are quite common.
9. Structural Related Issues
Many houses, as a result of problems in one or more of the other categories, sustain damage to structural components such as foundation walls, floor joists, roof trusses and rafters, or wall assemblies.
10. Environmental Issues
This category includes the presence of asbestos, mold, lead-based paint, or other hazardous material discovered during a home inspection. Lab testing of suspected material is necessary to confirm their presence.
So, when you're buying a home, remember to bring along my list of top 10 home inspection defects. Steve Stenros is the owner of First Choice Inspections and is a CREIA MCI inspector. Clients receive a FREE lifetime appliance RecallChek with every standard home inspection. Appointments can be obtained by calling 888-335-3040.
Steve Stenros, MCI
Master CREIA Inspector #0115
ICC Residential Combination Inspector #5251439
Certified Infrared Thermographer #7791
FHA/HUD Inspector- #V975
203k Consultant #S0611
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