A home inspection is not something to take lightly. It is an important part of the maintenance of your home, and it can be a vital decision-making tool for people looking to buy your home should you ever decide to sell it. Home inspections can last anywhere from several hours to a full day in length. Depending on the size of your home, the amount of damage or areas of concern that may be present, further investigation may be required by the home inspector to get a full picture of what your home’s “health and safety” actually looks like. A home inspection should always be done by a licensed home inspector, and first-time homebuyers should always have their potential new home inspected for several areas of concern. Here is an overview of what a home inspector looks for during a home inspection.
The Ground Around the Home
The home inspector will look for evidence of erosion to the foundation of the home, as well as proof of any water presence or foundation cracking. They will also check to see the state of any septic tanks and wells on the property to make sure that those areas are well maintained and secured.
Home inspectors look for evidence of learning in the foundation: is the house moving under the weight of itself? They will look at any window in the foundation to make sure they are not worn away or cracked. Water is the most devastating thing to get into a home, so foundations are always thoroughly checked for evidence of water damage inside and outside.
Exterior Surfaces and Areas
Looking at things like roofing, siding, decking, walk ways, and other exterior areas, the home inspector will look for evidence of cracking, water damage, loose parts or broken parts, the state of the masonry and more. They will also check to make sure no plants or vines are growing into the home, under surfaces or through masonry.
Windows, Doors, and Trim
Older windows may not pass a home inspection if they are leaking or have lost their argon gas that is present in double paned windows. Older windows may have “fog,” and this is almost impossible to remove and signifies a window needs to be replaced. Home inspectors will look for the durability of the existing doors, make sure they are hung properly and that they fit into the space they hang. Windows and doors made of wood and the casings around them will be checked for rot or termites.
The roof of any home is checked for loose shingles, rotten shingles, wearing away of flashing and more. Inspectors make sure there is no pieces of the roof hanging off, missing or torn. They will also check vents on the roof, gutters to make sure they are clear and passable and they’ll check to make sure the fascia on the top of the house is secure and not broken.
Attic and Crawl Spaces
Inspectors will look for signs of leaking, weather damage, air leaks, heat issues, plumbing exposure, adequate ventilation and evidence of improper electrical work. Sometimes homeowners will “jimmy rig” some electrical through their attic, and this can fail an inspection. So it is always checked for evidence of extra wiring that is not expected in the home.
Inside the House
For the most part, the state of the foundation and structure home inspections are what is important. Issues on the inside of the house can generally be fixed easily and affordably, as long as there has been no water damage. So while cracked painted or chipped tile might not look the best, it would not be cause to fail an inspection. Still, though, home inspectors do a thorough pass through of a home for evidence of covered up water damage, mould, and more. They will check electrical outlets, water faucets, pipes under the sinks, doors, trim, windows, light fixtures, the number of electrical outlets and several other areas that are essential to the look and functionality of the home.
Kitchens and Bathrooms
It’s true that the kitchen is the heart of the home. And home inspectors don’t spare any expense checking the functionality and structure of the kitchen. They look at electrical outlets, make sure certain outlets are grounded, make sure there is adequate voltage for appliances, ensure the structure is intact and check for evidence of water damage and mold.
In the bathrooms, home inspectors will run the water and check to make sure it is adequately flowing, the water temperature, the hot water tanks or water filtration system, and they will look for evidence of leaking both past and present.
Overall, a home inspector is there to make your life and your new home easier. Don’t skip the step of getting a home inspector to check out the home you want to buy. It can save you a lot of time and money down the road. Certified home inspectors know what to look for and can identify evidence of past issues that could bring big headaches later in life for you. Ensuring your house is in good shape from top to bottom is their top priority.