What to Expect from a Home Inspection
Having a home inspection done on your property or a property you may potentially purchase can be nerve wracking, to say the least. In this article, we will delve into what an inspection can reveal and everything an inspector might possibly check for. A 2-3 hour home inspection cannot identify everything that might be wrong with the property, it only checks for visual cues to possible problems. Home inspectors are generalists, meaning they can alert you of possible problems but will then recommend you hire an expert to verify and fix the issue. The following is a general idea of what to expect during your home inspection.
- Exterior walls-These will be checked for damaged or missing siding, cracks and soil issues that can invite wood destroying insects.
- Foundation-Since foundations are usually not visible, the inspector will check for secondary evidence of foundation issues such as cracks or settling.
- Grading-The grading should slope away from the house to prevent water damage. If it does not, the inspector will recommend changing the slope of the yard or installing a drainage system.
- Garage/Carport-The garage door will be tested for proper opening and closing and the garage itself will be tested for proper ventilation.
- Roof-The inspector will check for loose, missing or improperly secured shingles and cracked or damaged areas around vents. Gutter condition will also be checked.
- Plumbing-Faucets and showers will be checked for leaks and the water pressure will also be tested. The pipes will be identified, if visible, to determine their age and if they may need to be replaced. The inspector will also note the location of the home’s main water shutoff valve.
- Electrical-This portion of the inspection will identify the type of wiring the house has and will test all outlets to make sure there are functional ground fault circuit interrupters installed in areas such as bathrooms, kitchen, garage and outdoors. These interrupters protect you from electrocution, electric shock and electrical burns. The electrical panel will also be checked for any safety issues including fire hazard.
- Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)-The HVAC system will be inspected to determine its age, proper functionality and any repairs or maintenance that might be needed. The home will also be inspected for proper insulation and possible asbestos.
- Water Heater-The inspector will identify the age of the water heater and make sure it is properly installed and secured.
- Kitchen Appliances-Inspectors usually check only the appliances that will be included in the property sale.
- Laundry Room-A poorly maintained dryer exhaust system can be a fire hazard so the inspector will check for appropriate ventilation.
- Fire Safety-Smoke detectors will be checked as well as any walls with fire ratings.
- Bathrooms-These will be checked for visible leaks, properly secured toilets and adequate ventilation. Any issues in these areas can create mold and mildew problems.
In each of the categories above, the inspector will note whether each problem is a safety issue or major or minor defect. They will provide information on items that need replacement, repaired or serviced. They will also note items that are suitable for now but need to be monitored closely. Having a home inspection done will cost you a small amount of time and money but in the end, will give you as the buyer or seller peace of mind knowing the property is in good condition.