A home inspection is a must-have before closing a deal on a real estate purchase. Failure to have an expert evaluate the property can result in astronomical costs later on when problems start to manifest themselves. Sellers don’t always disclose everything that is wrong with their listings, and that can cause a lot of trouble for the buyer.
After signing the contract, you have no right to ask the seller to repair what’s broken in the house. A home inspector analyses the safety standards of the property, checks for non-functioning systems, and any damages. However, home inspections are not perfect, and some things may fall through the cracks. Which are the aspects that a prospective property owner should focus on during a home inspection?
1) Roof and Chimney
Regardless of how good the roof appears, never take it at face value. The inspector should get up there to see if the roofing has broken or cracked shingles. Get immediate repair for deteriorating shingles because when they get worse, they can cause leaks. Test the tightness of the flashings. Flat roof with low spots will collect water when it rains, and that is a problem for the whole property so the inspection should include these checks. Rot and decay in the eaves are others indicators of a faulty roof that should be part of the inspection. The chimney should receive a comprehensive evaluation, especially in old roofs. Ensure that the brick is in good condition and the sealant is still intact. For a roof that is 20 years old, it may be necessary to get a roofing expert to tell you how much life it has left.
A home inspection must check the different aspects of the plumbing system from the water pressure to the drainage. Turn all the faucets on as you flush the toilet to tell how good the pressure is. It also helps alert you to any problems that may be lurking in the different systems. A clogged faucet, for instance, will run at a slower rate indicating the need for repair. The inspector should test the pipes that carry waste as well as the septic system. Pipes should be checked for mineral deposits, cracks, and leaks, which may necessitate repair or replacements. Don’t forget to ask if toilets fill properly after flushing. Run the dishwasher to gauge its cycle and look under sinks for possible leaks.
3) Mold and Mildew
Most home inspection companies charge mold, mildew, and termite inspection as an add-on service. The extra cost is worth it especially for properties in locations where this is a problem. A home with a mold or mildew issue may require professional mold remediation, which can cost thousands of dollars. By checking for these elements during an inspection, the seller can fix them in advance and prevent worse situations. Learn about any environmental hazards in the region which you may need to test for before buying the house. A property with water damage from leaking plumbing pipes or roof has a high probability of developing a mildew and mold problem so consider this factor.
4) HVAC System
A compromised heating, ventilation and cooling system is not only expensive to run but also unsafe for the household. The home inspection must ensure that the vents are in working order because they impact the air quality. Turn on the furnace and AC unit to test how efficiently they run. If an appliance has any visible issues like too much noise or short cycles, the inspection will expose them. Electrical connections to the HVAC system must be safe and fully functional. Access panels should be easy to reach, and thermostats must operate optimally. The inspector must check a fuel-burning fireplace and make certain there is no blockage in the flue. Look at the insulation because it determines a home’s energy saving capabilities.
5) Structural Components
You want to be sure that the foundation and other structural elements of the property are in tip-top shape. Inspectors get into crawlspaces and attics to evaluate if there is water penetration or condensation that may degrade the construction. Connections between roof trusses and frames should be solid. Gutters and downspouts should be well positioned to avoid water from reaching the foundation. The inspection should also check the floor and wall structure. Cracks and stains from water damage are some of the red flags. A home inspection must guarantee that every aspect of the house meets current building codes and safety regulations.