Preparing for a home inspection can feel daunting when you don’t know what to expect. To help you better understand some of the common concerns that your home inspector may find, our team of experienced HouseMaster home inspectors has compiled this list of eight common issues we find during home inspections in the metropolitan area of Lancaster, PA.
We are proud to be a highly ranked home inspection provider for Lancaster, York, Harrisburg, Middletown, Reading, Shrewsbury, Elizabethville and neighboring communities. So southeast Pennsylvania, here’s your home inspection cheat sheet!
Here are eight common home inspection issues your inspector will include in his/her assessment of the home you are considering:
- Property and Roof Drainage. One of the most common conditions we find is improper property or roof drainage. Damaged or clogged gutters, missing downspouts or grading issues are common. Failure to address drainage issues can cause unnecessary and even extensive water damage throughout the home.
- Damp Basements. The most common contributing factor for damp and wet basements is poor exterior draining. This means water is not draining away from the home as it should, and is seeping into the house instead, causing a damp basement and potentially a whole new set of problems! Our inspectors assess conditions in an effort to provide some guidance on steps that can be taken to help reduce water penetration concerns.
- Roof Problems. Roof problems can be difficult to identify. During our inspections we look for wear due to exposure to the sun and elements as roofs age, and damage caused by the weather. Additionally, we look for defective flashings at chimneys and other roof penetrations. Flashings are the material used to cover any gap between the roofing material and penetrations, and are often the most common source of leakage in a roof.
- Damaged or Faulty Electric. Our inspectors observe the main electric services and electric elements throughout the house for proper function and safe conditions. Both critical issues for any home. We look for issues such as exposed electrical splices, malfunctioning receptacles, improper wiring or breakers, and missing or defective ground-fault circuit interrupters, which are safety devices to help reduce the chance of an electric shock.
- Poor Ventilation. Poor ventilation in crawl spaces or attics is a common issue that many homebuyers or sellers often overlook. Without adequate ventilation, moisture and heat can become trapped, and lead to condensation on the roof framing and other surfaces. With condensation comes one potentially MAJOR issue … mold. Being proactive in maintaining attic ventilation can really save you in the future from a much more challenging mold problem.
- Defective HVAC Systems. Do the HVAC systems cool and heat properly? Are the units rusted? Are all areas of the home provided with conditioned air? These are the type of issues we look for. Most important is the venting system for fuel-burning heating units. Faulty venting is one of the primary causes of potentially deadly carbon monoxide build-up. Assessment of the venting provisions is one of the critical issues HouseMaster inspectors consider to help ensure the heating system and home are safe.
- Faulty Plumbing. Functional plumbing is a potential concern for any homebuyer. When identifying plumbing issues, we look for old or corroded pipes and valves, clogged or slow drains, loose toilets, and poor water flow. These are the type issues that can be red flags for potentially significant concerns in the future.
- Deferred Maintenance. Homes we inspect are sometimes more than 100 years old! This often means they need maintenance to keep the home safe and sound. While routine maintenance issues are not the focus of a home inspection, HouseMaster’s inspectors will look for any signs of deferred maintenance—or maintenance needs that have been overlooked or postponed. This includes a broad spectrum of issues, ranging from advanced wear and tear of the home’s elements, which now require just a little more than routine maintenance, to conditions like wide-spread rot, which will require costly replacement work.
Identifying and understanding all these common issues can help better prepare you for a smooth home inspection and even save you time and money in the future.
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