A home inspection is one of the common contingencies to real estate purchase agreements. An inspector can be hired by both the buyer and the seller. Home inspectors examine the house thoroughly for non-functioning systems, damages, and repairs that may be needed. The detailed report from the inspection can be the basis for continuing with the purchase, renegotiating the sale price, and as well as allowing the seller to make repairs. It is a recommended service when selling or purchasing new construction and as well as re-sales.
Undergoing a home inspection is one of the best ways for buyers and sellers to find out any important repairs or safety issues that are present in a home. If you are planning to sell your home soon and want it to be inspected, there are plenty of ways to prepare for it. In this post, we are giving you a list of the things that home inspectors look for.
What is a Home Inspection?
A home inspection is done by a certified home inspector in different areas of the house for damage or probable issues. Home inspectors search for any sign of damage or possible issues with the home. The inspector will conduct a detailed examination of the physical structure of the home. It can begin from the foundation and work their way up to the roof.
The purpose of a home inspection is to help both sellers and buyers recognize any areas of the home that pose a safety hazard and are required to be fixed. The report of the inspection is usually given about one to two days after the inspection takes place. It will give you in-depth information regarding any issues along with pictures, a detailed description of the problem, and recommendations for repair.
Home inspectors usually check the parts of the home that most sellers and buyers would not know how to check. These include wiring an electrical panel, insulation, septic tank, HVAC, and more. This way, they can ensure that the home is safe for a buyer and that there is no major structural damage needed to be fixed.
What Do Home Inspectors Look For?
Based on the American Society of Home Inspectors or ASHI, here are the things that home inspectors look into during a home inspection:
Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning System (HVAC)
Home inspectors check the HVAC system of the house. It involves a thorough visual inspection to make sure that the heat pump, ducts, furnace, air conditioner, and thermostat are all functioning well. In addition to that, a home inspector also looks for any signs of gas or carbon monoxide leaks.
After they do a visual examination, they will then check the systems to make sure that they are working well. The gas or oil furnace should light properly and heats or cool the house. During the winter, they will only check the heating, and during the summer, they will only check the air conditioning.
Home inspectors also check the electrical systems of the house. They will first inspect the wires outside of the house that enters the electrical panel. They need to make sure that there are no trees or bushes that are interfering with the wiring. When you have an older home, they will check the visible wires and see if they are covered with insulation and no metal parts are showing.
For newer neighborhoods, all wirings are located underground. What the inspector would do is open the electrical panel to make sure that it is connected by circuit breakers instead of fuses. This is because fuses are illegal in most parts of the United States.
In addition to that, inspectors will also check the size of the main breaker to make sure that it has enough amps for the electrical needs in the home. They will also inspect the wiring to make sure that copper is used instead of aluminum, and that none of the wires are loose, and that there isn’t any rust inside the electrical panel. Once the checking is completed, the inspector will then test all the wall outlets in the home via a multimeter. They also need to check if all light switches in the house are working.
Home inspectors will also check all toilets, showers, water lines, sinks, bathtubs, pipes, and other areas of the home where water runs through. They will also test the filler mechanisms, flappers, and all levels in all toilets to make sure that they work properly. The hydrates and pipes outside of the house are also going to be checked for leaks and will make sure that there is proper anti-freeze protection. The inspectors will also check the temperature, pressure relief valves, and pipes in all water heaters.
The condition of the insulation of the attic will also be checked by a home inspector. This is because insulation determines the energy efficiency within the home. The ventilation of the attic will also be inspected. When the attic has poor ventilation, it can bring in excess moisture and lead to mold growth. In addition to that, they will also look for any signs of water stains, damaged insulation, and other signs of leaks to make sure that there is no water damage.
Aside from water damage, the inspector will also search for any signs of fire damage like scorched woot or soot. The interior of the attic can also help the inspector assess the roof and framing of the house to know whether or not the roofing system is strong enough to protect itself against strong winds.
The home inspector will only go to the roof if it is safe. This means that the roof needs to be less than three stories tall and not too steep. They will also not check if it is raining, snowing, or windy. If they can inspect the roof, they will check the gutters and flashing and check if there are any warped or missing shingles.
Walls, Ceilings, and Floors
The home inspector will also check the walls, floors, and ceilings for any discoloration, water damage, or mold. They will also check for cracks and sagging on the ceilings, and as well as other structural damage in the walls. In addition to that, they will also look for any uneven baseboards in the flooring or bugling areas in the walls. It is also important to remember that the inspector will not place negative marks on cosmetic items, only structural damage or areas that need to be repaired due to safety hazards.
Doors and Windows
All windows and doors will also be checked to make sure that they open and close properly. Each bedroom should have at least one operating window that can be used to exit the house in case of an emergency. The doorframes will also be assessed to make sure that they are not sagging into the floor or off-balance, which can indicate a problem with the foundation of the house.
A home’s foundation is assessed from the outside of the home going in. Some of the signs of a faulty foundation may include a sunken porch, cracked steps, and a chimney leaning away from the house. Inside, some of the signs are doors and windows that are hard to close, and as well as considerable cracks in the drywall or ceiling. In addition to that, cracked tiles or lopsided flooring could also suggest foundational issues. The framing of the house and other structural elements are also checked to make sure that they are intact.
If the home has a basement, it will also be inspected. The home inspector will take time to look for signs of water damage in the basement. These may include mildew, mold growth, uneven flooring, and damaged walls. They will also ensure that water can’t enter the areas around the basement doors and windows.
When the home inspection is done, the inspector will take about a day or two to complete the detailed report with their findings. In addition to that, they will also give information and recommendations on how to repair the items. Therefore, if you are a seller, you may want to consider getting your home inspected before putting it on the market for sale. This way, you will know exactly what is in need of repair prior to entertaining buyers. We hope this post helped you learn more about what home inspectors look for.