A home inspection can be a scary prospect. But with a little preparation, you can be ready to face your home inspector’s checklist with confidence.
It’s important to de-clutter the property before an inspection so that inspectors can get a good look at walls, ceilings and electrical panels. Also, be sure to clear any gates and fences.
Your attic is more than just an empty space. It can contain structural damage, poor insulation and improper ventilation, all of which have a huge impact on the overall integrity of your home. A good home inspector will thoroughly examine the attic to ensure it is well-ventilated, has sufficient insulation and that no issues are lurking beneath the surface.
As part of the inspection, your home inspector will look at the chimney and make sure it is in good condition and free of cracks or deterioration. A properly functioning chimney not only keeps your home safe but can also help reduce your energy costs.
Since it is a very accessible part of the house, your home inspector will inspect it for moisture and signs of mold. In addition, your home inspector will check the attic ladder and hatch and will take samples of any leaking roof tiles for further testing.
Your home inspector may recommend the installation of insulation in areas that lack it and will examine the attic for the presence of rodents, critters and other infestations. They will also look at the ductwork and ventilation for any issues.
Most of these issues won’t be deal breakers, but if a significant problem is found, you might want to consider changing your offer or renegotiating the price. You could also choose to buy the home with the repairs done, or you could use them as leverage to get the seller to pay for them.
If you’re planning to buy a home, try to attend the inspection so you can ask questions and see the problems for yourself. It will give you a much more thorough understanding of the property than what’s presented on the inspection report.
Basement or Crawl Space
As the name suggests, a crawl space is underneath a home and is generally accessed by entering it from a basement or by removing a floor panel in a garage. This hidden trove of nooks and crannies contains many of a house’s vital systems components including plumbing, electrical wiring, insulation, venting, and more. Home inspectors will examine these spaces and their connections to the rest of a house. Inspectors may also look for signs of foundation issues like cracks and leaks in crawl spaces, basements or foundation walls.
While crawl spaces aren’t always easy to get into, they are a crucial part of a home and should be included in any inspection. If a crawl space is sealed properly with polyethylene vapor barriers, it should be able to prevent moisture from seeping into the home and creating mold problems and other issues. It can also help homeowners save money by keeping their homes warmer in the winter and more energy efficient by preventing cold air from seeping in through the crawl space.
Crawl spaces can be prone to water damage and mold, particularly if the area is not regularly inspected and a dehumidifier isn’t used. In addition, excessive humidity in crawl spaces can cause wood rot and encourage pests, rodents, and raccoons to enter the home, leading to health and safety issues.
There is no set time in a home’s life when a crawl space needs to be inspected, but it should be done at least once every three years to keep the area in good condition. In addition, homeowners who are considering purchasing a new property should have the crawl space inspected before buying, as this will allow them to be aware of any current or potential problems.
The inspector will go through every room in the house to examine the condition of everything, from the ceilings to the cabinets under the sink. They will look for things like visible leaks, the amount of water pressure and whether the home has the type of pipes that can be easily rerouted to make changes in the kitchen or bathroom.
They will also check electrical outlets to see how many there are in each room and test them to ensure they work properly. They will also look for proper insulation in walls, attics, basements and crawlspaces which could help reduce heating and cooling costs.
The inspection will take at least two to three hours. It’s a good idea to be present during the inspection so you can ask questions and get a first-hand explanation of the inspector’s findings.
While the results of a home inspection are not definitive, it can be a useful tool to aid you in making your decision about which property to purchase. Problems uncovered by an inspection may be something you can negotiate with the seller to have fixed before moving in, or they might indicate a serious issue that would be better avoided if you looked for another home.
If you’re looking for a thorough home inspection, you can trust Lou Rubino and his team at Inspect This Home to do the job right. A US Army Veteran, Lou is a licensed home inspector who uses his skills to help homeowners protect their investments. He has a thorough knowledge of the construction process and can spot issues that might not be immediately obvious, such as cracks in the foundation or a roof that’s about to collapse.
Every business that prepares and sells food — from restaurant chains to home-based baking businesses — must comply with health laws, which include regular environmental health inspections. And though home kitchens may seem less likely to be inspected, they’re still subject to the same rules. A home kitchen inspection is based on three key areas: how hygienically the food is handled, the quality of food management procedures, and the physical condition of the area.
During the inspection, the inspector will look at appliances like stoves and ovens, dishwashers, refrigerators, and water heaters to make sure they’re in good working order. They’ll also check the floors, walls, and ceilings to see whether they’re a non-flammable material and that they have a smooth, washable finish. They might check the dishwasher for leaks, the refrigerator to make sure it’s below a set temperature, and storage areas to ensure food is kept up off the floor.
If the home has an old propane tank, the inspector might test for flammability or rust, and they’ll note whether it’s been removed from the property. They might also test for the presence of lead and asbestos, but these tests are typically not part of a standard home inspection.
A home inspector is looking for flaws, and they’ll make note of every one that they find — no matter how minor. This means that the report will be long and might list many items that need repair. However, don’t get hung up on the number of issues; an InterNACHI-certified home inspector will know how to prioritize them and help you decide if any are deal breakers for you. If you can, try to attend the inspection yourself; this will give you the opportunity to discuss the findings with the inspector in person and ask any questions.
The inspector will also look at the roof and the flashing, and check that all shingles are straight and free of cracks, stains and moss. He’ll also examine the gutters, soffits and fascia boards for signs of damage or rot. And he’ll look at the chimney to make sure it is safe and in good condition.
Even if the roofing materials are top-notch, a roof can fail if it’s not installed correctly. That’s why a home inspector is likely to spend a significant amount of time on the roof, often climbing up there. He’ll check the seams, flashing and all fasteners for proper installation. He’ll also look for any leaks, the existence of ice dams and how well the roof is ventilated.
He might use an infrared camera to see any water damage that isn’t easily visible, especially when it’s behind the walls. This can indicate the presence of mold and the need for costly repair or replacement.
If he notices that there is a lot of water damage, he might recommend that you have a professional do an interior inspection to look for more problems. Likewise, he may recommend a reputable chimney specialist for further testing of the chimney and a more in-depth examination.
It’s important that you tag along with your inspector to learn more about the home, and take your own notes and photographs. That way you can ask questions about anything that you’re unclear about. But remember that there are some things that a home inspector just can’t find, such as a hidden leak in the foundation or a dangerous electrical problem. And the home inspector isn’t required by law to tell you about every flaw, even if it might affect your decision to buy the house.