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7 Major Problems To Watch Out For In A Home Inspection

Hiring a certified home inspector is an obvious choice for a new home buyer, but what kind of house issues should you be concerned about? 7 major problems that a home inspector might find range from structure to termites and all could lead to an expensive repair.

I’ve researched home inspectors in my area and I’m confident in a couple of choices, but I want to be prepared to discuss any issues that may arise. Here is a list of some major problems that can be found during a home inspection according to Dixieland Inspection Services in Lakeland, FL.

1.    Structure 

The foundation, crawl space, slab, basement, frame, walls, and roof are elements of the structure. Natural disasters, poor drainage, settling, and poor construction can all cause problems with a home’s structure. Repairing any structural issues can be very costly.

Some signs of structural damage could include

  • Doors or windows that won't close or open properly.
  • Drywall or plaster cracks, especially around door frames.
  • Cracks in basement walls (not especially common in Florida, of course).
  • Bowing of walls.
  • Gaps between walls and floors.
  • Uneven or slanting floors.
  • Nail pops.

2.    Roof

All roofs will need replacing periodically. Depending on the type of roof (shingle, tile, etc.) and the weather in your area, this might range from 10 to 40 years. (Many companies offer warranties, so this is something to ask about when looking at a home.) Broken shingles or exposed nail heads are minor things that are easily repaired, but be aware that delayed maintenance can cause major problems underneath the roof, such as water damage.

3.   Plumbing

A small leak can wreak havoc if undetected or unrepaired, especially if mold and mildew take hold. This is not only bad for your home, but bad for your health as well. An inspector will also check to make sure the pipes are the right type. Older homes may have polybutylene pipes, for example, which are prone to bursting.

4.   Electrical

One common problem seen by home inspectors is not having GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets installed in areas with water, such as bathrooms and kitchens. These outlets shut off when wet as a safety precaution to prevent electrocution. Your inspector will also check to see if your wiring is up to code and make sure it is safe.

5.   HVAC/Heating and Cooling System

With proper maintenance, a heating and cooling system can last up to 20 years. The home inspector will see if the ductwork is installed correctly and sealed properly. Improperly sealed ducts can intake dust and debris, causing allergies, clogged filters, and energy loss. This can significantly shorten the life of the HVAC system.

6.   Water Damage

Water damage can affect all parts of the home and can be the most expensive problem to repair, depending on the extent of the damage. As previously noted, water anywhere it is not supposed to be can weaken structural elements, cause wood rot, encourage mold, and draw termites and other insects.

Some signs of water damage may be 

 Musty Odors Throughout Your Home.

  • Mold on the Walls, Baseboards, and Caulk.
  • Staining on the Ceiling.
  • Peeling Paint and Wallpaper. 
  • High Water Bill. 
  • Warped or Broken Drywall. 
  • Constant Sound of Water Running or Dripping.
  • Outdated Pipes and Water-Based Appliances.

7.   Termites

Termites are obviously a problem and the home has to be treated. If left untreated, termites can cause structural damage, which poses a serious safety hazard.

Signs of termite infestation may include

  • Blisters in Wood Floors
  • Evidence of Swarms (discarded wings left near closed windows and doors)
  • Mud Tubes (pencil sized tubes found where the structure meets the ground)
  • Hollowed or Damaged Wood (termites make small holes to kick out their excrement)
  • Drywood Termite Droppings (mounds of pellets resembling sawdust or coffee grounds)

Although I hope not to encounter any of these issues when I find the perfect housePsychology Articles, at least I’ll be prepared to discuss them with my home inspector and real estate agent.


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Rachelle Lea is an author, blogger, content crafter and a savvy consumer.

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