🔎 Common Defects Found at 🔎 home Inspections 🏠
Some sellers don’t want to spend the money but getting a pre-sale home inspection could save you a lot of heartaches. Lots of transactions fall apart because of a lousy inspection that spooks buyers. By inspecting before putting your home on the market, you can discover if there could be any significant deal breakers.If you don’t feel doing a pre-sale inspection is necessary at least be aware of the common issues that come up frequently in inspections. Do your best to remedy them before the inspection takes place.
One of the best ways to prepare for a buyers home inspection is to know what kind of defects the home inspector is likely to find. Some defects are found in many homes, that as a homeowner, you may not have even paid much attention to. After living in a house for many years sometimes we get used to things being a certain way. Sometimes it would not even cross our minds that a small defect may be a bigger issue to someone else.
With this knowledge in hand at least, you will have the opportunity to make some corrections before your home goes on the market. These vital home inspection preparation tips can go a long way in keeping your real estate transaction moving along smoothly.
Ceiling Stains – one of the things in homes that troubles home buyers more than anything else is the fear of water. Nobody wants to have a water issue in their home.
Over the years, I have sold thousands of homes, and the vast majority of them have had some form of a ceiling stain.
In many instances, the stain occurred from something innocuous like a toilet overflowing or one of the kids leaving the shower curtain open.
Buyers, however, may not assume it is something so simple. In other cases, a ceiling stain could have been caused by an ice dam. The trick of course from the buyer’s perspective is to find out if the ice damming is going to occur over and over again from a roofing or gutter defect.
In some instances, it may be a rare occurrence where there was a twenty-five-year storm. In any event, you will want to make sure the ceiling stains are removed.
Electrical violations – Electrical issues are most common in homes where Mr. homeowner has decided to make improvements on his own and has not hired an electrician.
Often work is not done to code which creates issues. Some of the other more prevalent problems include lack of GFI outlets (Ground Fault Interrupter) ⬇️ in the kitchen and bathrooms or outside.
These are outlets designed to eliminate the possibility of electrocution if water comes in contact with electricity. Double tapped electrical breakers are another example. A double tap is when a breaker in the electrical panel has more than one wire creating a hazard from too much current going through one breaker. Non-grounded outlets are another defect you commonly see along with a whole host of others.
Improper bathroom venting – years ago almost every home that had some kind of a bath fan just dumped the exhaust into the attic. Over the years it was discovered that doing this provided the perfect breeding ground for mold in attics.
This makes perfect sense as you are adding a ton of moisture into a less ventilated space. The thought of mold can easily cause a buyer not to want to proceed with purchasing a home.
Building codes have since changed, and in most homes built today, it is required that a bath fan vent to the exterior of a house most often through the roof. A word of advice….check your attic for mold if you have not been up there for a while.
I have found that when an inspector discovers mold most of the time, the owner never knew it was there.
Rotted exterior wood – Most of the time rotted wood is due to lack of maintenance, i.e., waiting too long to paint your home. When uncovered wood is wet for too long, it tends to rot. The most common areas include exterior trim, window trim, and regions around decks. (Shown below) ⬇️
While rotted wood can occur in any home, many of the homes built in the 1980’s used “finger jointed” woodwork which was an inferior product.
Minor plumbing defects – It is very rare not to find some kind of small plumbing defect. The good news on this one is that they are usually very easy to fix. Some of the more common problems include dripping faucets, loose toilets, and slow or leaky drains. Some of the other nuisance issues that are brought to light by home inspectors are leaky valves on boilers and water heaters. Most of the time these are not big issues but routine maintenance that needs to be done by either a plumber or heating contractor.
below is a picture of a leaking sink. You can see by the rusty pipes ⬇️ that moisture has previously or actively settling in there.
Failed window seals – A failed window seal is something you see quite often in homes. The way you know a window seal has failed is when you look at a window fogging. This means the thermal seal between two panes of glass has leakage.
Most homes today are built with thermal pane windows (two panes). You see more homes that were built in the 80’s that have this condition.
Chimney defects – the most common defects in chimneys are cracks and re-pointing or mortar. More often than not these are found at the very top of the chimney and have occurred over time due to the elements. More significant issues happen when larger cracks around found from the base of the chimney moving upward. This could indicate more of an unsafe structural issue. Or when the bricks change color (white) that is a sign of water leakage.
Mold & Radon Remediation – Mold and radon are two of the biggest deal killers in real estate. Before a home inspection, you should check to make sure you have neither of these issues. Preferably you should check before your home even goes on the market.
Mold is something that you can not be sure of unless it is tested by someone in the mold industry. You can, however, reasonably identify what could be mold. Most of the time in homes it will be a black substance that is on the walls or ceilings.
The most common places to find mold are attics, basements, and baths. Selling a home with mold is difficult. Make sure you deal with this problem before listing for sale.
Radon is a gas found under the ground that enters the home through cracks in your concrete or dirt floor. It is a known carcinogen and something that most buyers are very cognoscente of. While there are no federal laws in place regarding radon removal, most buyer’s will request you to remediate it if it is found to be higher than the suggest passing limit which is 4.0 pCi/L (picocuries per liter). Removing radon in the air is relatively easy to do. When it becomes, a much more substantial expense is having to remove radon from water.