Pay Attention to these Areas During a Home Inspection
Updated: Jul 7
During a home inspection, several common findings can be identified. Here are some of the most frequently encountered areas that require the buyer to pay attention to:
Roof: The roof may have missing or damaged shingles, leaks, or cracks. Aging or poorly maintained roofs can result in significant expenses for homeowners. It is crucial to determine the estimated age and lifespan of the roof to help clients plan for potential replacement. While home inspectors cannot predict future performance, they can provide advice if replacement may be necessary.
Electrical: Inspectors thoroughly assess the electrical systems for safety and defects. Common findings include outdated wiring, overloaded circuits, and faulty outlets. Inspectors check a representative number of outlets throughout the house.
Plumbing: Inspectors examine the plumbing system for leaks, damage, and outdated piping. They also look for signs of mold or water damage, which could indicate potential plumbing issues. During the inspection, water is usually run for several minutes per fixture, starting from the top floor and working down to identify potential leaks. Thermal imaging may be used to detect leaks in the plumbing system.
HVAC: The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system is another crucial area inspected. Common findings include lack of maintenance, old units, and improper installation. Inspectors check the distribution of heat/cooling to ensure all livable spaces have adequate supply, but they don't determine the balance of heat/cooling distribution.
Structure: Inspectors pay close attention to the foundation and look for significant cracking or structural movement. Framing issues in the attic, basement, and accessible crawl spaces are also assessed. Minor cosmetic concerns like cracking, nail pops, or loose tape seams are common and generally not a cause for major concern. Home inspectors do not provide engineering or architectural services.
Pest infestations: Inspectors search for signs of pest infestations, such as termites or rodents, which can cause significant damage. Evidence of infestation is noted in the inspection report as a courtesy, but addressing it falls beyond the scope of a home inspection.
Safety hazards: Inspectors prioritize checking for safety hazards. While they are not code inspectors, they report observed safety concerns during the inspection.
In conclusion: It's important to understand that a home inspection is a non-invasive visual assessment that focuses on visible and accessible areas. It does not cover hidden or inaccessible findings. The main purpose is to identify safety concerns, potential areas for improvement, and provide information about the age and condition of the home's systems and components. Clients should thoroughly read the inspection report and follow the guidance provided by the home inspector.