Last week I started this topic and realized there was enough information to make it a two part blog on home issues. I want to remind everyone that this is based off of memory from being out in the field.
One of the first things I pay attention to as I arrive to a home inspection is water flow. Does it appear that potential runoff water flows away from the house(preferably) or towards the house? I want to note in the report any negative grading or sloping concrete. I pay attention to how the rain gutters flow, do they drain next to the foundation or has the runoff been forced away from the house with a splash block or extension tube. Same with the hose bibs, if not I make a recommendation in the report.
Are there any trees in close proximity of the house? If so it’s noted. If branches are touching any part of the structure it will be apart of the summary as a major issue.
Decks come up fairly often, the stairs and handrails get loose, the decking loses its paint or stain and the entire deck could get loose from the house and become a major safety issue.
The thing I probably notice the most in the furnace is rusting. Rusting can be caused by a number of different things but most commonly the AC condensation line dripping or leaking.
I’ll remind the new buyers that the furnace filters need to be changed regularly.
The furnace making different types of loud noises happens sometimes and will be noted.
I’ll find a blanket, pillow,insulation or snow blocking the fresh air inlet pretty often, this could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. I add it to the summary and attempt to get the info to the current occupants as soon as possible.
During a normal home inspection. It isn’t expected or required for the inspector to find latent defects, or unseen issues, like something behind a wall, painted over, or under a rug. With the use of a thermal imaging camera it is possible to find some of these types of issues, most notably leaks that you can’t see with the naked eye, hot wiring or breakers, and missing or displaced insulation. Reliable Home Inspections uses Flir thermal imaging cameras at every home inspection as part of the service.
I don’t report most cosmetic issues in the inspection report. There should be some expectation of wear and tear. I do make a judgment call on the bigger cosmetic issues and note them. I inform the buyers at the beginning of the walk through, that if they want any of those issues in the report to point them out and I’d be happy to add them.
Just like a home inspection this list isn’t all inclusive. There are hundreds of potential issues that can arise during the home inspection. These are the most common ones that I thought of off the top of my head.
Chris Lynch is the owner/operator of Reliable Home Inspections based in Salt Lake County and services Salt Lake, Utah, Davis, Weber, Tooele and Summit Counties.