common issues found during home inspection when you're buying a house

The most common problems to look for when buying a home

Faulty wiring

open junction boxes, amperage mismatches, no wire nuts on wires, tripping breakers.

Circuit Breakers

Breakers can trip when they become old. Occasional tripping can indicate simple overloads.  If a circuit breaker trips frequently, you should consult an electrician.

Flickering lights

If replacing the bulb doesn’t solve the problem, consult a licensed electrician. The fault may be in the light fixture or loose connections within you homes wiring.

Low Voltage in an outlet

Could indicate a loose connection in the junction box, or back at the receptacle the power is being daisy chained from.

Poor grading/slope and drainage around home

Symptoms: spongy soil around the foundation, signs of leaking in basement.

This could lead to damp or wet crawlspaces, foundation movement, cracking or settlement. Water around the foundation could lead to rot in the walls, framing members and mold. Some indications of foundation movement unaligned windows; interior doors that have large, uneven gaps at the top when the door is closed; or floors visibly out of level.

Faulty gutters

Symptoms: clogged or bent gutters/eavestroughs, water draining near foundation, not channeled away from house.

 

Basement dampness

Symptoms: water stains, powdery residue on walls, mold or mildew.

Causes: 

Ineffective drain tile and sump pit

Improperly designed window wells

Defective or missing gutters and downspouts

Structural cracks

 

Roof problems

Symptoms: brittle or curled shingles; broken or missing flashings, water stains in the attic or ceiling drywall

Roof leaks can be patched, but in many cases, the roof is probably old enough to require total replacement.

Foundation flaws

Symptoms: cracks in foundation, sloping floors, sticking doors or windows.

Poor upkeep

Symptoms: needs repainting, worn carpeting, cracked driveway, warn wood flooring, dry rotted exterior caulking

Faulty plumbing

Symptoms: inadequate water pressure, slow drains, signs of leaks on ceilings.

Leaky Pipes

Hidden leaks in sink drains or below water heaters can cause structural damage over time. Water that seeps into drywall or plaster can cause mold growth.  Wood flooring or subfloors can discolor or warp when wet.

Dripping Faucets

Inside your tab, rubber or silicone-based washers form a water-tight seal. Over time, washers can ware out or become dislodged,  creating that annoying drip. While you can replace washers yourself, the repair job might be challenging without specialized tools. If the leak has gone on long enough, the valve seat may become worn or corroded, necessitating a more involved repair that’s best left to a professional plumber.

Low Water Pressure

The water entering your pipes carries dissolved minerals in it that eventually deposit themselves on metal surfaces. If you have a filtration system, these deposits wind up in the filters and get changed; without such a system, these mineral deposits collect on inner surfaces of aerators and shower heads, clogging screens and slowing flow.

Running Toilet

Toilets typically run when the flapper valve that lets water pass from the tank to the bowl no longer fits properly, the float is imbalanced or the fill tube comes loose. Toilet repair kits work for most models and require little effort to install.

Poor ventilation

Symptoms: extreme heat in attic, vapor condensation.

Defective heating or cooling

Symptoms: cracks in the heat exchanger or water tank; carbon monoxide leaks, loud motors that sound like they struggle to start, A/C constantly running and/or cooling poorly

 

Will a home inspection catch these issues?

Comprehensive home inspection

YES! A Buyer’s Choice services include a complete examination of the foundation and basement, roof, attic, heating and water systems, electrical and plumbing systems, as well as the general condition of the structure itself.

Our inspectors will look for poor construction practices and make note of any repairs that might be required or any general maintenance issues.

Importantly, they will make note of any fire and safety issues that need to be addressed.

Inspection Warranty

Every inspection from A Buyer’s Choice includes a 90 day warranty.  Additionally we include coverage for mold, roof and sewer issues.  Learn more about our Inspection Warranty.

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