- 07 Aug
Check Out This Checklist to Help Guide You Through Your Home Inspection Process
Electricity: A home inspector needs to ensure that all outlets are grounded and functioning properly, that the electrical panel is up to code, and be sure to check all wiring throughout the entire home up and down. Having bad wires can lead to overheating and potentially fire.
Lead Paint: This is mostly an issue with older houses, particularly when you replace old windows. So with old metal windows, there is the potential for lead.
Roof: Did you know that roof issues are responsible for 39 percent of homeowners insurance claims? Ask the home inspector to find out how old the roof is and if they can tell if any current issues exist. If any do, you may have to first bring the roof up to code if you plan on purchasing it or ask the seller to bring it up to code for you before you commit to buying it.
Asbestos: For homebuyers considering a home built before 1980, make sure to ask your home inspector if they have worked with asbestos and can make a good judgment about whether asbestos fibers are present during the inspection.
Gases: Radon is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, but it is carcinogenic and radioactive. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends all homes be tested for the presence of radon.
Water Drainage: One of the biggest issues in any home is going to be water disbursement. Perhaps there is even the potential for damage to the foundation. If water is found to be near the house, you want the water to flow away from the house and not towards it. While external water damage is easy to spot with a visual inspection most of the time, potentially damage may be hidden inside a home’s walls and that can be harder to detect. Be sure your home inspector takes extra precautions of using an infrared camera to find water damage that exists below the surface of a home. This includes checking your gutters and spouts because if they aren’t functioning, it can damage the foundation.
Chimney: Often, if there’s damage to the chimney lining on the inside, if the masonry around the chimney is faulty, corroded, or whatever, a chimney replacement or repair job can become quite costly and a huge undertaking.
HVAC System: Home inspectors can confirm your home’s ventilation, air conditioning and heating system is functional during the inspection day, but they cannot make any guarantee that it will keep working when you buy the house. However, they should be able to tell you approximately how old your heater and AC unit are, from their serial numbers.
Waste Systems: In an older house, there may still be a septic system. There have been times where a septic system has been abandoned and, over time, it created a cave-in and collapsed. With that, even sewer pipes can be damaged by tree roots. They should be checked out as well and that can be done with a snake.
Flooring: Look for wood destroying insects and pests. Subfloors that are covered up with carpet, tile, or laminate can cause additional issues if not carefully examined and inspected.
Foundation: You want to make sure the house’s foundation is absolutely stable. Again, any issues can be extremely costly if not detected.
Exhaust Fans: Make sure they are venting to the outside. And not into the attic. It can cause mold.
About the Author
My journey as a Cleveland home inspector began 15 years ago when I was buying real estate properties in Ohio. Because they were my investments, I wanted to make sure I was getting a great deal, so I decided to learn everything I could about general home inspections.