If you’re interested in making an offer on a property, it’s a wise idea (and sometimes a requirement) to pay for a home inspection of your chosen property.
A certified, neutral and fair home inspector will be able to provide you with a comprehensive report about the state of a property. This report will outline any and all issues which you should be aware of, including problems like termite damage, foundation issues, roof leakages, etc.
Home inspections are essential for anyone who wants to avoid purchasing a property that will end up costing tens of thousands of dollars in long-run maintenance and updates. Read on to learn about a few of the red flags you should look out for in any home inspection.
1. Cracks in the Basement or Bottom Floor
Cracks in the basement or on the bottom floor of a building are often a sign of foundation issues. For example, sometimes cracks form in basements or the bottom floor of a property due to improper construction or a home being built on uneven soil.
While floor cracks may not look like a serious issue to the untrained eye, if they are left as they are, they can get worse over time. If the owner of a home fails to fix the underlying causes of their floor cracks their home may develop sinking floors, bowing walls and wall cracks.
Therefore, it is a smart idea to look into these types of issues before you close on a home, or consider moving on in your home search if you are seriously concerned about the source of the cracks.
2. Water Damage on the Ceilings
Water damage is a serious issue as it can affect the structural integrity of a property and can encourage harmful mold to spread. If the amount of moisture in certain parts of a property is above 50%, the chances that it has developed significant water damage is high.
One of the tell-tale signs of water damage that should not be ignored is water damage on the ceilings. If a property’s roof is sagging in specific areas due to water damage, there is serious cause for concern as a roof can only hold a certain amount of weight and may collapse under extreme pressure.
One of the red flags in a home inspection which you should keep an eye out for is mold. Mold grows in damp homes and humid homes and can spread through airborne spores which can be a hazard to your health, since even “harmless” mold can cause breathing issues and trigger allergies.
Mold is also an issue which should be carefully monitored as mold can quickly spread on surfaces such as ceilings and walls. If your chosen home inspector finds multiple sections of mold in a property or black mold, it’s well worth searching for another property to put an offer on or looking into the extent of the damage (and the cost to fix it).
4. Signs of Termite Damage
Another home inspection issue to be aware of is termite damage, especially as termites can be found in 49 out of 50 states. A termite infestation is a serious issue, as termites eat wood from the inside out, potentially weakening a home’s structure and making it unsafe for its inhabitants.
For this reason, many homeowners don’t discover that they have a termite infestation until they have a home inspection done or until the signs of an infestation are obvious.
If you don’t want to purchase a property which has structural damage caused by termites, it’s well worth paying for an independent home inspection at the first sign of any damage. Certified home inspectors know what to look for during home inspections and can tell the difference between a current termite infestation and the remnants of a past termite infestation.
5. An Overall Sloping of the Home
There are a variety of reasons why a house may have a sloping floor. Sloping floors can be caused by foundation issues and framing issues, which are often expensive to fix.
While sloping floors are more common with older properties even newer builds can experience short term seasonal sloping issues due to expansive soils. If you’re interested in a property which features a slight slope, after a house inspection you’ll know whether there is genuine cause to be concerned and if there is framing or foundation issues which you need to be aware of.
6. Roof Issues:
Roofing issues are among the most common home inspection problems as roofing materials lose their effectiveness and become prone to damage over time.
For example, asphalt shingles are only designed to last 10 to 40 years while slate, concrete and terracotta tiles have a lifespan of 20 to 100 years.
Over time, tiles may start to develop cracks which may cause water to leak into properties. In some cases old roofs may even lose tiles which can cause significant water damage.
Before you make an offer on a property it’s well worth paying for a home inspection to see the current condition of the roof of the property that you’re interested in. Particularly if you’re interested in a property which is over 10 years old and may feature a roof which requires significant repairs or a roof replacement.
7. Faulty Electrical Wiring
During a home inspection your inspector will check that a property’s electrical wiring meets the standards which are written out with your city’s building code. While the vast majority of faulty wiring issues won’t result in serious issues, faulty wiring can be responsible for potentially dangerous electrical fires.
8. Plumbing Issues
Plumbing issues are worth taking notice of as they can be extremely expensive to fix. This is especially true if a house which you’re interested in making an offer on has burst pipes or leaky pipes that require immediate attention. Also keep in mind that plumbing issues can cause mold and drywall damage and can result in low pressure drains and faucets.
If you’re in the market for a new home and want to ensure that you complete your due diligence, be sure to book an independent home inspection as soon as you can into your housing contract. There are a wide variety of common home inspection issues which can’t be seen by the untrained eye, which a home inspector will be able to notify you about.