During a home purchase, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the process. That’s why experts like real estate agents, attorneys, and brokers are there to assist with what you do (and don’t) know about the process and your soon-to-be home.
One expert that can sometimes be overlooked is the home inspector, who is integral to ensuring that your new home isn’t hiding serious issues such as termite or pest infestation, electrical problems, or mold. While a home inspection is extremely thorough, some issues are found more than others. Here are the most common issues home inspectors discover and what you can do about them!
Water leaks and intrusion are very commonly found by home inspectors, and can range from minor issues to large, costly, problems. Common examples of water damage discovered during the home inspection include groundwater intrusion in basements and crawl spaces, roof leaks, slow leaks from pipes or appliances, and humidity issues. To make matters worse, water damage that’s not properly addressed can lead to structural issues and mold growth!
What you can do: Water Damage should be mitigated by a professional specialized in this unique service. Professional Water Damage Mitigation Firms have specialized training and equipment allowing them to trace moisture and ensure that everything is dried properly to prevent further damage. While the buyer and seller will generally negotiate who will ultimately be responsible for the cost of this work, it’s important to not delay the work if at all possible, as water damage worsens over time and this additional damage will increase the work necessary as well as its cost.
Along with water damage, Mold growth is very often found during a home inspection, and can indicate a number of larger issues, from water intrusion to ventilation problems. The reason knowing the cause of the mold growth is so important is that, without addressing the underlying cause of mold growth, mold could come back in the future. So you want to make sure that your investment to address the mold issue is effective. The most common causes of mold discovered by home inspectors are humidity issues / poor ventilation in attics, water intrusion in basements, and slow leaks from pipes and appliances.
What you can do: Mold issues have been linked to allergic reactions and health issues, making it incredibly important to address mold issues as soon as possible. While research is always ongoing, some research has shown that young children, the elderly, and the immune compromised are at greatest risk of the health effects caused by mold exposure and that these risks increase as a result of long-term exposure. Most often, Mold Remediation services are arranged after closing between the new owners and a Mold Remediation Firm, however payment of these services can be handled by either the buyers or the seller.
With 1 in every 15 homes nationwide estimated to have higher than acceptable Radon levels (with some states having much higher potential than others), it’s important to have your home-to-be tested for Radon. The reason that Radon is such a concern however is because it’s recognized as the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States (second only to cigarettes). You can’t see, smell, or taste Radon, so it could be in your home without you even knowing it’s there. This is why Radon testing is so important.
What you can do: If your new home does have a high Radon level, this can be addressed by the installation of a Radon Mitigation System by a qualified / licensed Radon Mitigation Firm. This system is designed to vent the Radon gas out of your home, reducing the indoor Radon level. A relatively simple process, most Radon Mitigation Systems can be installed in one day.
During a home inspection, your home inspector will take a look at a number of potential safety issues, including the electrical and wiring. Among other things, they will look for electrical wiring that doesn’t meet current code requirements, wiring that is unsafe, and electrical systems that may not be adequate for the needs of the property.
What you can do: Electrical issues should be taken very seriously, as they can be extremely dangerous to individuals living in the home and can even cause home fires. If your home inspector details a potential electrical issue, it’s recommended to have a licensed electrician then inspect the service to determine what will be necessary to address the issue or bring it up to code.
Some home inspectors offer roof inspections as an add-on service to your home inspection. If this is not included in their standard home inspection package, we highly recommend requesting the roof inspection as well. The reason this is so important during a home inspection is because there are a number of issues that can go wrong with a roof that you can’t see from the ground, including hail damage, lifted shingles, and heat damage. These issues often require replacement of the roof, making it well worth the cost of the home inspection.
What you can do: If the home inspector finds damage to the roof, it’s recommended to have a roofer then inspect the concerns so that they can put together a proposal for the work necessary. This will allow the buyer and seller to determine what will be necessary to address the issue and arrive at a solution that both parties agree to.
Often an add-on service, home inspectors are able to look for signs of pest infestation, including rodents, bats, and insects. This is particularly important when considering how destructive pests like termites can be. During their inspection, your home inspector will look for signs of infestation that may go unnoticed by the current homeowner or soon-to-be homeowners and detail these areas of concern in their report.
What you can do: If a pest infestation exists, it is recommended to have it addressed in order to prevent any further damage. We recommend speaking with a pest control company that can review your needs and suggest the best solution for you.
While we hope nothing turns up during your home inspection, it’s not uncommon for your home inspector to find something. The important thing to keep in mind is that rarely do these issues need to be deal breakers. For each issue your home inspector finds, there’s an expert that’s able to address it.
As always, if we can assist with anything during your home buying process, please don’t hesitate to Contact Your Local Disaster Blaster! We’re always here to help!
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