When it comes to buying a home, the home inspection seems like another hoop to jump through however, it is important to have the home inspected by a qualified professional. There may be issues that come up during the inspection that should be addressed before you purchase the home and finding out about them upfront can benefit you in negotiations and give you peace of mind. The home inspection is performed to protect the home buyer from any pre-existing problems the house may have.
It is the job of the home inspector to examine the house so there are not any surprises after you buy the home. It is common practice to inspect the following areas:
The home inspector should do an examination of the outside of the house including the roof, foundation, structural framing, siding, chimney, etc. Your home inspector will look for signs of water intrusion, insect infestation such as termite damage, and building components that appear to be in poor repair.
The electrical circuits should be tested for reverse polarity and to make sure that there are no missing outlet or junction covers. The GFI panels in the breaker should be in working condition and wires should be in safe working order and not overloading the circuits. Appliances should also be tested and in good working order.
During the inspection of the plumbing, the inspector is looking at the pipes, as well as drainage. Leaks, dysfunctional flow, poor caulking, and lead are some of the issues that can arise. If Asbestos Pipe Wrap is found, it must be disclosed since Asbestos is a potential health hazard. Asbestos Abatement requires a specialized, licensed contractor to perform this work.
Proper ventilation is important; not only for energy efficiency, but for the long term health of your property. If ventilation in an attic is not adequate, for instance, moisture can get trapped in this space and cause building materials to rot or for Mold to develop. While not proper construction now, a lot of homes still have bathroom exhaust fans vented into attic spaces, which can exacerbate this issue.
The home inspector checks the condition of the units as well as the age and assures that they are functioning as intended. He may recommend Duct Cleaning if necessary.
Water Damage and Mold
As part of their inspection, the Home Inspector should look closely for any signs of Water Damage or Mold Growth. If signs of moisture intrusion or mold contamination are discovered, your Home Inspector will recommend remediation by a qualified professional in order to prevent cross contamination and ensure the issue is properly rectified.
Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that has been linked to lung cancer. It is estimated that 20,000 people a year die from lung cancer that is traced back to Radon. If the test for Radon comes back higher than 4.0 pCi/L, a system should be installed. It is negotiable who pays for the system but, allow several weeks for installation and post-testing.
Asbestos was used in many building materials and has since been learned to be extremely dangerous. During your inspection, the Home Inspector will be looking for building materials that they suspect might contain Asbestos. Depending upon the material and its condition, your Home Inspector may recommend testing or immediate Abatement to ensure the property is safe.
Since termites bore holes in wood and can compromise the structural integrity of a home, a termite test should be performed as part of the inspection. Some lending agencies currently require termite inspections.
Choose a home inspector carefully. It is not uncommon to interview different inspectors to determine who you want to trust your new home to. Ask questions and expect clear and concise answers. Mike Walley from Comprehensive Professional Inspections, LLC (www.cpinspectionsllc.com) says to ask questions from your home inspector, as a home buyer, you have hired them to look out for you. When choosing a home inspector he says to ask yourself, "What is the home inspector going to give you? Will they give you their time?"
Some questions you may want to ask include:
• How long will the inspection take?
• What is included in the report? Do you include pictures?
• Can I be present during the inspection?
• Will you be inspecting the roof from ground level or will you be going up on the roof for inspection?
• Are you certified?
It is important to choose your inspector carefully, and don't be afraid to ask them questions. Your inspector is your best defense in making sure you don't regret your purchase later. Walley asks this question when it comes to your home inspector, "Are you a number or a name?"
We hope you found this information helpful! Should your home inspection turn up signs of Mold growth, Asbestos, or Radon that needs to be addressed, please don't hesitate to Contact Our Offices! We are happy to assist you, and are unmatched in our commitment to resolving indoor environmental issues.
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