Top Inspection Problems

As a follow up to my last posting, “Pre-Listing Inspections”, the following is a list of my top things a homeowner can take care of before you start showing their property.

1. Poor Drainage
One of the most common things I find during an inspection is poor drainage.  This can lead to all kinds of problems with the most important piece of any structure – the foundation system.  There are many remedies to improve drainage including a new system of roof gutters and downspouts or have the lot re-graded to better channel water away from the house.


2. Inadequate Electrical System
An undersized or outdated electrical system is a common problem, especially in older homes.  With today’s modern appliances, audio/video systems and hi-tech gadgets, quite a few homes still have old fuse type systems or undersized panels consisting of 100 amp service.  A common misconception is that this is a major problem.  On the contrary – for around $2000.00+/-, a home’s electrical system can be upgraded to a full 200 amp service, in as little as a day.


3. Leaky Roof
Finding where a roof is leaking can be one of the most annoying problems a homeowner faces.  More often than not, a qualified roofing contractor can get to the root of the problem and remedy the situation in hours.  Repairing damaged shingles or re-flashing areas that have failed can generally be done in a day and will remove serious concerns a potential buyer may have.


4. Heating Systems
We often find older boilers or furnaces in a home.  Some show signs of wear, tear and neglect, while others show that the home owner has taken proper steps to maintain the system.  In either situation, this is one of the most important areas of a home inspection.  Inadequate ventilation of a heating system can be deadly!  A quick and easy thing for the home owner to do is have their system checked for leaks and efficiency by a licensed contractor.  Having this done before a home inspection will ease the fears a buyer may have.


5. General Maintenance
Minor things like cracked or peeling paint, crumbling masonry, broken fixtures or overall messiness can quickly and easily be fixed prior to you showing your clients house.  A homeowner can easily repaint a wall, replace a fixture or repair minor masonry problems.  If they’re not handy or don’t have the time, they can hire a handy man or the like to take care of this for them.


6. Plumbing Problems
The most common plumbing defects include old fixtures that are leaking, dripping or just simply don’t work.  Faucets, drains, traps and old pipes can easily be replaced with a trip to the local box store.  Again, if the home owner isn’t handy, simple plumbing things like this can be addressed by any knowledgeable handy man.


7.  Windows & Doors
More times than not, a home is not sufficiently insulated or caulked around door and window openings.  This can allow outside elements such as wind and rain into the house.  Repairing this is relatively simple and inexpensive.  Spray foam and exterior caulking go a long way in weather-proofing around openings.


8. Inadequate Ventilation
Poor ventilation can result in too much moisture that will ruin interior walls, ceilings and flooring. It can also be the culprit for many allergic reactions. Installing vent fans in every bathroom if there are no windows is a must.  Proper ventilation in the attic is also a must.  If there are signs of moisture or mold in an attic this means there is inadequate ridge, gable or roof vents.  To repair damage caused by poor ventilation the home owner may only have to repaint or replace drywall and other inexpensive pieces.