Top 5 Issues Found During a Home Inspection
Getting a home inspection is par for the course when purchasing a new-to-you home. Inspections are good for buyers and sellers as they help uncover and resolve issues before finalizing the deal. But not only that, home inspections help buyers make more informed decisions, minimize the need for repairs after closing, and make the entire buying process more efficient and pleasant for everyone involved.
All this said, there are specific issues found during a home inspection. Read on to understand the potential problems that the best home inspector in Jersey City, NJ, might identify.
Common Problems Found in Home Inspections
When a home inspection is done correctly, it can uncover some critical problems with the home you should resolve as part of the sale. Some of these issues can be quite serious and costly, especially if they go undiscovered. For this reason, buyers and sellers should know what to look for in a home inspector and prepare for some issues that might arise in the inspection itself.
1. The roof, the roof, the roof
Did we mention the roof? Unless you live somewhere entirely free and clear of rain, snow, or other weather-related conditions (and let us know where that might be), you need a roof and a trusty one at that. However, the roof is the first problem area discovered during home inspections.
Common roof problems that your home inspector might identify include the following:
- Roof leaks
- Standing water
- Damaged shingles or flashing
- Roofing material shrinkage
- Clogged gutters
- Evidence of unrepaired storm damage
- Degradation due to nearby trees or shrubbery
- Snow and ice damage
- Pest problems (birds, mice, etc.)
- Lack of maintenance or poor-quality repairs
- Improper installation
2. Attic space
During your home inspection in Jersey City, your inspector will look closely at the elements under the roof. This includes the home’s ventilation system, insulation, and overall structure. However, it isn’t uncommon, especially in older homes, to find some problems with the attic space.
In some cases, the inspector might identify dark or black wood or painted rafters, which could indicate the dwelling had a housefire. Evidence of water damage identified by discoloration on the wood or other materials is also a common concern. Further, tunnels and wood shavings could indicate wood-destroying insects.
3. Poor grading
No, we’re not talking about those school days of yesteryear. Grading consists of sculpting the area around the house to comply with zoning and other regulatory restrictions and requirements. But grading is essential for different reasons, too. If the yard is not graded properly, it can make your lawn soft and spongy, and you may find water constantly rising to the surface. Poor grading can also cause water to seep into the home.
4. Electrical panel
If the electrical panel has unused openings, it can cause shocks or sparks to escape from the panel. These openings are also a critters’ paradise, creating space pockets to crawl in and build a nest or warm up on a cold New Jersey day. It’s surprising to find this problem these days, too, since you can purchase inexpensive filler plates at just about any nearby hardware store.
But electrical problems can also extend beyond the panel itself. Inspectors also commonly find the following issues:
- Ungrounded receptacles
- Double-tapped circuit breakers
- Exposed light bulbs in closets (this is a severe fire hazard)
- The wrong covers on outdoor receptacles
- Too many extension cords in use due to too few receptacles
- Malfunctioning GFCI outlets in the kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room
- A lack of tamper-resistant receptacles (dangerous for homes with young children)
- Electrical wiring not up to New Jersey building codes
5. Bathroom plumbing
If you want to purchase a home, faulty bathroom plumbing is the last thing you want. After all, no one wants to be smelly because they can’t take a shower or use the facilities if you catch our drift. But kidding aside, bathroom plumbing problems are more common than many home buyers realize. We often find the following:
- The use of polyethylene (PE) pipes and polybutylene (PB) pipes – these pipes were banned in the United States back in 2010
- Rusted galvanized pipes
- Broken or weakened pipes
- Leaky faucets – not only do leaky faucets cause your water bill to skyrocket into outer space, but the sound of dripping water is often enough to make even the best of us a little bit crazy
- Clogged sewer lines – yep, that means that waste could be backing up inside the home, and trust us, that’s not a problem you want to face
- Slow leaks behind the walls increase the water bill while slowly destroying flooring, drywall, and more (not to mention an increased risk of mold or mildew)
- Water heater issues(so this isn’t usually a bathroom problem, but it fits nicely in our plumbing category)
Some honorable mentions – stucco and windows
Though the above issues are those most commonly found by home inspectors, this doesn’t mean there aren’t a handful of honorable mentions. We’ll start with stucco issues. New Jersey has many stucco homes, especially in the more historic neighborhoods. Stucco is low-maintenance, fire-resistant, and durable. However, these stucco finishes are often vulnerable to environmental factors and poor installation.
And of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the windows. We’re not talking about the manufacturer of the windows or even the design (though some windows are far more effective and efficient than others). Instead, we’re talking about whether or not those windows will even open in the first place. And believe us; this is frustrating as all get out. Windows get stuck for the following reasons:
- Dirt or debris stuck in the tracks
- Rust accumulation on the metal sliding tracks
- Window damage or age
- Damaged frame
- And our favorite – the previous homeowner painted their windows and didn’t let them dry before shutting them – this situation is always enough to get home buyers (and home inspectors) muttering expletives they wouldn’t normally say in their own homes
Harrison Home Inspections – Your best home inspector in Jersey City
As we said before, not all home inspectors are the same. As a home inspector, I want to be the best in the business. I got my start in home inspections because I am a licensed real estate agent passionate about helping home buyers have a great home-buying experience. If I find one of the problems mentioned above during your home inspection, I’ll let you know and offer my honest opinion on the next steps.
If you have found the home of your dreams, don’t move forward without a home inspection. Schedule your home inspection today.