Whether you’re the seller or the buyer, you could feel anxious waiting for the results of a home inspection. Knowing ahead of time which parts of a house will fail the test, on the other hand, would help alleviate some of the anxiety and fear associated with the process. Only the rarest inspections would award a perfect score to a home because no building is without flaws. If you are buying or selling a home, we recommend reading through our list of the most common issues that fail a home inspection and what you can do to fix them.
Things to know about home inspections
During an inspection, the structure and systems of a home are looked at from top to bottom. Buyers, sellers, and homeowners who want to ensure everything is in order frequently request inspections. Although not mandated by law, buyers should definitely get an assessment to make sure they aren’t buying a house riddled with costly problems. It’s very important to know what things you should and shouldn’t fix when selling your home in order to be efficient with your money.
Although inspections can help homeowners find problems, they can’t prevent unexpected issues that fail a home inspection, like roof leaks or HVAC breakdowns. They are not appraisals, they don’t figure out the market value, and they don’t make sure that zoning laws are followed.
If you’re a buyer and the inspector is willing to let you tag along, attending a home inspection is a great way to learn about the property’s systems and potential problems. An inspector will not give a property a passing or failing grade, but they will find anything that must be fixed immediately. The buyers’ final decision to purchase may be heavily influenced by the information provided in the report.
A foundation that is weak or rapidly weakening
Having difficulty opening and closing doors, large gaps in the walls and horizontal fractures in the outside foundation are all indicators of a foundation issue (this is especially common in homes built over the soil with clay in it). Tree roots, poorly planned additions, and natural disasters like earthquakes are all potential causes of foundation cracks. These are the kind of issues that fail a home inspection.
Repair any foundation flaws as soon as possible to avoid a cascade of other problems. A structural engineer should be consulted to assess the damage and plan its repair. Just as a skilled team can assist you in making a long-distance move in California, a skilled engineer will be essential in fixing your foundation problems.
Wrongly set up roofing or badly damaged roofing
Faulty roofing is a deal breaker for prospective buyers. Going around the perimeter of the house with binoculars (and occasionally a ladder) to check the roof is one of the first things you should do. In addition, the buyer is usually present while buyers take pictures of the roof as they walk around the house. The buyer will keep in mind any issues with the roof, such as missing, curled, or cracked tiles.
Larger roofs with architectural shingles could cost upwards of $30,000 or more to replace. It’s one thing if a few shingles are missing, but the roof otherwise seems fine, but if it’s obvious that the roof needs to be replaced or if it’s 20 years old or more, you should usually tell the buyer to “budget for a new roof in the near future.”
Bad electrical wiring and outdated systems
As long as the lights stay on, it must be fine, right? Not exactly, and this is why people frequently ignore electrical problems.
Inspectors will look for things that could start a fire, like frayed wires, old wiring in older homes, overloaded circuits, and wiring that isn’t covered up. Regulators now require the replacement of older systems, which can be rather expensive. Furthermore, you must install or repair GFCI outlets. If they are missing from any wet areas, such as a bathroom, garage, kitchen, or laundry room, be sure to install them. Selling your home has changed in recent years. People are looking for new things when buying homes, and sellers must adapt.
Problems with pipes or plumbing in general
Pipes that leak and other plumbing issues are typical causes for a home inspection to be failed. The issues can range from minor, such as a leaking faucet or slow drain, to major issues, such as a cross-connection problem or the need to replace all the pipes. If a concealed plumbing leak isn’t fixed, it can cause fast mold growth inside and outside the house. One of the most damaging things that will hurt your property value is if there are plumbing problems.
An old heating system
Anyone looking to buy should be aware of a home with an outdated heating system. In order to determine how old, moldy, and neglected your furnace or heat pump is, your inspector will have to remove the cover. They will also check for malfunctioning controls, non-compliant exhaust flues, blocked chimneys, and defective heat exchangers.
Be sure to have a professional company clean your air ducts and HVAC system on a regular basis. If your HVAC system is more than 15 years old, you should consider replacing it.
Any kind of mold is a bad sign
Many people don’t know that being around mold can lead to serious health problems like asthma, allergies, and skin conditions. It’s important to remember that mold isn’t always easy to spot and doesn’t emit a musty stench in all cases. This is why it can be harder to detect. Since mold can grow in almost any environment where there is moisture or evidence of a leak, this means mold is present almost everywhere.
Building code violations
Even if your inspector isn’t an expert on the subject of building codes, they will nonetheless look for things like handrails that don’t turn and stop at a wall, exhaust fans that don’t vent to the outside, and decks without flashing.
Have a building inspector check over any work done to ensure it complies with local codes. Also, ask them if they can offer up any advice on how to fix it if they find anything amiss.
Sellers often feel anxiety during home inspections. If you know the specifics of what inspectors look for, you can prepare for any issues that fail a home inspection. Minor adjustments here and there might improve the report’s overall quality. Any severe problems found during a home inspection should be addressed in advance or brought to the seller’s attention.