What You Need To Know About Home Inspections

Although optional, getting an inspection is wise. An inspector can find things that the untrained eye will likely miss. An inspection by a professional will give you added confidence as a home buyer so that you can make an informed decision.

What is a Home Inspection?

Since this is such an important job, you are better off hiring a professional qualified for the task. (Visit Home Inspector Lithia to hire a qualified professional for the job.)

According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, the inspection will usually include the examination of –  

  • Plumbing – water heaters and the associated fuel storage systems, water supply lines and fixtures, waste removal lines and fixtures, sump pumps, sewage ejectors, and any accessible drains. 
  • Electrical – Circuit breakers and grounding, light fixtures, visible wiring, working exhaust fans, working smoke detectors.
  • HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning)
  • Structure roof leaks, stains and cracks in ceilings or walls, secure foundation, and whether the ceilings are straight and level. Damaged or loose shingles, chimney damage, or malfunctioning gutters and blocked vents on the roof. 
  • The attic and the basement – signs of leaking and damage due to water, proper ventilation, and sufficient insulation in the attic as well as the basement. 
  • Visible exterior and visible interior are checked for doors (external and internal), wall coverings, railings, window components (to look for damage, proper alignment, caulked frame joints, etc), driveways, and patios in addition to the interior walls, ceilings, and floors. Damage to siding, loose or damaged stucco or peeling paint on the exterior. 
  • Bathroom – to check whether there is adequate flow and pressure of fixtures, functioning toilets, bathtub sink, and shower. 
  • Kitchen – properly functioning appliances – stove, microwave, dishwasher, fridge, and the dryer. 

The inspector generally checks the ventilation and insulation in various places. Given the threats associated with poorly maintained chimneys, fireplaces, and open-flame stoves, these are usually looked upon carefully by the inspector. 

The inspector will then provide you with a detailed report on the issues and defects found, suggestions on fixes and repairs. It will be better for the buyer and the seller to be present during the inspection and any doubts should be expressed without hesitancy. 

It needs to be understood however that the inspection process isn’t a very comprehensive one, and the inspector will only be able to examine easily accessible areas (not ones like underground fuel tanks and the inside of the walls) nor is the inspector expected to do anything that may be dangerous in any way. Although some inspectors do so after charging an additional fee, an inspector generally isn’t required to check for hazardous materials like volatile organic compounds and lead or for hazards like asbestos, mold, etc.

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