Common Issues found during a Home Inspection: No home is perfect and these are the most common problems we come across during a Home Inspection.
No house is perfect. Even the best built and best maintained homes will always have a few items in less than perfect condition. No matter if your home is in Clearwater, Tampa or Bartow, some of the items that we most commonly find when inspecting a Florida home are:
Roofing and Leaking Roofs: Problems with roofing material are the
single most common defect we find. Usually it doesn’t mean the roof needs to be replaced, simply that it is in need of maintenance or repair. If the ceilings have water damage, older or damaged shingles or improper flashings may have caused it. Its inexpensive and relatively easy to repair shingles and small amounts of flashing, but if the roofing is old, you may face a much larger expense to replace the whole thing.
Ceiling stains: Caused by past or present leaks, ceiling stains are very common. It can be difficult to tell whether the stains are from leaks still present, or were caused by leaks which have since been repaired.
Electrical hazards: Most common in older homes, but often found in newer homes as well. Electrical hazards come in many forms, from
ungrounded outlets to wiring done incorrectly by the homeowner.
Rotted wood: Caused by being wet for extended periods of time, Rotting wood is most commonly found around tubs, showers and toilets inside, or roof eaves and trim outside.
Water heater installations: Many water heaters are not installed in full compliance with local plumbing code. Violations include inadequate strapping, substandard overflow piping, unsafe flue conditions, and faulty gas lines.
Gas furnace: Most gas furnaces seem to be in need of routine maintenance such as new filters or gas company certification at the least. Many have other issues such as faulty operation or inadequate fire clearance as well.
Plumbing defects: The most common plumbing defects include old and incompatible piping materials and faulty fixtures or waste lines. These may require simple repairs, such as replacing a fixture, or more expensive measures, such as replacing the plumbing system itself. Plumbing issues commonly found include dripping faucets, leaking fixtures, slow drains etc… Even in brand new homes, it is common to identify minor plumbing defects.
Poor drainage: This is the most common problem found by home inspectors. To improve drainage, you may have to install a new system of eaves, troughs and downspouts or have the lot re-graded to better channel water away from the home.
Faulty wiring: An insufficient or outdated electrical system is a common problem, especially in older homes. This is a potential hazardous defect and not to be taken lightly. You may have to replace the entire electrical system, or at least part of it, to bring the home up to today’s standards of safety.
Unsafe heating system: An older heating system or one that has been poorly maintained can be a serious health and safety hazard. You may have to repair or replace the old furnace. This is a major expense, but new furnaces are more energy-efficient, which will probably save you money down the road. If your heating system is anything but electrical, install carbon monoxide detectors in a couple of locations in the home.
Poor Maintenance: Examples of poor maintenance include cracked or peeling paint, crumbling masonry, broken fixtures or shoddy wiring or plumbing. You can easily repaint a wall, replace a fixture, or repair a brick wall, but makeshift electrical or plumbing situations are serious and potentially dangerous problems. Replace any such wires and pipes.
Minor Structural damage: Minor structural damage means the house is not likely to fall down, but you should deal with the problem before it becomes more serious. Such damage is usually caused by water seepage into the foundation, floor joist, rafters or window and door headers. First you need to fix the problem (a leaky roof for example) then repair or replace any damaged area. The more extensive the damage, the more expensive it will be to repair.
Water and air around windows and doors: This usually does not indicate a structural problem, but rather poor caulking and weather stripping that require relatively simple and inexpensive repairs around windows and doors.
Poor Ventilation: Poor ventilation can result in too much moisture that wreaks havoc on interior walls and structural components. It can also lead to allergic reactions. Install ventilation fans in every bathroom if there are no windows and regularly open all windows in your home. To repair damage caused by poor ventilation, you may only have to replace drywall and other inexpensive finishes. If you have to replace a structural element, it will be more expensive.
Environmental hazards: Environmental problems are a new growing area of home defects. They include lead-based paint (common in homes built before 1978).
Fireplace, Chimneys: Fireplaces and chimneys are often unsafe. Common causes are amateur installation of hardware and fixtures, exterior rust damage, or simple failure to call a chimney sweep.
Code Violations: Code violations are common where additions and alterations are built without permits. Sellers often boast that, “We added the garage without a permit, but it was all done to code”… This is a red flag to most home inspectors.