What are some of the more common defects found during a home inspection?
Many times when defects in a home are found and reported, on the home owner is unaware those problems existed. The list below may help you in preparing for a home inspection and any defects found:
Bathroom exhaust fans in attic: On those cold Northern Michigan mornings, everyone loves a hot shower. So, you crank up the heat, turn on the exhaust fan, and in you go. But where is all that hot, humid air going? It’s supposed to be vented outside of the home, but you’d be surprised how many I see vented straight into the attic space. This is a big no-no, and can lead to mold growth on your rafters or roof sheathing.
GFCI protected receptacles: These are the outlets you’ll see in your kitchen, bathroom, or outside that have the small “test” or “reset” buttons. GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, and these are installed in certain areas in and around your home to protect you from shock. These don’t last forever and can wear out. Often times, we find these that are no longer functioning, or they have been replaced with normal style outlet that has no GFCI protection.
Smoke detectors: Chirp, Chirp! We see them missing, battery units with no batteries, plastic that is more yellow than the sun, or just plain dead. The National Fire Protection association recommends smoke alarms be replaced every 10 years, and so do we! While you’re at it, grab a carbon monoxide detector for each level of your home.
Furnace maintenance/or lack of: Regular maintenance is a large part in keeping your furnace running for a long time. We often see very dirty filters, filters incorrectly installed that allow unfiltered air to bypass, or just a general lack of maintenance to the entire system.
Grading/proper water run off: You may have heard the term “negative grade.” This is when the grade of the ground is angled toward the home. When this is the case, surface water is directed toward your home and its foundation. Which can lead to moisture problems in your basement or crawl, or settling/cracking of the foundation. Roughly, you want the grade to drop around 6 inches in the first 10 feet surround the home.
When preparing for a home inspection, it’s important that all areas of the home are accessible. Including service panels, attic accesses, crawlspace accesses, and the mechanicals of the home.