What You Should Know Before Your Home Inspection
- You will get a lot of information at the time of a home inspection and it can be difficult to absorb it all. Terminology like heat exchanger, over fused circuit, plumbing vent stack, steel flitch plate, etc. may not sound like an oven, sink, and entrance stairway, but these are terms that are part of a home. That is why you should be sure that your home inspection report will be a detailed written report, not a hand written checklist that is given to you at the conclusion of the home inspection. A checklist may be void of detail and may not provide all of the information and engineering advice you need.
- Be sure to attend the home inspection. One picture is worth a thousand words, and there’s a unique opportunity to learn about the home and its systems. Be sure that the home inspector is well equipped.
- The home inspector should be fully equipped with necessary engineering tools including electrical testers, a fuel gas and carbon monoxide detector, moisture meter, ladder, inspection mirror, flashlight, level, and other home inspection tools.
- Follow your home inspector and ask questions. No questions are foolish. Learn as much as you can from the home inspector during the home inspection. Be sure that all of the following points are fully covered. There’s nothing more important than knowing that the home you are purchasing is structurally sound including the framing and foundations. In addition, the physical, plumbing, heating and air-conditioning, and electrical systems should be thoroughly inspected and evaluated.
The home inspection should determine the condition of the roof surface, the exterior facades, doors and windows. The land grading around the home should be examined, as well as the condition of decks, patios, porches, driveways and sidewalks.
The physical condition of the interior of the home should be evaluated searching for any signs of problems. The home inspector should determine if there are indications of past water intrusion into the attic or lower levels of the home and whether the home is susceptible to water intrusion in the attic and lower levels. The home inspector should look for materials that might include asbestos containing materials. The home inspection should include an inspection for wood destroying insects that will be accepted by your mortgage lender.
The home inspector should inspect all electrical and mechanical components of the home and look for aluminum electrical distribution wires, electrical systems that are not adequate for modern usage, lead and galvanized steel water supply pipes, aged and inefficient heating and air-conditioning systems. If the home has a well and/or septic system, these systems should be evaluated as well by the home inspector.
Where applicable, optional testing of underground storage tanks, testing paint for lead, testing drinking water for lead, well supplied drinking water for bacteria, testing for radon gas in air, testing for urea formaldehyde foam insulation.