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The 10 Most Common Home Issues Concerning Buyers and Sellers today.

Buyers and sellers always tend to have an emotional stake in their properties, but home inspectors find that most homes’ defects bear a striking similarity. In fact, there are 10 common home defects that inspectors will almost always identify. When buying or selling property, we recommend that one familiarize yourself with them so you can learn to recognize signs of trouble that an inspector might identify and start planning ahead for repairs. Remember plans never fail unless you fail to plan.

Work that you may need to resolve is:

  1. A leaking roof. Leaking roofs result from poor flashing (intersections where parts of the roof are joined) or aging shingles and roofing materials. If you can observe the signs of leakage, stains in ceilings, missing tiles or shingles, rusted and rotted flashings, repairs could range from minor to extensive.
  2. When winter is coming on your interior climate zone is your most important concern. An aging or defective heating system could require maintenance and may be energy inefficient. Non-electrical heating systems also run the risk of emitting carbon monoxide fumes, making a carbon monoxide detector advisable. Even if your system is in perfect condition with no defects, carbon monoxide detectors are always advisable.
  3. If this is a first time home purchase, A do-it-yourself mentality may only be advisable if you are buyer with construction knowledge and trade skills. Remember when it comes to specialty trades, Plumbing, Electrical and HVAC a do-it-yourself bandaid fixes could do more harm and cost you more money in the long run.
  4. Structural Damage, Signs to spot, a leaking roof or settling foundation may mean doorways, walls and support beams are off-kilter. You should consider fixing these issues first because without a safe structure, you are putting lives at risk.
  5. Poor Drainage, the common contributor to settling structures and faulty landscapes. Inspectors are trained to review whether water moves away from the house properly and whether the roof gutters and downspouts are requiring repair or replacement and if ground-level drainage systems have been properly graded.
  6. Electrical: The poster child for bringing in a trained professional. If electrical wiring hasn’t been properly installed or grounded, a home may be vulnerable to fire and inhabitants may risk electrical shock. Older homes often require electrical upgrades, including new wiring and circuit breaker panels, energy efficiency measures and the removal and replacement of old-fashioned fuse boxes.
  7. Plumbing Problems. One might think they are the easiest to spot. Not always. Inspectors look for faulty pipes and fixtures, and also look at whether plumbing parts are made of compatible materials. If your property was constructed with leak-prone polybutylene (PB) plumbing pipes, common to the 1970’s through the mid-1990’s, may have to be replaced.
  8. Water seepage through windows and doors. If there’s evidence of water damage or intrusion, look for damage to sills, flaking paint, crumbling drywall, stains around openings particularly in the corners, then the repairs are in order. Minor issues may only require re-caulking and paint. Major could require new sills, replacement of wood, drywall and interior fixtures. Good Idea, check your seals and fitments. Adding weather-stripping or other is your best defense against future damage and possible insect infestations.
  9. Poor Ventilation. If moisture has accumulated in a home, it may be most obvious in bathrooms. Installing ventilation fans or restoring existing ones to proper working order can improve conditions. Also, keeping windows open can help, but buyers and sellers may find they need to find the sources of damage and then repair or replace walls or other structural aspects of a home to overcome adverse conditions.
  10. Hazardous Materials. This is always a primary concern. Older homes may contain lead-based paint and asbestos materials. Depending on the structure and climate, homes may contain these unhealthy levels like carbon monoxide, radon gas, or toxic molds. Homes with oil heat typically store fuel in underground tanks which need to be checked for leakage and collection systems for spills that contain the damage and thus limiting its affects to internal environments and property.

    If you are either a seller and/or buyer and you want to speed up the process, call F-10 Inspection today for a free telephone consultation. We’ll be glad to help.

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Last modified: March 07, 2012