Home inspections are a great way to identify issues that you could be unaware of in your home. A great home inspector will make sure to be detailed in their inspection. Inspecting a large number of homes has enabled me to me to notice that some issues occur more frequently than others.
Some of the most common issues I find when doing a home inspection deal with: 1) the plumbing, 2) the roof and, 3) faulty wiring.
Plumbing issues are very prevalent in homes due to the intricacy of plumbing systems and because plumbing materials have changed over time. Often the problem is leakage, but other common problems involve water quality, water pressure and water flow. Leaking plumbing can, and often does, create major structural and mold problems that are difficult and expensive to repair. Photo 1 illustrates a leakage situation.
Older homes that were built with galvanized pipes are often found to have rusty water, low pressure or flow due to the buildup of rust in the pipe. I frequently see valves in the sinks, showers or toilets clogged by the rust particles sluffing off the inside of the pipes. Photo 2 is a picture of galvanized piping. If you have galvanized pipes in your home, it is a matter of when, not if, you will have problems.
Roofs present a number of issues. After all, they protect your home from the outside elements. Being exposed to outdoor weather and high Florida heat conditions, roofs tend to age very quickly. Photo 3 is a roof that has degraded and is easy prey to winds and heavy rains. Often it only requires a quick repair to avoid serious damage. However, if not found in a timely manner, the problem becomes larger and often results in flooding damage and an expensive roof replacement.
Roofs and plumbing can pose expensive and inconvenient issues in your household. However, another common issue I encounter can pose safety concerns as well. This is faulty wiring. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, 51,000 house fires a year can be attributed to electrical wiring problems. While it is possible your wiring issues are not a serious threat, some can potentially put you at risk for an electrical fire. Photo 4 shows a condition that was likely to cause a fire but was caught by the inspection.
Bottom line, I have detected conditions again and again that would have caused my clients expense, heartache and possible loss of life had the issues not been uncovered by the inspection. Be informed… Be safe. An inspection can give you the information you need to make your home a comfortable and safe place to be.