5 Most Common Things Found During a Home Inspection

An inspection is extremely helpful before selling your home so you can address the potential concerns of buyers. Also, those buying a home should never skip the inspection, since you need to be positive there are no major repairs needed before purchasing the home. It can also leave you room to negotiate the price of the home if there are big repairs that need to be taken care of.

To give you an idea of what a home inspector may find, here are the most common issues and what they mean for the home.

1. Faults with the electrical wiring

Issues with a home’s electrical wiring are more common than many people realize, and they can pose a significant problem. In fact, the typical house fire is due to faulty wiring.

Typically issues with faulty wiring include undersized or improper wiring and reverse polarity wiring. The latter is when neutral wires and hot wires are placed in an improper outlet terminal, which could cause a system short.

Double-tapped breakers are another potential problem where two electrical circuits are attached to just one electric breaker. The good news is that most of these electrical wiring issues can be resolved fairly quickly and cheaply.

2. Problems related to drainage

Other issues that home inspectors often find are related to drainage. If you don’t take care of drainage issues right away, minor problems can turn into significant problems.

Perhaps water will flow into the basement when it rains due to backed up drainage or the yard has a slope that stops water runoff from moving away from the home properly. Sometimes this is even combined with a downspout that doesn’t move the gutter water away from the property.

In other cases, the downspouts themselves will be the issue, routing the water to the area by the front entrance walkway and creating flooding. Combine drainage problems with unsealed cracks along the walls, and water could get into other areas of the home.

All of these issues are preventable by fixing the drainage immediately.

3. Issues with the roof

Inspectors are on the lookout for a wide range of problems related to the roof. Roof damage can lead to additional problems inside and even outside of a home.

A potential issue could be curling or buckling of the roof shingles, which occurs naturally with age. It can frequently occur due to the double bake effect, which indicates insufficient ventilation in the attic and leads to the tiles being “baked” from the sun above the roof and the poor ventilation beneath the roof.

If an inspector notices the shingles buckling or curling, they will suggest repairs, as this can lead to the shingles wearing out prematurely. Repairing a roof can be incredibly expensive, so it’s valuable for a home buyer to know that before finalizing the purchase.

4. Plumbing problems

Going back to water-related issues, many older homes will experience faulty plumbing of some sort. Sometimes, there isn’t enough water pressure. Other times, the drains are slow or there are indications of leaks along the ceilings.

Low water pressure can be an easy fix, such as cleaning the aerator screen on the shower head or replacing it. However, this same problem may be due to something serious, such as a leak in the home or corrosion within the pipes, either of which would be costly to repair.

Of course, the inspector may also find another issue, such as leaky pipes, particularly near the joints, which can lead to water damage.  

5. General maintenance

You may not think about routine maintenance during a home inspection, but any neglect by the homeowners can really add up.

Problems can include something simple like the dryer vent being in dire need of cleaning or showers and tubs not being re-caulked. Although major issues would be caught by a home inspector, there might be a dizzying number of minor maintenance tasks that you can get from a home inspection.

A home buyer might be wary to take all of these on with their brand new house.

Think you're ready to take the leap and go on that initial home inspection? Acquaint yourself with a few essential questions to ask as you go through this process in person.

Grace Kussow is the Content Coordinator at InspectorPro Insurance, the premier home inspector insurance program in the US. As part of her role, she develops content to educate homeowners and home buyers about home inspections.