Every week, the detail-oriented folks at Green Scene Home Inspections will give CandysDirt.com readers an education in inspection. Want to see what they see? Tune in for “Upon Closer Inspection.”
After you’ve done about 7,000 home inspections, a few common themes emerge. People tend to neglect the same kinds of things in their homes, and of course, Mother Nature affects the homes in a certain area in the same sorts of ways.
As a homeowner, or a Realtor working with homeowners, these commonalities are good to be aware of, so you can take care of your home while you own it, and look for potential problems when you’re buying a new one.
Plumbing is one of the number one things that homebuyers end up having issues with after purchase. Plumbing can be tricky because so much of the system isn’t visible.
What a home inspector does is to test all of the equipment – sinks, showers, tubs, toilets, etc.- to make sure they’re functioning properly, and then visually inspect in and around the home to detect signs of leaks. If your inspector finds something wrong, it’s a good idea to call in a plumber to investigate further, so you know if you’re dealing with a simple clog or total equipment failure.
In the photo above, the inspector found a leak to the outside that was coming from a leaky shower pan. A mid-range repair issue, but something that’s good to know before you move in.
The dreaded wood-destroying insects: termites, carpenter ants, powderpost beetles, and bark beetles. All too common in North Texas, WDIs can really do a number on your home if they get out of control. Your pest control service can easily help you keep this under control, but the danger is, often you don’t know it’s happening until it’s already bad. We recommend getting a WDI Inspection on a home you’re purchasing, so your inspector can search for signs of previous or current infestations.
The foundation is another big one in our area, but there’s no need to freak out if you see some minor cracks here and there.
During a home inspection, your inspector will look for signs of movement like cracks, out-of-level floors, doors that don’t open or close properly, etc. They will let you know if the signs are within normal limits or if you should call a foundation expert.
Pro-tip: call a structural engineer if you’re concerned about the foundation. Foundation repair companies will usually come and give you an estimate for free — but they want to do the repairs. The structural engineer will give you an unbiased report that tells you what needs fixing and what doesn’t.