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HOME INSPECTION FINDINGS THAT CONCERN EVEN A PROFESSIONAL INSPECTOR



In today’s hot real estate market, it is tempting to forgo an inspection and jump on an offer. Having inspected thousands of homes in Northeast Ohio, I understand how this decision may have costly implications. I have seen firsthand the frustration of new homeowners when they are faced with thousands of dollars in repairs. By hiring an experienced and licensed home inspector you can be assured that any red flags will be brought to your attention.

 

There are certain home inspection findings that should not be taken lightly. Here are my top inspection concerns:

 

  • HVAC equipment that has not had proper maintenance

  • Poor roofing

  • Foundation cracks

  • Outdated electrical wiring

  • Sewer line issues

  • Galvanized pipes

  • Mold, radon and air quality issues

 

While an outdated HVAC system isn’t usually a deciding factor in whether to purchase a home, it needs to be taken into consideration as an additional cost. Many home buyers believe that if the HVAC unit is less than 20 years old, that it does not need to be replaced. Unfortunately, this is not usually the case. At most HVAC systems can last from 15 to 25 years. Older systems are more likely to have electrical issues, cracks and corrosion that could possibly lead to an electrical fire, carbon monoxide leaks, high energy bills and frequent repairs.

 


Some tell-tale signs of roofing issues can include vegetation or tree limbs/branches overhanging, discolored shingles, lifting areas, warping, water stains and different ceiling textures or ceiling paint colors. A roof that is damaged or deteriorating can cause significant structural damage, is a liability risk, invites pests and rodents into the property, creates a fire hazard and reduces energy efficiency. 

 

Hairline foundational cracking is common in all homes, but when foundational cracks exceed ¼ inch, are wider at one end than the other, are horizontal or are in a “stair stepping” pattern a larger issue may be the culprit. If your home inspection reveals troublesome cracks, I will recommend consulting a foundation contractor to assess for structural problems. When foundation cracks do not threaten your structural integrity, I will still address them in my report and give advice on sealing the cracks on your own.

  Outdated electrical wiring or knob-and-tube wiring and aluminum branch circuit wires are a topic that I have covered in the past and I always stress the importance of addressing these antiquated electrical systems to prevent fire hazards and to ensure that your home can be properly insured. 

 

Sewer line issues can arise in both old homes and newer ones. Usually, these issues arise from tree roots gaining access to pipes or an obstruction in the pipe from debris. Standing water, cracked and heaved cement walkways, basement flooding and foundational cracks are the typical signs of sewer line backups. Home sewer repairs cost upwards of $10,000 and need to be addressed immediately for sanitation and safety issues.

 

Galvanized pipes are a constant issue that I see in Northeast Ohio, especially in the greater Akron area. Homes built before the 1950’s usually have or have had galvanized pipes. While this was the standard product used at the time, we now know that these pipes only last for 60 years and then start to corrode releasing lead into the water supply. 

 


The last issue I will discuss today is the finding of mold and radon, which diminishes indoor air quality and can cause breathing issues, allergies and even put your family at risk for cancer. This is also a topic that I have written about in the past, please take a minute to read that post if you have concerns about radon and air quality. Newer homes as well as older homes may be at risk, and I do see plenty of homes that have radon and mold issues right here in Portage, Summit, Cuyahoga and Medina counties.Many of the items mentioned above can also affect the insurability of the property or home. Insurance providers may have strict clauses regarding outdated HVAC equipment, inadequate roofing, foundation concerns, outdated electrical wiring, galvanized pipes, mold and radon issues.

 

As always, if you are interested in setting up a home inspection for your current or potential home, contact Integrity Home Evaluation services todayand learn why we are Northeast Ohio’s trusted rental inspector in Akron, Aurora, Brecksville, Cuyahoga Falls, Hudson, Medina, Solon, Streetsboro and Twinsburg.

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