Critical Inspections Before You Buy A House
Underlying problems can turn your dream home into a nightmare. Before you finalize the sale, you will need to have your home inspected for critical problems that may pose a danger to your family.
The foundation is the most critical part of a home because when it fails, everything else fails with it. A foundation inspection involves looking both inside and outside the home. Inside, there can be clues that the foundation is problematic, such as cracks in walls or doors that don't close correctly. A good test is putting a marble on the floor and seeing if there are any obvious inclines in different parts of the home. Externally, it is important to view the foundation itself and the property it is built on. Obvious cracks or crumbling of the foundation are major problems. Any basement areas under the house will need to be checked to find out if they have waterproofing installed and if there are any indications of leaks or mold.
Likely the next most important aspect is the roof inspection. An assessment of the roof is similar to the foundation because there can be both internal and external signs of problems. If there is an attic, there may be signs that the roof is failing, such as areas of sagging or water leaking. If there are signs of termites or rotting, this means the roof will need to be replaced. Externally, the covering and waterproofing membrane will need to be assessed. If there are shingles, missing shingles can allow water inside the home and lead to roof rot.
Wiring And Plumbing
Inspecting the wiring in a house is not just a matter of comfort, but a matter of safety. Electrical wiring is a common source of fire. Unfortunately, it is difficult to inspect every piece of wiring, but there will be some clues if there are electrical problems. Outlets may shoot sparks when a plug is inserted or the outlet doesn't work at all. Standard amounts of electrical use may blow a fuse or the fuse box itself may spark or catch fire.
Fortunately, plumbing problems are less likely to be deadly, but they can cause significant damage to a home. Detecting leaks will be important because even small leaks can result in an exuberant water bill. Other concerns will be water pressure throughout the home, properly draining sinks, and the toilet outlet. Sometimes plumbing problems show up outside. For example, flushing the toilet can cause wastewater to show up in the yard.
The safety of the HVAC system is critical because a poorly-functioning system can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. The ductwork will need to be inspected to see if they are clear and insulated appropriately. Problems with humidity can be a sign of HVAC problems, but this may only be obvious in the warmer months when the AC is being used. Problems with the AC not easily cooling the house can be a sign the system is not removing humidity like it should. If the HVAC system uses natural gas, it will be important for the gas lines to be checked for leaks. Gas leaks are extremely dangerous if they occur.
When you are almost ready to sign on the dotted line for a home, you will need to have the house inspected before you follow through with the purchase. There are many indoor and outdoor indicators that can reveal signs of major problems. For more information on real estate inspections, contact a professional near you.