Buying a Home in 2020? Here are 6 Inspection Woes To Look For

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • December 18, 2019

The 6 Inspection Issues All Homebuyers Should Look For

So, you’re officially under contract on your dream home — congratulations! Now comes the hard part: the home inspection. 

No house is perfect and there will always be inspection issues. Don’t fret, we’ll walk you through six of the most common inspection woes so you can handle your inspection like a pro.

Home Inspection Basics

To give you a little background information, a home inspection is an assessment of the home and surrounding property’s condition that is completed by a certified professional. You, as the buyer, will have to schedule this inspection after your initial offer on the home is accepted by the seller. The inspector will thoroughly assess the home’s interior, exterior and property, and then provide you with a summary report of the findings. 

Not every issue on the inspector’s report is cause for concern, though. While it may be overwhelming, it’s very typical to have a number of concerns reported. As we mentioned before, no home is perfect! 

It’s important to keep in mind that the inspector is not a specialist in roofing, plumbing, electrical, or any other main system of a home. You may need to consult with specialized experts for further evaluation.

6 of the Most Common Inspection Woes

1. Grounds Issues

The inspector will thoroughly check the outside areas of the home along the entire property. They will specifically look for issues such as standing water, problematic vegetation, overgrown tree roots and more. 

Standing water is concerning because it can cause nearby structures like detached garages, sheds, or patios to rot or grow mold. Roots and overgrown vegetation may impact the home’s foundation, causing serious and costly complications down the road.

What To Do About Grounds Issues

Call a local tree surgeon if there are any broken trees or large roots growing into the home.  They can clear out any excess vegetation or branches that are causing major problems.

Standing water can indicate poor soil that is not draining properly and will make future landscaping and gardening very difficult. This isn’t something to be too worried about and can be easily fixed by using a professional lawn care service.

2. Structural Issues

Common structure-related woes the inspector might come across include a cracked or sagging foundation, sloping or bubbling floors and windows and doors that stick or won’t fully close.

What To Do About Structural Issues

Some of these damages to the overall structure, like a cracked foundation, should be taken seriously. Make sure you have a clear understanding of what needs to be fixed and ask a specialist to come take a closer look if necessary. 

3. Water Damage Issues

This is a common headache that pops up during the inspection process. Water damage is always cause for concern, and should not be taken lightly. Leaks or improper drainage can snowball into a much larger problem, like causing the home’s framework to rot or mold to grow. 

What To Do About Water Damage Issues

First of all, it’s important to understand that there are different types of water damage. Sometimes it’s an easy clean-up (think leaking faucet), but other times you need to hire professional help to repair damages from disasters like flooding. 

Learn how to check your home for water damage by reading our blog,

DIY: Checking Your Home For Water Damage

4. Roof Issues

Unfortunately, there are many things that can go wrong here. Shingles may be curling or missing, gutters may be rusted and damaged, or there may be holes in the roof giving way to water and pests. Additionally, if the roof needs to be replaced, that may cost you more than what you bargained for!

What To Do About Roofing Issues

Technically, inspectors can’t climb on top of your roof due to safety reasons. After all, no one really wants to find that their inspector has taken a tumble from the roof! Instead, they may use a special camera or binoculars to take a closer look at what’s going on up there. If you’re buying an older home, it might be worth having someone look at the roofing in more detail since an inspector isn’t a roofing specialist. 

Related: Maintenance Tips to Extend the Life of Your Roof

5. Crawl Space Issues

A crawl space is the empty, unfinished space underneath the structure where the earth meets the house. Its purpose is to provide air circulation along with easy access to plumbing and wiring systems throughout the home. 

Crawl spaces are popular in houses across the South and are a typical alternative to underground basements. The downside to crawl spaces is their very poor moisture management. They can be a breeding ground for mold to grow, termites to fester and provide a cozy home for wildlife — yikes. 

What To Do About Crawl Space Issues

If your crawl space is unfinished and has a dirt floor, we can encapsulate it for you. This makes it easier to access the entire space, but most importantly creates an excellent moisture barrier that can prevent mold and mildew from growing. 

6. Attic Issues

Ah, the attic — also known as haunted ghost territory and where you store your child’s macaroni art from kindergarten. The insulation and framing in the attic provide inspectors with a peak into how the rest of the home is built. Right above the attic sits the roof, so any damage in the attic is likely a strong indicator of damages in the roof. Unfortunately, these damages can go unnoticed for a long time — especially if you’re like most people and aren’t a fan of frequenting the attic. 

Moisture from the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry room travels upwards and makes its way into the attic, too. If not properly insulated, you can almost certainly expect mold and mildew to pop up. Yes, attic mold is a thing.

What To Do About Attic Issues

Easy! Get the attic insulated to avoid future problems. Believe it or not, this will help improve air circulation in the home as well as stabilize the temperature throughout the rest of the house (and lower your energy bill). It’s also a smart decision to make early on if you plan on turning the space into a bedroom

Next Steps After a Home Inspection

Now that we’ve given you an idea of what obstacles you may encounter after a home inspection, you can feel confident knowing how to handle whatever inspection woes you may come across. 

At Killingsworth, we pride ourselves on offering educational resources to help homeowners tackle all the odds-and-ends that come with homeownership. After all, you’ll have to do some home inspecting on your own in the years to come! So when the time comes, learn how to tackle your home’s attic inspection with our free guide, DIY Attic Inspection: A Pre-Winter Checklist. Click the button below to access yours! 

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