Guide to What Home Inspectors Look For

Daisy Ratnasari

Anyone involved in the buying or selling of a home should have some basic understanding of what home inspectors look for during the obligatory home inspection process before the sale is finalized A home inspection is designed primarily to be a visual inspection of the home’s structure and operating systems such as heating and plumbing. When a home specialist is hired prior to selling a home or property, it is important for both buyer and seller to know just what home inspectors look for in order to know that the inspection service secured for the job has done a thorough examination of the property.

An exterior inspection is required from the home inspector in which the eaves of the home, decks, balconies and porches are visually checked for any signs of damage or deterioration. The landscaping surrounding the home is also part of an exterior inspection to check for drainage issues. In addition, walkways and driveways should be included in this part of the inspection process.

Next is an inspection of the quality and condition of the roof, including any chimney, flues, skylights, drainage systems and flashing. A thorough inspection of the existing plumbing system should include an evaluation of the current water pressure and the reliability of the water heating system. Home inspectors usually will test flush all the home’s toilets in addition to opening and closing each of the sink faucets in bathroom and kitchen to test for the availability of hot water in addition checking the water pressure level.

During an inspection of the electrical system, expect the home inspector to remove the cover from the home’s main electrical or fuse box as well as checking for the availability and placement of smoke detectors. The most thorough home inspectors will also test several lights or outlets to ensure they are working properly, in addition to reporting the presence of any aluminum wiring which is not legal in most states. The heating and air conditioning systems must also be part of a home inspection, with thermostats on both systems turned up so that the system starts to run to check for efficiency. Any oil furnace tanks are checked for stability and any leakage.

Next comes a visual inspection of the interior of the home, which means a walk through each of the rooms to scan the condition of the walls, flooring and ceilings, in addition to checking whether major appliances such as stoves and dishwashers are operational. If the home has a fireplace, this should also be included in the visual inspection. If a home inspector looks for any problems or flaws in each of the above categories, the resulting inspection report will be a thorough and valuable document.

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