Home Inspectors: What Do They Look For?


Home Inspections can seem scary. Just the two words combined can cause one’s chest to tighten. So much to do, so much to get done, where do I start? These thoughts may race through your mind as you start to panic. However, home inspections don’t have to be anxiety-inducing. As a matter of fact, they don’t have to be bad at all. Before you have a home inspector come and look at your home, just be sure to check on everything to make sure things are in tip top shape before the inspection. It’s best to be able to keep on top of things year-round, though, so even if you aren’t anticipating a home inspection any time soon, the following checklist will help aid you in your efforts to keep a healthy home and receive a happy “pass” in your home inspection in the future.

What do home inspectors look for when they come to inspect your house? Basically, everything. That’s why it’s important to stay on top of things and fix problems as they arise.

One of the things they will check on is the outside of your home. They’ll look at the foundation, the exterior, everything. They will scrutinize the windows and check for gaps, cracks, holes, and old caulking that needs to be redone. They will check for deterioration and any problems with the roof or paneling outside the house. The home inspector will make sure no tree branches are harming the house or have the potential to harm the house by leaning against walls or the roof or chimney. They will also check the chimney and make sure there aren’t any nests inside, whether from an insect or bird, and make sure there aren’t rodents living inside somehow. They ensure it’s in working order and that it’s safe to use. The home inspector will make sure the chimney is solid and firmly planted in place. They will check if the chimney, or any other part of the house’s exterior, needs to be repaired or even replaced. If your home has stucco roofing, they will check for cracks that could cause extensive damage and tons of money lost. Saving the roof and fixing those types of problems before it’s too late is crucial.

A home inspector will also thoroughly survey the inside of your house. After going through the exterior of your home, the home inspector will check out the inside. They will survey the staircases, the windows, doors, pantries, rooms, walls, and anything else that could possibly have any damage or need repair. They will make sure the windowsills don’t need caulking and that every doorknob is tight and every alarm is fully equipped with the proper batteries. Be sure to check your carbon monoxide and fire alarms monthly and change the batteries every few months or so. Keeping up with the little things goes a long way in a home inspection, so as problems arise, take care of them right away. You don’t want to be fixing that loose railing and all those wobbly doorknobs the night before.

The home inspector will look at the house’s plumbing. They will check out the piping, the plumbing, and the electricity; they’ll look at the drains and vents, as well as the sewage pump and outlets. The home inspector will also check for bacteria in water in your pipes and check the water distribution in your home as well as the egress and ingress of your home’s water. They will check the filters and make sure there aren’t problems with any of the systems making your house run effectively. They will also likely check the water heater and furnace. When they check the piping, they will look for any problems as well, such as deterioration or leaks. When the home inspector checks your house’s electricity, they will look for the circuit breakers in the house and the distribution panel. They will also look for the ground fault circuit interrupter, which will allow them to test things out and see how you could turn the power back on after an outage.

The home inspector will check the overall structure of your house. They’ll look from the roof and ceiling to the foundation and floorboards. They will check for the same types of things they check everywhere else: they will look for cracks, holes, mold, deterioration, and any other problems that might be detected.

Don’t forget about the heating and air! Home inspectors don’t miss a thing. They want to make sure your house is up to code and everything is in top working order. One of the ways they do this is through checking the heating and air in your house. They’ll check the pipes and the systems to make sure there aren’t any problems or corrosion, and they’ll see if anything needs replacing.

Lastly, they will check the ventilation systems in your home as well as the insulation. One of the things the home inspector will check is the crawlspaces in your home. They will look for the same types of problems they’ve been looking for all along—deterioration and working/non-working parts such as vents and fans—and they will look at the insulation beneath your house, so don’t forget about that! They’ll look for vapor retarders and check your attic and basement. No space will go unchecked.

Don’t sweat your home inspection. As long as you keep your house in working order and fix things when they need to be fixed and exchange them when they need to be switched out, your house will be good to go for an inspection. Just be sure to clean the place up to make a good impression.

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