Maryland experiences everything from hurricanes to tornadoes and thunderstorms to flooding. Your home takes the brunt of these weather extremes, so it’s vital to keep up with home maintenance to avoid large repair bills or even catastrophic failures.
Regular ongoing home maintenance can further pay off when you’re selling your home. That’s when it gets a detailed inspection requested by the buyer conducted by a professional home inspector.
In this article, we’ve gathered a listing of top issues you can expect from a home inspection. This is an excellent method for guiding your home maintenance efforts.
Top 15 Home Inspection Issues
The purpose of a home inspection is to verify that the buyer is not purchasing a home with a ton of headaches along with bank account-draining repair bills. While not everything identified by an inspection will need to be repaired, it will form the basis of buyer-seller negotiations on pricing concessions and/or repairs and replacements.
A survey of home buyers conducted by Porch identified these common issues found by home inspectors.
- 1. Roof. Asphalt shingles have a 15 to 40-year lifetime. Wind, hail, and rain causes wear and tear, often requiring early replacement. It’s best to keep up with maintenance by replacing loose or missing shingles and monitoring other areas. Damaged attic vents and rubber boots around pipes may also require replacement. Also, watch for a sagging roofline due to structural damage as well as rotting eaves.
- 2. Electrical. Older home wiring systems may not be up to current codes. This inspection element identifies whether the breaker box and wiring are compliant. It will also point out missing ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets as well as wiring at over capacity due to increased demands from computers, television screens, and appliances. Loose wires and potential sparks can be a fire hazard. Faulty outlets can also be a shock hazard.
- 3. Windows. This looks for cracked or broken window panes, dried out or missing caulking around windows, as well as windows that won’t open or stay open. It will also look for condensation issues, along with cracked, warped, and rotted wood.
- 4. Gutters. Gutters are vital for channeling the rainwater off your roof and routing it safely away from your foundation. Inspectors look for damaged or clogged gutters as well as the correct size and slope.
- 5. Plumbing. Plumbing problems are usually due to dripping faucets, clogged drains, or leaky pipes under sinks or in the basement or crawl space.
- 6. Tree branches overhanging the roof. This can be dangerous during high winds that can bring those branches down on your home causing considerable damage including the rain that it allows into your home. It may also be an indicator that other trees on the property have not been kept in trim.
- 7. Fencing. Damaged or rotting wooden fences can be an eyesore and need to be addressed. If you’re trying to keep your pets and children in the yard, it can also become critical to family safety.
- 8. Water heater. A water heater can be a source of water damage. Older homes may not have the required drainage system to protect from leaks or overflows. Rusting can also be a big issue for older heaters, requiring replacement.
- 9. Driveways, sidewalks, patios. Over time concrete surfaces can shift and crack leading to trip hazards and water pooling. We offer concrete lifting services to address this problem.
- 10. Air conditioning. In older homes, air conditioning system problems include inadequate cooling, poor ventilation, and noisy fans and compressors. Related furnace issues include filter replacement and cleaning, but also improper exhaust vents and malfunctioning controls. It may also be that the furnace or HVAC unit is at the end of its useful life, requiring replacement.
- 11. Exterior paint. You can tell this when you approach a home. It includes cracked and peeling paint, faded spots, dried out or missing caulking, and the resulting rotten wood. It’s best to repaint your home on a regular basis to avoid all these problems.
- 12. Foundation issues. Cracks in basement or crawl space walls can lead to leaks and flooding. It’s important to address these issues at once. Many older homes have crawl space issues that cause excess moisture and the resulting rotting and mold. It’s best to work with experts to add drains, insulation, and vapor and moisture barriers.
- 13. Downspouts. This was listed separately from the gutters above. Both rank high due to their impact on the home’s foundation. Water that doesn’t move off the roof and away from the foundation can leak into the basement or crawl space. This can cause cracking leading to structural issues and even resulting in flooding
- 14. Landscape grading. Working in tandem with gutters and downspouts, it’s essential that the home’s landscape grading moves any water away from the foundation. Water around the foundation can cause cracking along with leaking into the basement or crawl space. A survey conducted by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors placed this issue at the top of their list with 36% identifying it as the top issue they found.
- 15. Moisture. A big percentage of the items listed above have to do with water damage or moisture buildup. It’s a perpetual battle to keep water out of your home and inside the plumbing and air conditioning systems.
This survey also found that 86% of home inspections found something that needed to be fixed. Your regular maintenance program will pay off.
We Can Help with Foundation Issues
As foundation repair experts, we have a great deal of experience identifying and repairing home issues throughout Maryland from our offices in Baltimore and in the Washington, D.C., area.
As you review home repair challenges, we suggest consulting the professionals at JES Foundation Repair for a free inspection and repair estimate.