HomeownerHelpful Info: Home Improvement

Home Inspectors

Home Inspectors Educational Content

A home inspection is key to catching existing issues with a house. Home inspectors can’t open walls or damage the house in any way, but they will look at every accessible part of the house so you know what you’re buying.

Roofs should have properly maintained gutters, soffits, fascia, flashing, venting, and chimneys. The shingles should be in good shape.

Attics, basements, and crawl spaces should be adequately ventilated and free of moisture. Some inspectors use infrared technology to detect mold growing in places that are difficult to see. Wiring, piping, and other system components should not be exposed.

Interior ceilings, floors, walls, countertops, cabinets, stairs, railings, windows, doors, wall coverings, and appliances should be installed properly and in good condition with no decay or damage.

Exterior siding, walkways, driveways, windows, doors, decks, stairs, rails, garages, and carports should be properly installed, stable, undamaged, and free of excessive cracks, wear, or moisture. Some types of stucco can retain moisture against the underlying surface. A skilled home inspector can perform moisture tests to ensure that a stucco finish is not harboring any water.

Structures and foundations should be secure and stable. Your foundation should be adequately insulated and protected against moisture. Radon gas, which affects air quality inside homes and can cause health problems, can seep through a home’s foundation. The EPA recommends radon testing for all homes on the market, and it’s especially important if you live in an area with a known radon issue. Ask your inspector whether radon testing is included in the inspection or available for a fee.

Electrical wires, panels, breakers, and fuses should be connected and maintained with no excessive wear, damage, evidence of overheating, or exposed wiring. Outlets should be present in each room and have a faceplate. Outlets outdoors and near water sources should have GFCI protection.

Air conditioning and heating flues, vents, chimneys, ducts, and equipment should be well maintained, clean, and ventilated.

Plumbing fixtures, valves, pumps, heaters, and utility lines should be clean with no evidence of damage, leaks, unusual water pressure, or improper construction.