Home Inspection

Common Issues That Home Inspectors Look For

A reliable home inspection in Annapolis, MD is considered a crucial element when it comes to any type of home purchase. Before buyers make a purchasing decision, they will always make the purchase offer contingent to that of a home inspection Maryland. This is most especially true if the inspection report unveils some significant structural problems. In a market where there is always a hefty competition, buyers usually waive the said contingency in order to make their offer a bit more appealing to potential buyers.

What most people, whether they are sellers or buyers, tend to neglect is the fact that a Maryland home inspector can sometimes be a make or break. This is why some view the whole home inspection process as somewhat terrifying.

For sellers, it is an inevitable reminder of the distressing issues they could have turned a blind eye to over the past few years. For buyers, on the other hand, it is a recipe for disaster – falling in love with a property that is not worth buying.

Still, it is imperative that you do not let the process stress you out. Besides, it is not what the home inspector in Annapolis, MD wants either – he/she is rather interested with a happy client.

Common Issues To Look Out For

Exterior Maintenance

One of the home inspection services includes the review of a home’s exterior, not just its interior. Among the popular exterior findings involve the fascia, and the latter’s most common problems are missing or rotted pieces and boards with little to no ventilation. If a home’s ventilation is not working properly, it can greatly affect the roof’s longevity.

Electric Entrance Cable – Since an electrical entrance cable – commonly called as service entrance capable – is often exposed to sun and other weather elements, it easily gets frayed. Basically, this is installed and ran from the utility power connection point all the way to the meter socket. From there, it goes straight into the breaker panel. Having an undersized service entrance cable is one of the common issues found in a home inspection. For instance, your home’s electrical breaker box has a 200 AMP service rating, but its entrance cable only has a rating of 150 AMP.

Fireplaces or Chimneys – Homes in Annapolis, MD that have either chimneys or fireplaces are subject to a professional chimney inspection. Regardless, a reliable home inspector is expected to perform this task. Chimney flashing is usually a problem home inspectors include in their reports. This should be resolved as soon as possible, though. That is because it can result in water intrusion, which tends to invade a home. Also included in an inspector’s common findings are cracked tiles and missing mortars or chimney caps, among many others.

Grading – If the basement of a property has water in it, then there are multiple reasons behind it. For starters, it could be due to eroded or improper exterior grading. If moisture and/or rain is not effectively drained away from the home’s foundation, the next scenario will involve water penetrating not only in basements but also in crawl spaces.

Heating Systems – During an inspection, the inspector is expected to remove the cover of a house’s boiler system or furnace. It is even best for the heating systems to be maintained and serviced annually, as this makes sure that everything is safe and in proper working order. Unfortunately, a good number of homeowners are not fond of having their heating systems serviced every year. Hence, many house inspection findings reveal a dirty and/or improperly working heating system. A Maryland home inspector will usually advise both cleaning and inspection of the said system.

Improper Electrical Wiring – Whenever home inspection companies perform this task, the inspector is tasked to check all outlets throughout the home. This also means double checking the very interior of either the electrical breaker or fuse box. An outlet with a reversed polarity is one of the most common electrical wiring issues. To put it simply, reversed polarity happens when the “hot” and “neutral” wires are incorrectly placed on the outlet’s terminal. Interestingly, correcting this issue is a walk in the park – it is not rocket science. It is a task that can be done in a matter of minutes. Another common electrical writing issue is double tap within the electrical breaker box. When there are at least two electrical circuits or feeds being attached to a single breaker, this problem occurs. This is immediately considered a fire hazard, though having a twin breaker is enough to fix this issue.

Improper Fan Ventilation – It is no secret that a fan ventilation system must always be vented to the home’s exterior. A common finding relating to this one involves bathroom vent fans. An inspector in Annapolis, MD would want to have access to the crawl space or attic. It is given that when bathroom vent fans are in place, they are usually not vented to the home’s exterior of the home. Why? That is because they are usually vented right into the crawl space or attic. This eventually leads to moisture, which comes from the bathroom vent fan and goes directly into the attic; hence, mold problems occur. Fixing this bathroom vent fan issue can be done easily and does not necessarily break a wallet.

Inoperable Windows – A reliable home inspection requires the person in charge to check each of the property’s windows. Mind you, among the common issues those inspectors found are windows not working accordingly. In older homes, particularly those that have yet to install newer windows, it is common to see broken sash cords. Apparently, this issue will result in the window not functioning correctly. But hey, broken sash cords are always fixable. Apart from these, it is often expected from older windows to have been painted shut. If your home’s windows have this quality, then you should be having a hard time making them work properly.

Plumbing – Leaks in the plumbing, particularly around toilets and underneath sinks, are a common finding in a home inspection. These issues are often a result of an incorrect type of plumbing material. There are also cases where the materials used are either faulty or broken. Since older homes are typically installed with a galvanized water main, there is always the possibility of a poor water pressure because of the corrosion of the pipe’s inside. Meanwhile, newer homes come with copper water main lines – an upgrade that completely gets rid of any water pressure issue.

Water Heater – This one here is where a number of common inspection findings tend to surface. The first one usually includes “B-Vent” as the primary requirement for a home’s water heaters. For quite some time now, this has been the code requirement for width, which is basically 3 inches in diameter. In recent years, however, the code requirement has changed to a diameter of 4 inches. While a Maryland home inspector will take note of this in his report, it is not necessarily a huge concern. After all, the 3 inches requirement was used for many years and it did not really return with significant issues. Another common issue concerning water heaters relates to the TPRV or Temperature Pressure Relief Vale pipe. It is ideal that this one must be of a specific length, height, and material in order to be deemed safe.

The Maryland Association Of Home Inspectors

MAHI is an organization focused on helping both inspectors and consumers (e.g. buyers, sellers, realtors, etc.). They have a membership program which is open to all home inspectors, considering they are licensed in the state.

For starters, it helps in improving and advancing the overall home inspection field in Maryland. It even provides deeper education and qualifications for all of its members. More importantly, it provides active monitoring of every relevant legislative events or activity. At the end of the day, inspectors will find MAHI an essential link in proving the best home inspections services in Maryland.

As mentioned, the organization also provides supports to consumers. It protects them through promoting an inspection that is deeply rooted in informative and educational process. It also provides access to a pool of home inspectors, all of whom are guaranteed reliable, insured, and licensed. Plus, it makes sure that inspectors follow a consistent home inspection process that adheres to the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.

What to Expect From a Reliable Home Inspection in Annapolis, MD?

While a realtor is expected to recommend a Maryland home inspector, there is no stopping you from getting one from your attorney or lender. The important thing is that you review the credentials and reputation of an inspector, be it online or recommendations. Even more so, you must inquire about the number of inspections he has completed in his career. Keep in mind that a good home inspector will not hesitate in providing you a written report after completing the task. Nevertheless, it is ideal that prior to the inspection, you have already obtained a sample report from it. Above all, you truly understand the time period he will need in creating the report before he decides to give it to you.

What To Do Before a Home Inspection

Your best course of action is here is to try to do everything you can to get the property in good condition. Make sure that you do this before even attempting to sell it or putting it up on the market. If your home inspector in Annapolis, MD gives you some negative statements, do not be discouraged. You must instead address them and work on repairs or upgrades. Remember: Home inspectors always make a note of every detail they see. Thanks to this, you have a general idea of what needs to be done in order to make your home worth selling.

It is also important to keep in mind that the report is never a wish-list for buyers. Do not forget to read your contract and make sure you do it carefully. The contract itself indicates the systems that are either working or not. For instance, your roof is a bit older but it does not somehow leak. Meaning it is still in good condition. The same idea can be applied to older appliances.

In most cases, a contract may indicate that you are not being forced to perform repairs or upgrades. But, of course, it is always possible for potential buyers to withdraw the idea of buying the property. Still, do not burden yourself, as you must not feel obligated to comply with all repair demands.

How You Can Help A Maryland Home Inspector

Yes, that is right – you can always lend a support to every home inspector out there. Start by bringing any concerns relating to your property and make sure you do this before he starts the process. That way, he will look out for every possible issue based on the information you provided. If, for a reason, the seller opens up about the damage, remember to always give your inspector a heads up prior to the home inspection process.

Another smart move that you can do is to accompany the home inspector in every round he makes, but be careful not to disturb him in every instance. If you are a buyer, it is always in your best interest to be familiar with the property you are looking to purchase. For example, the person providing home inspection services can introduce you to the home’s electrical panels. Or perhaps you want to know how the water valves should be shut-off since the seller does not know to operate them. If the inspector is able to spot a problem, he can immediately show how and why a system is malfunctioning. More importantly, he can explain to you what needs to be done, so you can decide accordingly. At the end of the day, the expertise of a home inspector in Annapolis, MD will help you make an educated decision.