Why Inspect? What Do Home Inspectors Look For?

An experienced home inspector can almost predict which defects will be present in any particular home based on age and/or location. Several factors allow us to do this. Homeowners are more likely to have performed electrical, plumbing, and other miscellaneous work personally in older homes. If this is the case, it becomes more likely the work was performed incorrectly. In some areas there are no inspections performed by the county or municipality and the workmanship lacks professionalism. Topography also plays a role in some defects. There are certain areas that have a higher percentage of homes with elevated radon levels. So what do home inspectors look for? Here is a list of the 10 most common defects found during home inspections.

Why Inspect - what do home inspectors look for

1. Electrical Defects

92% of homes had electrical defects. Of those, 65% had improperly wired receptacles, 45% had wiring defects in the electrical panels, and 39% had defective smoke detectors or none at all!

 

2. Exterior & Window Rot

Rot was found in or on the exterior of 24% of homes. Rot was found in the windows of 17% of these homes and 14% had rot in trim components.

 

3. Plumbing

Plumbing defects were found in 95% of homes. Of those, 11% had high water pressure from drain pipes or fixtures and 56% had leaks.

 

4. Drainage/Gutters

Clogged gutters & improper drainage are the primary causes of water penetration into basements and crawl spaces. These problems were noted in 27% of homes. Of those, 12% had clogged gutters, 16% had poor or negative drainage or grade, and 4% had damaged or missing gutters.

 

5. Crawl Space

41% of homes had defects in the crawl space. Of those, 4% had rot in the structural components, 11% had water problems, 2% had other structural issues like over-notched floor joists and over-spanned beams.

 

6. Basement Water Penetration

18% of basements either currently had water problems or had water problems in the past.

 

7. Broken Thermal Seals

24% of homes had broken thermal seals.

 

8. Attics

66% of homes had defects in the attic. Of those, 13% were water related defects, 20% were structural defects, 21% were related to insulation, and 25% were related to venting.

 

9. Fireplaces

84% of homes inspected had fireplaces. Of those, 45% had defects.

 

10. Radon

42% of homeowners purchased a radon test with their home inspection. In 42% of those, the radon levels were higher than EPA’s recommended mitigation level. 57% of the homes with a high radon level had a basement. Indiana is among the top ten states with high indoor radon levels.

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