The main reason is the soil conditions in The Houston Texas areas. The soil in Houston is very expansive. So when it rains or gets wet the soil expands and can cause the soil to heave putting enormous pressure on foundations. if you live in Houston you know that the summer is very dry and hot. During the dry summer conditions these clay expansive soils will shrink and can cause large voids which can lead to foundation settlement. Fluctuations of the soil is your foundations enemy. So dry and wet conditions will cause the fluctuation that can cause damage to your foundation. If home owners in Houston know that controlling the moisture level of the soil could avoid foundation issues than there would be far less foundation problems in the Houston areas. a watering program can be very valuable in our area. Watering the foundation during the the dry summer months and not watering during the wet month. There is a certain watering program you should follow and look for the advice of a Licensed P.E. Let’s start out with one of the most important parts of your home that rarely gets noticed by home owners until there are problems. This is a reason it is so important to have a home inspection or annual inspections done to ketch conditions that can contribute to foundation failures. There are many conditions that can contribute to foundation issues from poor drainage to expanding and contracting soil that is present in the Houston area to poor building practices. On slab foundations corner pops or cracks at the corner of the foundation are common and are present at many older and newer homes if sealed and maintained these are not a Hugh concern. Many times there are hairline cracks visible at the exterior of the foundation, without any serious signs of deflection. These hairline cracks will need to be monitored over time. Then there are the more serious separating cracks where there are signs of deflection of the foundation. If serious deflection is observed at a home inspection I will recommend further evaluation by a structural engineer. This will give the client a better idea of how extensive and serious the problem may or may not be. A common problem with post tension foundations is that the tension cables become exposed and if left unchecked this can become more serious. When the post tension cables are exposed to the elements they rust and can break under the tremendous tension. This can cause serious damaged to your foundation. I recommend having these repaired if observed at a home inspection. They will need to be cleaned, and have an anti oxidant grease applied and also covered with a non shrink grout. Pier and beam foundation sit above the grade. Some of the issues with these can be poor construction, settlement over the years, damaged and moisture damage beams twisting beams, beams not resting properly on piers, and termite damage, Piers installed improperly or not in enough area to support the structure properly, damaged piers, and leaning piers, and many more defects can be present. All of these issues can be serious . I would recommend consulting with a structural engineer for a watering program for your foundation this can keep your foundation going strong for years.How important is grading and drainage around a home?Now for the grading and drainage defects that come up during some home inspections in Houston. Poor drainage can cause many problems in a home starting with the foundation. If there is not a positive slope away from your foundation this can cause damage to your foundation, you could end up with water inside your home causing mildew, mold, and moisture damage. Gutters and downspouts play a big role in moving water away from your roof, foundation. Clogged improperly installed gutters are observed at many home inspections I have performed and can cause serious damage. Missing or damaged downspouts, and missing splash blocks or extenders can also contribute to issues. Extensive vegetation at the exterior veneers of the home can cause moisture issues. High soil around the foundation can be conducive to termite activity you will never see the termite tube in high soil areas. These are some common issues observed during a home inspection and will need some attention. Some of these issues are easy fixed just require a little maintenance. Poor drainage can be more complicated and more expensive may require drains, or moving soil.Costly replacement roofing materials.The roofing materials protect your home for the elements and are very important. If you have major issues due to material failure or improper installation this can destroy your home by allow moisture into the home. The roof covering materials need regular maintenance. Debris will need to be removed from the roof surface which is a minor problem if maintained, but can cause materials to deteriorate sooner than life expectancy so it's important to remove from the roof. I would have my roof inspected after any bad storms or around 10 years, because roof jacks can fail allowing moisture to enter. During the home inspection if it is safe to walk i will walk the roof area to get a much better view. Some common defects are improper installation, improper flashing or missing flashing, lifting flashing that will allow wind driven rains to entry the structure, missing shingles, damaged shingles, missing H clips, mastic repairs around fireplace, roof jack flashing, and shingles. Mastic repairs are not a permanent solution and will need monitored. It is allows a better practice to replace flashing and shingles for a more permanent repair. Most defects are serious at the roof, because if not repaired it allows for moisture to enter into the structure and moisture can destroy areas of your home. So any defects noted in the home inspection report by your home inspector should be repaired.What’s missing in my attic?There can be many defects in the attic area some minor and some major. Some defects that might be found are missing insulation a low amount of insulation which may affect energy efficiency. Missing proper fasteners at the ceiling access door, or missing fire blocking material at the attic access doors. Rafters can be cut, cracked, split, or even missing in areas. Purling supports cut out around A/C systems or other areas. Collar ties cut, cracked, split, missing or not secured. There also may be moisture damaged discovered at rafters or other areas in attic. There may be open chases present in the attic. These are some of the defects that can be found in an attic area. It's important to always be careful when walking in an attic especially if there is not any decking present.Down comes the walls.The walls are very important to your home from the framing to the wall coverings. The walls protect your home from the elements. A failure in the wall system can cause problems. Some defects observed at a home inspection at the wall areas interior and exterior. At the exterior there may be areas where there are gaps in the walls that will need to be sealed to keep out moisture. Also areas around any penetrations are common areas that need sealed. Damaged cladding or missing at the exterior cracks in brick veneer or stone some of which may indicate signification foundation movement. Missing weep holes in brick or stone to allow moisture to escape from inside the walls. Vapor barrier missing or installed incorrectly most of the times not visible during a home inspection. Bowed walls, brick ties that have deteriorated leaving the brick veneer loose. I have observed a wall at a home inspection where the whole wall at the side of the home moved. Spalling bricks which is cause by water leaking into a structure in the Houston area. Water may find it's way into the structure through a crack, missing mortar, loose bricks, gaps around penetrations etc. Thermal expansion due to missing control joints or expansion joints required at long brick veneer walls, brick veneer will grow, missing expansion joint sealant. Extensive vegetation growing on walls at exterior. At the interior there may also be cracks in the drywall some of which may just be cosmetic and larger cracks which may indicate foundation movement. Loose drywall tape, stains that may indicate present or previous moisture entering the structure. If moisture is present inside the walls it creates an area where mold and mildew can grow. Remember moisture intrusion is your homes enemy. Moisture intrusions entering into your homes walls can have devastating effects on your home. Your walls may also be missing insulation leaving areas cold or hot. There are many defects that can be present at the walls of your home. This is why you need to have a home inspection of the property to have these defects discovered. Stains on my ceilingsThe ceiling and floor areas of a home can tell you a lot about a home. You just need to know what to look for and home inspectors through training and experience develop the skills to easy spot indications of issues at the ceiling and floor areas of that home you are under contract to buy. The ceiling and floors may indicate problems with the foundation. There may be cracks present in the ceiling and floors. Now some cracks are just a cosmetic issue while others may indicate foundation or structural issues which I will let you know if I believe any cracks are cosmetic or a more serious issue and will require to be further investigated by a professional that specializes in that particular area. There are other issues that may be visible or may not be visible due to new paint or floor covering. That's why I use Infrared thermal imaging to look at these areas for hidden moisture from plumbing leaks, roof leaks, Condensation dripping from ducts, A/C or water heater drain pans over flowing in the attic space est. If stains are present I will investigate the stain with infrared thermal imaging and test area with a moisture meter to determine if there is moisture present at the time of the inspection and this information will be included in your home inspection report . There also may be areas where insulation is missing. I will look in the attic area to view if there are areas present that are missing insulation although all areas are not visible in attic from a safe platform. This is why I also use The infrared camera to view the ceiling areas and this can also spot areas where insulation is missing. There also can be electrical issues present from exposed wires to excessive heat at light fixtures or receptacles and infrared will be utilized once again to expose any of potential issues. Know what kind of issues are present before you finalize the buying process certain defects can cost you thousands leaving you in a very bad financial position. Don't allow this to happen to you and your family and schedule your home inspection with a trusted home inspection company like Houston's Edge home inspections LLC .What are the doors telling you?A lot more than you think can be learned from your doors than you would think. Doors keep moisture out of your home if they are functioning properly. They also keep wind and the hot and cold weather out. They keep people out of your home and also pest. If your doors are not functioning properly they may not be able to provide any protection from moisture, hot and cold weather, intruders and pest. During the inspection of your doors. All doors are inspected if accessible. I open and close all the doors in the home. Defects observed at doors during a home inspection can include. Holes in doors, loose hinges, deteriorated door jambs or doors, Key locks at the inside of entry doors which can be a fire hazard, Doors that stick at jamb which can be an indication of foundation movement, doors not latching or locking, large gaps at doors, which can allow moisture, pest, and rodents into the home, missing weather striping, safety glass not present, cracked doors, missing hardware, Moisture damage, Moisture damaged door jambs, doors that are not fire rating at the attached garage area, missing caulking, missing paint and so much more. Doors are an important part of your home providing protection against the elements and protecting your family. lets make sure your doors are functioning properly. Once I have completed your home inspection you will know the defects that are present at the doors of the home your buying.Window common defectsStair issuesThe home inspection of the stairway consist of. A visible inspection of the stairs. What defects may be present at the homes stairs. Does the hand rail return to the renewal post or wall, are there any loose steps, are rail opening to wide, Are riser height and tread width correct, damaged or deteriorated steps, railings, handrails, there may be loose steps, handrails etc. Is my fireplace dangerous to operate?The fireplace and chimney are visually inspected. Although much of the interior of the chimney are not visible during a home inspection other visible components are inspected such as. Mortar cap checking for cracks, missing equipment such as chimney cap, spark arrestor, damper clamp for fireplaces with gas logs, screens. Combustibles may be too close to fireplace openings, are the opening the right size, are the hearth extensions correct, does your chimney extend at least two feet above the highest roof area within ten feet measuring horizontally from the chimney, and must extend three feet above the highest point of any roof penetration. If buying a home with a fireplace I highly recommend having a chimney sweep. The reason is chimneys and fireplace maintenance is usually neglected by home owners and much of the interior is not visible during your home inspection. During the home inspection I will look down the chimney at the roof area looking for defects and Creosote build up and as much as I can looking up for the inside of the fireplace. If the home owner has been burning wood in the fireplace over the years and has not had any cleaning of the chimney performed than Creosote can build up inside your chimney. Creosote is highly flammable and it does not take much of a build up to create a potential fire hazard. If burning wood inside your fireplace you should have your chimney cleaned once a year to limit the risk of a chimney fire. There are many more things that need to be inspected this is just some of the areas and defects that can be discovered by your home inspector. I’m all cracked up.Porches, balconies, decks and driveways- Inspected for any defects such as cracks, moisture damage, lifting in areas, rail opening, secured railings etc.Find out what issues the home inspector found.This is one of the parts of the inspection service that is most valuable to you and where many home inspectors fall short. There are many home inspectors that will rush through this part of the home inspection , but what good is a home inspection service if you don't understand the problems of the home. Good news there are a group of elite home inspectors who excel in customer service yes customer service taking the time making sure your client fully understands what defects and hazards are present. Between the final walk through and detail in the report this is where you will see the difference from my Houston home inspections to most of my competition. This is your chance to ask questions about the defects that are observed at the home inspection. I will show the location of the defects and what the actual defects are or potential hazard.. This will give you a much better understanding of the defects. I will offer you recommendations of how to deal with the issue or refer you to the right professional to seek to have the defect repaired or replaced. If you don't understand what the problem is please don't be shy tell me. I will make sure you understand before leaving the inspection. After leaving the inspection my work has not been completed. All the information is gathered at each inspection area any defects are noted in the home inspection report along with pictures and detailed comments.Once you receive the report to your email please confirm with me that you have received. I can also send the report to your Realtor if you so desire. I recommend you do have me send your Realtor a report. This will help your Realtor make a list of selected areas that you would like repaired. Any defects mentioned in the report does not mean the seller has to fix them, but it doesn't hurt to ask. I would pick items that are more important such as major defects if present. Nit picking small cosmetic issues are not going to benefit you most of the time. If you need me to point out the top five things I would want fixed if I were buying the property I would be happy to assist you. Always read the entire report this will only benefit you. Information of the condition of the home is king and can be a difference maker in negotiating a fair price or if that can't be accomplish walking away from a bad decision before costing you financial stress along with emotional stress. It's no wonder why buying a home can be so stressful with so much on the line of making a good decision.
Beware some issues can be serious hazards
Many serious defects could be uncovered during your Houston home inspection service. These can be small issues to life-threatening. The electrical section should take into consideration of just not repair cost but also take into account of fire and shock hazards.
Issues Found during a home inspection that can Haunt a seller
Selling a home can be stressful and many homeowners don't even know if their home has any issues besides a cracked window or minor cosmetic issues. There can be many serious issues a home can offer up especially if the home is older. Lack of maintenance can also contribute to serious problems that could have been a simple fix that has turned into a costly repair. It is recommended that a seller have a home inspection before listing there home to limit deal killing issues. let's go into some of the issues a home may have that could hamper the sale of the home.
From improperly wired, old outdated wiring, fire hazards, shock hazards dangerous panels, or wiring. The electrical system can be full of costly repairs or deal-killing items that a seller needs to be aware of. Having serious electrical hazards in a home can put doubt into a home buyer's head that the home may not be right for them. That's why dealing with these issues before your home is listed is a good ideal and you don't lose potential home buyers.
Service panel and service wires.
The service panel connects the service wire or service drop coming from the outside. The panel houses the breakers or fuses distributing power throughout the home.
Shock and fire hazard service panel brands.
Federal Pacific Stab-Lok model Panels. Federal Pacific Stab-Lok model service panels are reputed to have a high rate of circuit breaker failure which can result in a fire or shock/electrocution. When these types of panels are present I always recommend replacement. When a
Federal Pacific Stab-Lok panel is on your home inspectors report I would highly advise having an electrician give cost estimates of replacement.
Sylvania GTE service panels are reputed to have a high rate of circuit breaker failure which can result in a fire or shock/electrocution. The solution recommends the replacement of these types of panels.
Zinsco panels are reputed to have a high rate of circuit breaker failure that can result in a fire or shock /electrocution . Replacement is recommended.
The electrical current to the home is divided into individual branch circuits controlled by a circuit breaker. home has multiply breakers. Breakers are rated 15 amp,20 amp,30 amps,40 amps,50 amps,60 amps, and so on. The breakers form the starting point of the branch circuit and receptacles, light fixtures, appliances that receive power throughout the home. The breakers protect the home from overheating wires and if the breaker gets too hot and the wiring is the correct size for the breaker than the breaker should trip.
Branch circuit wiring types
Copper wiring has been around a long time and is still used today in home and other areas.
Aluminum single-stranded wiring expands and contracts more than copper wiring. Because of the aluminum wiring expanding and contracting so easily with temperature changes, a connection can become loose over time leading to overheating causing a potential fire hazard. Aluminum corrodes more easily and its connections are more prone to oxidation eventually causing loose connections. The aluminum wiring is also a lot easier to damage or nicked due to the aluminum being softer. and malleable. Aluminum wiring has a higher electrical resistance all these traits of aluminum wiring create a potential for fire hazards.
Read more about aluminum wiring hazards at the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). If you have aluminum wiring here are some signs you may want to look out for warm or hot faceplates, flickering lights, and the smell of burning plastic. If these conditions exist I would recommend an Electrician that is qualified for aluminum wiring to evaluate, because homes with aluminum wiring have a greater potential of becoming a fire hazard than copper. also if aluminum wiring is present in your home Would recommend regular inspections of the electrical system by a licensed electrician who specializes in aluminum wiring.
Use in late 1800s to around 1940 issues with this type of wiring is the age, improper modifications, no ground, the insulation that envelopes the wiring is a fire hazard. The wiring may sag over time.
As covered above there are service panels that are unsafe and can be a fire or shock hazard recommend replacement of these types of service panels
Double logging of the main breaker is dangerous this is common when a sub panel has been added and the main breaker is double tapped. The problem is the wire is not protected by a breaker or fuse which can be a fire hazard.
Double tapped neutrals are very common and have two neutrals on the neutral bus bar sharing the same spot. These is not allowed any longer because over time connections can become lose and cause a fire.
Disconnected , damaged, or lose connection at ground wire to the grounding rod. Recommend this be fixed before inspection option period expires. This can be a shock or fire hazard. Because electrical current always takes the path of least resistance make sure you or family is not becoming the ground connection for electricity.
I see this many times while inspecting home with overhead services wires. Over time the wires began to sag due to lose connections over porches or dects you should never see service lines under 10 feet high. I have seen them to where they could be reached just by lifting your arm up. Over driveways they should be 12 feet , 22 1/2 feet above a swimming pool, and 3 feet above a roof. This is not all the codes just some of the electrical codes when dealing with overhead service. Always be aware if you have overhead service.
Loose wire connections which can lead to aching and cause fires
which will not trip if there is a problem than they become a fire hazard.
These are safety devices that protect people from electrocution. Required in wet areas such as garages, kitchens, outside areas, all bathrooms, laundry rooms, and dishwashers. Many times these may be missing in older homes.The GFCI'S may not function in these required areas. Missing Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters.
These protect you and your home if a wire was arcing. So if a wire was to arc inside the home this would trip the breaker protecting you and your family from a potential fire. Arc faults started being required in 2002 in Texas so if your home was built before than your home probable does not have them. They are know required in the following areas family rooms, recreation areas, formal living rooms, sun rooms, studies, office areas, all bedrooms etc.
Breakers that are double tapped this also are fire hazards and need to be corrected
Wires must be enclosed in conduit under 8 feet from grade at exterior and in garage areas. Wiring needs to be protected against physical damage at these areas.
Exposed wires should be enclosed in junction boxes. This protects us for coming in contact with live wires and being shocked.
The electrical section of your home inspection
May be one of the areas were the most hazards can exist. If your home inspector recommend an electrician it's a good ideal to have the home checked out before you buy. From shock to fire hazards make sure you families safe. Also be sure to protect yourself against costly repairs. Are you looking for a home inspector that will work hard for you and give you all the crucial information click here.
Foundation issues can literally send a home buyer running. Houston is prone to foundation issues due to poor soils.
Foundations can have many issues that contributing defective issues. Houston's poor soil conditions in fact cause the majority of foundation issues in Houston and surrounding areas. Clay soil is found in a majority of Houston and it's surrounding areas. The main issues with clay soil and foundations is clay soil is very absorbent. So when moisture is present the soil can soak up lots of moisture causing the soil to swell under your foundation. This can put pressure on your foundation. The pressure put on your foundation can crack the foundation. In dry times the clay soil shrinks and cause the foundation to settle due to voids under your foundation. Overtime all the expansion and contraction of the soil can cause foundation problems. Fluctuations of the soil is your foundations enemy. So dry and wet conditions will cause the fluctuations that can lead to damage to your foundation. If home owners knew that controlling the moisture level of the soil could avoid foundation issues than there would be far less foundation problems in our areas. A watering program can be very valuable in our areas. There are certain watering programs you should follow and look for watering advised from a licensed P.E.
The other issue I see all the time inspecting homes is poor drainage patterns. If water is draining towards your foundation during moderate to heaving rains you may have a drainage issue and overtime this can damage your foundation. Look to a professional landscaping company for advise for properly draining the water away from your foundation.
Plumbing leaks can cause foundation issues. If a plumbing leak goes undetected the consequence could be foundation issues due to the soil swelling beneath your foundation.
Tree roots can cause damage to your foundation. the problems with trees too close to your foundation is the large amounts of water a tree takes from the soil. This can cause the soil to shrink and cause gaps under the foundation overtime causing foundation failures. If your concerned with trees growing around your home it is recommend to consult a professional arborist before removing trees around your home.
Structural issues is also another potential issue that may freak out a home buyer. Issues like sagging roofs, cut rafters, cracked rafters sagging ridge boards, bowed wall, brick veneer walls that are loose, cracks in drywall, cracks in brick veneer, missing supports and collar ties just to name a few. Having all the structural components inspected before listing can save a deal and keep them off the home inspection report that the home buyer hires.
Roofing materials needing repairs or worst needs replaced
Roofing materials can be a huge expense for any home buyer. Many times the roofing of your home is taken for granite. The roofing materials protects your home from moisture and overtime the roofing will need maintenance and repairs due to damage from storms, wind,aging, and possibly hail damage.Eventually the roofing materials will need replaced and the time frame may very with the type of roofing materials installed on your roof. A roof with damage or needs replaced won't set well with most home buyers. Roofing is costly and not having repair items turn up on the buyers home inspection report is critical.
Making sure your roof is well maintained should be high on your list before listing your home or buying a home. The roofing materials protect your home for the elements and are very important. If you have major issues due to material failure or improper installation this can destroy your home by allowing moisture into the home.Knowing the age and life span of the roofing material is helpful to know. This gives you better ideal of what to expect or how close to replacement you may be. There are many different roofing materials like Asphalt shingles, Metal roofing, Stone coated steel, Slate, Rubber Slate, Clay and concrete tiles, Built up roofing, green roofs, and even solar tiles.
The majority of homes will fall into the asphalt shingle types. So lets go into a few differences in asphalt shingles some homes may have the lower end and cheaper three tab shingle. This type of shingle is a 20 year shingle only lasting about 15 years in the Houston Texas area. Three tab shingles are more susceptible to wind damage due to light weight. Architectural shingles are also a popular choice these shingles are at least 50 percent heavier. With the added weight of the shingles the have better wind resistance than the three tab shingles. In addition to that they also have a higher life span the average life span is in between 24 and 30 years old. That being said Architectural shingles don't last as long in our areas and you should expect around 20 years. Note there are higher quality Architectural shingles that can last up to 50 years. Having a newer roof on your home with a quality Architectural shingle can increase the value and look of your home.
Having an old roof that's at or near the end of it's life span that needs numerous repairs can definitely scare off potential home buyers while reducing the value of your home. The minimum a home owner should do is make sure any needed repairs have been done before the home hits the market.
The homes A/C system
The homes cooling equipment provides comfort for the home owner and removes humidity from your home. Have you ever had to live without your A/C during a Houston summer. This would be absolutely miserable. What if you bought a home and as soon as you moved in the cooling system went out and needed replaced. Well that's just what could happen if the home has a old or outdated unit using R22 refrigerant that's exactly what can happen. See since January 1, 2020 the production and import of R22 refrigerant has become illegal in the U.S. Knowing if the home your buying has a system like this if there's a refrigerant leak you may be confronted with a decision to either replace, convert over to R410A or buy expensive R22. Not great choices when I see these types of systems first I make sure the client is aware and than I recommend a home warranty even if the system is running properly. Heating and cooling is an expensive replacement.
Plumbing leaks and issues
Plumbing leaks can damaged the home and cause health issues, foundation issues, and cause shock hazards. Not only can plumbing repairs or replacements be costly it can also damage other expensive components of the home. Discovering plumbing leaks or needed repairs is a very important part of the home inspection. The other thing that's very important is identifying plumbing that has known issues. Galvanized plumbing supplies rust from the inside out.
What if the home I'm buying has Galvanized plumbing
At this point it is not a question will the home end up having galvanized plumbing issues. The big question will be when. Galvanized plumbing to a home buyer should be a red flag due to the age. If you don't want to deal with an elevated risk on leaks inside of walls or ceilings than don't buy a home with galvanized plumbing supplies. That means that you will have to cut older 70's and 60's home from your home buying list unless you have documentations that the plumbing supplies have been updated to a more modern type of plumbing.
A home with Polybutylene plumbing.
Polybutylene plumbing supplies can be present in homes built between 1975 to 1996. Polybutylene plumbing is known to fail without warning and is why it's not used today. The home inspector will be able to tell you if it's present , but only a professional plumber will be able to tell you the condition. Polybutylene has been involved in class action law suits due to the high rate of failure
After recent years with all the Houston flooding mold has to be on the Houston's home buyers mind. Every time a home buyer see's a stain on the wall or ceilings or floors one of there first thoughts is mold. Mold exposure can a number of health issues. Home sellers would wise to properly take care of any of any stains in home where water has intruded into the home. I see small areas all the time in homes where the home owner has left the stained area. This is just putting doubt into the home buyers mind that mold could be present in the home. If mold is present and the area is more than 25 continuous square feet than it will become an expensive issue. A mold issue might just might turn your sell into a fail. So take care of these issues as a home owner if your home has stains, leaks in area and musty odors you may like to seek the help of a mold inspector.
Many Sellers Could benefit from a home inspection
Just like home buyers can benefit from a home inspection so can home sellers. I home inspection for a seller will let you known about some of this potential deal killers in advanced and give the seller the opportunity to have the issues corrected. Having your home rid of serious electrical issues, plumbing leaks, roofing issues,foundation issues, mold problems, HVAC issues and other problems will fetch the seller top dollar. Thinking of listing your home make sure you hire a qualified licensed home inspector check out pricing here. Give yourself enough time to make any needed repairs to any deal killing items that may came up on the home inspection report. Once everything has been corrected to your satisfaction congratulations you are on your way to a far less stressful negotiations and receiving top dollar will make your day. Interested in service visit our home page.
WHAT DOES MY HOME INSPECTION PROCESS LOOK LIKE?
Just as long as all required areas are inspected.
Home inspectors may conduct there inspections totally different. I believe a home inspection should be conducted what ever way works best for the home inspector to capture all required inspection items.
First things first.
I Prefer to start at the exterior of the home. It's important to keep the same routine. A good routine insures you inspect all the requires areas without getting off track and forgetting something. Unless it's raining I start at the exterior if it's raining than I'll start at interior.
I enter the home and turn on all exhaust fans and lights. I want to make sure the exhaust fans vent to exterior. Turning on lights to increase the load on the electrical systems.
Once outside I walk out to the street and began my inspection. I have to say I take a lot of photos this is good documentation for the home buyer.
I proceed and find the water meter and than walk the sidewalk and driveway looking for any defects that cross my path.
I press on looking at the foundation a complete pass around the entire home taking any needed photography.
Than I walk around the home again looking at drainage patterns damaged gutters, missing splash blocks or gutter extenders ,high soil, vegetation, trees to close to homes, tree roots to close to foundation.
Then I start focusing my attention to the windows looking for damage, cracked glass, separating or missing caulking, missing screens, failed seals at windows if they are double pane, missing window flashing, rusted window lintels and of course separation due to foundation movement at windows.
Then I give the walls my undivided attention documenting types of materials and what damage may be present. Like cracks in brick or stone veneer sometimes failure of the complete wall will be found.
Siding defects or incorrect installation. Believe it or not I have found on new construction homes where the siding was installed incorrectly.
I concentrate may efforts in looking for any areas where moisture could enter into the structure. Yes I'm looking for moisture damage wood siding if present.
At this point I'm on my third trip around the structure.My next focus will be on the upper portion of the walls looking at the freeze boards, soffit venting, gaps or any other defects or damage that may be present at these areas.
Observe gutters for any evidence of leaking, loose connections, improper slope etc.
Now I'm at the roof level evaluating the roof and gutters for any defects I can see from the ground level. After the walk around the perimeter I determine if I can safely walk the roof and guess what I have determined I can.
On the roof I will be looking at any shingle damage incorrect installation of shingles or flashing, exposed nails, lifting flashing and shingles, missing shingle, flashing, kick out flashing. Shingle granular loss and much more.
Now I move on to the electrical service panel and exterior branch circuits. I remove the dead front cover and start to document any flaws or pacific shock hazards. After the electrical panel has been checked out I than test all outside and garage receptacles testing to see if all are wired correctly and GFCI function or are missing. Testing the door bell etc.
Next step I go evaluate the condensing unit and gather all the information on the condensing unit. Are the refrigerant lines properly insulated. What's the max and minimum breaker rated for the unit. Serial #, Model #, what type of refrigerant the unit runs on. Why's it important to note what type of refrigerant because in 2020 R-22 refrigerant becomes illegal. That could be informative for the buyer.
Now I switch my inspection talent to the interior of the home.Some home inspectors go room by room and go from a clockwise or counter clockwise path through the home. I take a different approach I start off with the plumbing system. It's important to stress the plumbing system and I like to do this first thing so if there's a leak in the ceiling or walls the moisture has had time to drip through the insulation to the drywall. There is no right or wrong way ,but this is the approach I take. I start in the kitchen and fill every sink turn on dishwasher. I than fill all sink basins, tubs, and flushing toilets at bathroom at a time. While flushing all toilets and draining all sinks, tubs, showers, running water in these areas I'm carefully looking for leaks.
Once done with the plumbing systems I move onto the appliances testing and inspecting each and every appliance on my list which include Dishwasher, garbage disposal, Oven and cooktop, Microwave, Rang hood exhaust, Dryer vent,
I check out the electrical receptacle making sure all GFCI's are tested in all required areas if accessible. When I arrived I have already turned on all light fixtures and ceiling fans.
The next phase I carefully go through room by room looking for any defects at wall and ceiling areas paying close attention to stains and cracks. Any stain observed will be tested using a moisture meter.
Next up I go through every room in the home and opening and close all doors and windows in the home looking for any damage at interior or exterior doors.
Opps forgot to tell you I turned the A/C system down when I first arrived. I like to have the A/C on for most of the inspection. I test the a/c temperature difference and document the temperature difference. Letting the client know if the unit is cooling properly.
I take the foundation measurements of the home at this time to provide additional information about the foundation documenting all the taken measurements so they can be included in the written report.
Next stop attic looking at insulation, Framing, passage way, moisture stains and much more. At the end I turn on the heater watch the pilot at start up if gas and let the unit cycle. Retrieve all the information for heating and evaporating coil evaluate the units as I go through attic checking drain pans and water heaters if present at attic area.
Lets say this home inspection is taking place in our hot Houston summers so at this point I have a good temperature difference from the inside to outside temperature if the a/c is working correctly and this is just what I need to do a thermal imaging scan of the home. I go through each room of the home including the attic looking for any anomalies that may tell me to check for moisture. Leaking air at ducts. If an anomaly indicates possible moisture I check it with a moisture meter and check any stains for moisture as well. I may find areas of missing insulation or hot spots at the electrical. I also scan the electrical panel as well.
At the end of the inspection it's time for me to go over the findings. Sometimes the client followers me through the inspection and I fill them in as I evaluate all the areas which is fine it’s great for the client to get the information first hand and know exactly where the issue is. As I started before there's no wrong way to conduct your home inspection, but I do believe some things need to go in a particular order to provide the most optimal condition to get the most out of the inspection. For instances you wouldn't want to start the inspection off be doing a thermal imaging scan or you could miss some plumbing leaks. Well thank you for sticking around with this Houston Texas home inspector need a home inspector contact me.
Did you know that replacing roofing materials of the home is one of the most expensive home repairs you may have to make. That why before you buy it's important to have the home and the roofing materials fully inspected. Protect yourself and know if the roof will need repaired or replaced.
Moisture is the homes Enemy
Moisture intrusion can cause all kinds of issues with a home.
Roofing protects your home from moisture intrusion. If the roofing materials were improperly installed or at the end of their lifespan it’s very important for a potential home buyer to know before the inspection option period expires. After closing the buyer becomes responsible for all needed repairs to the home. A failing roof will cost a new home owner thousand to replace. Whenever a home inspector recommends a roofing contractor it’s a good ideal to schedule the roofer to come out and take a look at the roofing. Failure to do so could leave you in dark and not knowing how serious the issues are. The other benefit is having the estimates to repair or replace the materials. Having the estimates will help you properly negotiate with the seller so you don’t get stuck with expensive repairs or replacement cost.
What type of roofing issues may be found?Roofing Debris This is an overlooked maintenance issue that I find often. Debris left to collect on the roof will eventually cause the roofing materials to prematurely fail and leaking will began. Make sure to add this to your spring maintenance list so you don’t fail your roofing materials. Leaking around roof boots Elastomeric material around plumbing stacks failing. Here in Houston separation can be found around the plumbing vents . The seals around these plumbing vents do not last as long as the roofing materials in most cases and will acquire maintenance usually around 11-13 year old roofs in Houston Texas area. Once the seals wear out around the pipe water begins running down the pipe into the attic space. Causing damage to the decking around the plumbing vent and other areas of attic.Roof boots lifting Roof boots lifting is a good opportunity for wind driven rains to enter into the structure. Overtime the causing damage and conducive conditions for mold growth.Damaged ridge cap shingles and exposed nails.Damaged ridge cap shingles are often found at shingles that are older. Exposed nails at ridge cap is a common find. Any exposed nail penetrating through roofing materials have the potential to leak. Exposed nails at the ridge cap shingles are common and require regular maintenance . The nail heads should be sealed to prevent leaking. Significant uniform granular loss Uniform Significant granular loss at asphalt roofing materials is a sign the that roofing materials are near the end of there expected lifespan. When a home buyer see’s this condition on there home inspection report they should be prepared to get estimates for roofing material replacement cost. Because it will be just a matter of time before the roof starts developing roof leaks.SO your feeling very good about that home your purchasing because a lot of the items are brand new like the roofing materials. This is where you need to be careful just because it's new doesn't mean it was installed correctly.I can't even count how many poorly installed roof's I have came across at a home inspection performed in the Houston Texas area. I have seen roof's at brand new homes and older homes where shingles were missing in areas,missing flashing, missing roof jacks, etc, but here's the one defects that really gets me nails not driven in all the way or nails that where driven all the way through the roofing material.Penetrating nails on a newer roof This is an example of poor workmanship this roof appeared to be less than five years old and is covered with nails penetrating through the face of the shingle leaving many areas where water can enter into the structure. There were also many areas where the nails were driven through the singles making the roof vulnerable to shingles blowing off roof during high winds. This all was easily prevented if the roofer would have adjusted the compressor properly and driven any nails down flush. I guess the roofer was just to lazy and didn't care about workmanship completing the job as fast as possible leaving a problem and expense for the home owner. Once again make sure your Houston area home inspector is performing quality inspections and not low quality like this roofer. If the roof area is not walked by your home inspector than more than likely this will not be visible from the ground area have Houston's edge home inspections LLC save you money from low quality roofing companies. Always remember just because it's newer doesn't mean it will last along time. If items are not installed correctly it will significantly limit the life of the product. Learn more about the services I provide click this link.
Things you may not have know.
in Houston Texas and surrounding areas
Ceramic Tiles,metal Tiles, concrete tiles, composite tile, stone tiles.
It's spring and time for home maintenance in Houston Texas. Spring is here and the weather is starting to change this is the time to look around your home. This is a challenge for many home owners because they may be a first time home owner or just don't know what to look out for. Don't worry we will go through some common issues that will need addressed. So lets make sure your home is properly maintained so you get the full life span from some of the homes most important systems.
Check your wood siding for wood rot or moisture damage also look up at the soffit of your home look for holes or moisture damage. . Are there debris obstructing the water shedding abilities of your roofing materials if so this can cause roof leaks and the life of your roofing materials. It's a good ideal to look around your windows to see if the caulking is separating if so than it's time to re calk these areas. Remember moisture is the enemy of your home so sealing any gaps or holes will save you allot of headaches and extra expenses. Having your a/c system serviced in the spring can save you money and extra wear on your system it could be the difference of your system breaking down in the summer. Summers are hot in Houston and a/c repairs are harder to get done in a timely manner in the middle of summer making the home uncomfortable for you and your family. These are some areas to check out in the spring time if you would like a more complete list have me perform a maintenance home inspection I will provide you with a report and photos of areas that need repairs or maintenance. thank you for reading Houston's Edge Home Inspections LLC
Let's start with the drainage, grade, and vegetation clearance.
The next time you have a big rain check out the drainage patters around your home. Make sure you don't have areas where water drains towards your foundation of your home this will lead to foundation damage overtime. If you do observe improper drainage it's important to have a landscaping drainage specialist to evaluate.
Clean all debris out of your gutters drainage is very important and overlooked by many home owners.
The recommendations is to have about 4" of foundation exposed on a brick veneer home and 6" from siding . So before you start spreading the mulch around make sure you have some of your foundation exposed. This is a common mistake made by home owners and landscapers.
Many times during a home inspection the flower beds are built up over the slab making a conducive condition for termite activity giving termites an easy entry point into your home.With the proper amount of slab exposed you may be able to see a termite tube going up the side of the home. If you see a mud tube going up the side of your foundation break it open to see if it's ants or termite if termites are found call a licensed termite inspector for a termite treatment of your home.
Check out your vegetation growing around your home. It's a good ideal to keep all vegetation off the walls of your home for proper ventilation to prevent wood rot , moisture damage to your home and conducive conditions for termite activity.
It's important to view your roof. For roof maintenance be safe you can get a pretty good look from the ground area. It's always better to be safe unless your comfortable with walking your roof areas ,but always take caution and practice ladder safety.
One of the most common issues are roof debris. Most of these roof debris are caused from leaves, pine needles, and tree limbs dropping from trees. Are there debris obstructing the water shedding abilities of your roofing materials? If so this can cause roof leaks and the life of your roofing materials.
Finding the right home to write up an offer on is essential in the home buying process. Before putting in an offer and scheduling a home inspector in Houston, Tx Reading the home buyers guide can help you start on the right foot.
After watching individual home buyers make mistakes multiply times in an attempt to find the right home to buy. I quietly thought to myself. I could help home buyers to weed through homes and make a better decision. The only problem was I couldn't help them out on the first home purchase because I wouldn't meet the client until the first home was under contract, and they were in their option period. So I continued watching buyers make numerous offers on homes because they were not in the condition they had anticipated and hoped. They were caught off guard as to the number of high dollar defects the home inspection had exposed.
Helping home buyers in Houston, TX, or anywhere for that matter is a tall order. How could this be accomplished? We need to go through the mistakes to find the answers, so let's start there. The mistakes homebuyers make. You are not asking the right questions about the home. Let us create a list of questions to ask, which could eliminate a deal killer while buying your home. Flooding should be one of the top questions on your list with all the flooding in Houston in the last few years. So do your research this is 101 how to buy a home.
Asking the right questions and looking for red flags.
Learning the right question to ask the seller can save you time and money.
Before you submit an offer, make sure you ask the seller some of these questions. Asking these questions can give you a better idea of when a home's essential component may fail.
Knowing the age of the home's major components will give you a better perspective of how soon they may fail.
Once you have decided the home is right for you, it's a good idea to give the house a thorough look over before making an offer. This time lets try and find red flags.
Homebuyers often focus on the cosmetics of the home while shopping for their new home, often not noticing red flags.
On your way through the home, don't forget to look at the ceiling and walls. If you see any stains, make sure to ask the seller what the problem; was there might be a past or present leak in the area. Stains could be from the roof leaking, plumbing leaks, overflowing drain pans, leaking water heaters. Another source could be condensing forming in attic areas due to vents terminating improperly in the attic. Poor insulated a/c ducts, condensation forming at evaporating coil or plenum.
What questions you should be asking the seller?
Find out if the home has ever been flooded with the recent heavy rains in our area this year (2016) it's a possibility the house had water inside the interior of the home. You can also obtain a clue report; this will let you know if there are insurance claims made on the house. Ask the seller if the home flooded, and if so, what repairs were done? If the home flooded, ask to see the mold test report if no air samples or mold testing were performed. How would you know if the work was performed correctly, and the threat of mold was eliminated? I have seen some issues after Hurricane Harvey were repairs done correctly. A tail-tail sign is a moldy smell. trusting your nose is always prudent.Is the home in a flood plain if so the home could have flooded multiple times with in the last few years. That may be something you don't want to deal with. It's a very devastated and depressing ordeal to go through.
Roofing materials have an average life span, and knowing the age of roofing materials can help you know if the roofing replacement is in your near future. Most homes have a composition(asphalt and fiberglass). These types of shingles have different life span depending on the shingle. The three-tab shingle is three tabs and they are thinner than the architectural shingle. The three-tab shingles are usually a 20-year shingle, and in Houston, Texas last around 15 years. Architectural shingles are a high quality dimensional or laminated Shingles life span is 25-40 years depending on the manufacturer. I know this is a wide age range. If the home is around 15-20 years old, then the roofing materials will need to be replacing soon, if the roofing materials haven't been replaced. Why? Because most home builder installs the cheapest option of these types of shingles. Just asking the age of the roofing materials can help you get an idea if the roofing may need replaced soon. knowing the age of the roofing materials is an excellent advantage to you because replacing a roof can be expensive. According to Angie’s List, the average price to replace a roof is $4,900 -$14,100. Several factors contribute to the roof's cost for replacement.
Find out how old the a/c system is. The average life span is from 12-18 years old, and older systems containing R-22 will become obsolete soon. The reason is that at the beginning of the 2020 year you wont be able to purchase R-22 legally. Although typical electrical issues can be repaired if you have a R-22 leak, the system will either need replacing or converted over to an excepted type of a/c refrigerant. According to Nerdwallet the average cost to replace an air conditioning unit is $3,000 to $7,000 on average.
The types of the plumbing supplies is critical because if the home has galvanized plumbing supplies found in older homes. Plumbing supply types may be beyond your scoop, but if you know what galvanized plumbing supplies look like( If you are buying an older home), it's a good idea to see if galvanized supplies are present. Galvanized last from 40 to 60 years, but can fail earlier. If the home was built in the '60s or 70's there's a good chance there may be galvanized supplies present, and at that age, it's just a matter of time until they will start leaking. So if you know what galvanized looks like. It's a good idea to check under the sinks and at attic area to see what type of plumbing supplies are present They will be at the end of their expected life span and what home buyer wants to deal with leaking plumbing supplies that can cause other hazards as well if left unchecked. Replacing plumbing supplies will also be a high dollar item to replace.
First time home buyers. Need to know about the expansive soil conditions that exist in the greater Houston area. It's common in our area that at some point, the home may need foundation repairs, or it may have already been done. Make sure you ask if the foundation has been repaired in the past, especially in older homes. If it has, it's not a deal killer; just make sure there's a lifetime transferable warranty. Please take a look at the paperwork for the company that performed the foundation repairs to verify that they are still in business. While walking through the home do the floors seem level, or does it feel like you are walking uphill or downhill. Open and close all interior doors. Do the doors close, or do they stick in the jamb, or they won't close at all. Please open the door and let go of door does it stay in the position you left it in, or does it close by itself. Now put the door in the closed position without latching does the door remain in place or does it open by itself. Look for cracks at interior and exterior above doors and windows. These can be cosmetic or structural cracks. Large separating cracks at the exterior brick veneer can be an indication of foundation issues. Look for cracks at the exterior at the exposed foundation if visible. Cracks alone do not mean the foundation is defective, but a large separating crack is a cause for concern. Corner cracks are more of a cosmetic issue, but large separating cracks that aren't located at corners can be a concern.
If you're buying a home built in the 1970"s or before one thing, you should ask the seller if the home has single stranded aluminum wiring. Aluminum single-stranded wiring is not used today because of the potential fire hazards. Also, I would note that it may be challenging to gain homeowner's insurance coverage with a home with aluminum single-stranded wire.
Thank you everyone for reading my article good luck to all you home shoppers out there in Houston and surrounding areas..
Getting tips from a home inspector could help a first time home buyer. Indeed following the above advice of what questions to ask a seller diffidently can assist first-time buyers in purchasing a home. The key is knowing how to weigh the information, buying a home without too many costly issues. No home is perfect expect defects the first time home buyers guide is my way of helping first time home buyers in Houston tx.
Let's face it; buying a home is stressful and expensive. It starts right from the beginning trying to find the house and applying for a mortgage than the expenses begin to add up closing cost, monthly payment, interest rates, and of course, the purchase price. Then comes all the stress you have to go through from discussing price range waiting around in nervousness for the loan officer to call, hoping you will receive the pre-approved for your home loan. All the phone calls back and forth with the mortgage lenders about the loan program what documents they need. Buying your first home in Houston, TX. is exhausting tiresome and worry-some. Homebuyers guide Houston, Tx. It can help to buy a house, whether it's in rural areas or the city.
The primary key is to ask important questions, so you limit big-ticket items coming up in the inspection report that you have to negotiate with the seller to get fixed or the price reduced. Sometimes negotiations don't go well, and you have to walk away from the home. As you will find out, searching for homes is a job in itself not to mention that you will be out some of the money for inspections.
Hello, my name is John Fish. I'm a Home inspector in Houston, Texas. I hope this will help some of you in your future home buying experience. Let me known if this helps and if you need a home inspection click on the link and see how my inspection service can protect you and your family. Get all the details of what's going on and what potentially expensive or safety issues a home may have to hide. According to home porch, the average home inspection can save you 14,00.00 for items listed on the inspection report, so don’t underestimate how powerful a home inspection can be. Purchasing home in Houston and need home inspection pricing?
This article is not meant to turn any home buyers into an inspector. Sometimes knowing what information is needed will make a very informed buyer, and that's what I set out to do with this blog post. Thank you everyone, for reading my article good luck to all you home shoppers out there ins Houston and surrounding areas.
Buyers often look at all the cosmetic items throughout a home but don't know how to look and test for major, or safety issues the house may have. Hiring a home inspector is the home buyer's only chance to have the home thoroughly inspected. The home inspection aims to make the buyer aware of the condition of the home before the buyer closes on the deal. Knowing the state of the house can protect home buyers from the wrong purchase.
Home inspections can expose costly defects or safety issues that aren't that obvious to home buyers. Hiring a home inspector can save a home buyer thousands of dollars if significant issues are uncovered. A home inspection could also save a home buyer from making a devastating financial disaster. Homebuyers who hire home inspectors are more informed buyers and have the opportunity to negotiate the home inspection report's findings. Learn how to hire a home inspector.
Buying a home is a big commitment, and having a home inspection is an essential step in the buying process. Home inspections are not required, but most every realtor will recommend you have one. Once you sign the contract and the seller accepts the offer, you'll be in your option period. Most option periods are anywhere from five to ten days. It's always best to schedule a home inspection at the beginning of your option period. Scheduling early allows time for a specialist to be scheduled if the home inspector recommends.
Benefits of hiring a home inspector
One of the most significant benefits of hiring a home inspector is knowing if the home has potential life-threatening hazards. A house may be hiding issues. Just knowing a home is free of a possible fire, and shock hazards are a significant relief for any home buyer.
If costly defects are discovered during the home inspection, the buyer can negotiate. Having expensive items repaired or replaced can save a home buyer costly repairs. Sometimes the asking price is reduced to accommodate the buyer because of expensive issues found by the home inspector.
Home inspections can save a home buyer from a bad investment. Sometimes there are just too many severe or hazardous conditions that a home buyer may not want to deal with or doesn't justify the home's price. If the seller is unwilling to lower the cost or correct issues, it may be time for a home buyer to walk away from the deal.
Home inspectors often educate the home buyer of expected life spans for home's equipment like A/C and heating, roofing materials, Plumbing supplies, Water heaters, and more. Home inspections give the buyer an idea when certain items begin to fail to prepare them to budget for future repairs or encourage the home buyer to acquire a home warranty that will cover these expensive repairs.
The other important thing is teaching a home buyer about what types of maintenance will be needed in the future to prevent costly issues in the future.
Not all home inspectors are the same. There are many differences between home inspectors that you should consider before hiring a home inspector. You only have one chance of hiring the right home inspector. What should you look for in a home inspector?
I know I beat this point to death, but that's just because it's the single most crucial thing when it comes to hiring. Depending on the home inspector's experience can determine the quality of your home inspection service. The truth is inspectors get better as time goes one in most cases. Now some home inspectors have experience in other areas such as construction and home building before becoming a home inspector which can help. Education and training can really improve a home inspector as well, but nothing replaces experience. Experience does not mean just holding a Professional home inspection license.
Some states don't even require a home inspector to be licensed, but most states do. Having a licensed and certified home inspector will ensure that the inspector you hire keeps up to date with there continuing education.
Home inspectors have to meet the minimum standards of practice. Some home inspectors go above these minimum standards. Make sure you're asking the right question before hiring. Many home inspectors go beyond the minimum standards of practice. Ask the home inspector what's included in the service? Is it just the minimum, or do they include extras that add value at a fair price? Very few homebuyers don't know what questions to ask. Make sure to ask what's included with the home inspection service before you hire.
Consider how much time the inspector spends at the property does he spend only two hours or less out of the home in a blink of the eye with the report completed, or does he take three hours or more at the property, and another two or more hours completing the report, providing pictures and very detailed comments. Time will vary depending on Square footage and age of a home, # of A/C units, the number of water heaters, and how many electrical panels the home has. The cost is related to the experience of the home inspector, quality of the inspection and the report.
Today's home inspectors utilize these types of tools. Make sure you're hiring a home inspector that does. If the home inspector doesn't, then you should consider hiring a home inspection company that does. A home inspector that uses advanced tools with the right education can uncover hidden issues that may not have been found otherwise. Although not required, most professional home inspectors offer thermal imaging scans of the home free with the home inspection. Another excellent service that I include with every home inspection is zip level measurements of the foundation most home inspectors do not.
Home inspectors that exceed the minimum education requirements make better home inspectors. Of course, home inspectors in the business for years. Experienced home inspectors have logged a lot more education along with certifications.
Although on-site Reports are convenient for you and your agent you're better served to receive a Report the next day. Pumping out reports at the inspection in 30 minutes is not my idea of a custom home inspection report. My inspection times take around three hours at the home inspection giving or taking a little depending on the condition of the property. On average, I spend two and a half to three hours crafting a custom report. One finished along with a home inspection, won't include the added customization and details. I take pride in my work and choose to send the most informed customized home inspection Reports.
Ask your home inspector if you can be present if not ask why. You're buying the home and paying for the inspection report. So why shouldn't you be present for such an important decision? You're the one buying the house and paying for the report. The inspector should want you there so he /she can make you better informed of all the defects.
Also, consider how much time the inspector spends at the property. Does he or she spend only two hours or less out of the home in a blink of the eye with the report completed, or does he take three hours or more at the property, and another two or more hours finishing the report, providing pictures and very detailed comments. Many times the cost is related to the experience of the home inspector, quality of the inspection, and the report. Usually, the higher the price, the more experience an inspector may have, and the lower prices may reflect a new home inspector. Then there are the home inspectors that are very through. These inspections and reports take more time. They need more time to gather all the information, to put the report together, usually taking at least three hours or more depending on square footage age, condition, and three or more hours working on the report. Cheap inspections are as they sound inferior low-quality inspections. Low-quality inspectors spend less time at the property inspection. So the question is what type of home inspector do you want for one of the largest purchases of your life. Do you want a cheap home inspector who may be learning at your expense or a more experienced inspector who takes his time not rushing the home inspection or report providing a much-valued service to the client? You may also want to ask what type of equipment the home inspector is using. Does the inspector use technology to benefits the client on finding things that may not be visible, or does he /she show up with just a flashlight, and a screwdriver can all reflect the price. Get a home inspection estimate.
Find out what type of reports the home inspector offers is it computer-generated or handwritten. I don't know of any who offers written inspection reports anymore, so this shouldn't be an issue. Computer-generated reports should provide lots of photos of the defects and commits describing the errors found by the home inspector. Make sure to review the home inspectors work before you hire meaning review there report, so you know what to expect.
The cost of the home inspection should be one of your last concerns, but is usually the first question asked. Evaluate each home inspector on the value the service offers. Homebuyers should not be looking for the lowest price or most expensive. Investigate each home inspector, and ask each home inspector. What makes them stand-out from others? If your home inspector is proud of what they offer their clients. The inspector will give you an answer that details what they provide, and it will be evident to you who to hire.
Make sure to schedule a home inspection, even on a new construction home. New homes are not perfect, and sometimes there can be major issues. It's never good to find significant issues on a new home after the home warranty runs out or when you go to sell, and the buyer's home inspector uncovers significant defects. Make sure you are hiring a home inspection for a new construction home.
Want a lousy inspector don't hire one at all your guaranteed to get the worst home inspection. One of the worst things you can do is make a decision not to have a home inspection. Not having a home inspection is even worst than hiring a terrible home inspector. The lousy home inspector may find some defects for you not having the home inspection guarantees that you will have zero information about the home. Please don't do this; it is one of the worst decisions a home buyer could make. Not knowing if serious hazards exist or there are costly repairs needed could make owning a home a nightmare. Hire a home inspector that you have thoroughly checked out so you can go into homeownership confident with a relaxing peace of mind.
Home inspectors are like any other career. Starting out trying to learn how to be the best at your job, but you have a long way to go before you get there. Hiring a new home inspector may be cheaper, but newer home inspectors could miss issues that could end up costing you.
Hire only considering the price hire the cheapest inspector you can find. You will be sure to get a home inspector that is inexperienced or just in a hurry to get done and move on. One of the most common questions is how much is the cost of the home inspection service. Price is the first question that a lot of clients ask first. Although this is important, it's not the only thing you should be considering when hiring a home inspector. After all, this is a costly purchase, and you'll regret it if you hire a terrible inspector to save $100 or so dollars. If you hire the inspector with the low price and misses an expensive issue, the $100 you saved at the home inspection may end up costing you thousands, and that cheap home inspection was much more costly than you expected. Save yourself some money and hire yourself an experienced inspector pay a little more upfront, but save in the long run.
Hire the inspector from a real pushy Real Estate agent that insists you must use there inspector. Most Realtor's are great and have your best interest and will steer you in the right direction as to recommend a few home inspectors, but be careful there is a handful that doesn't feel the same way and just wants to sell the home. If you think that your Realtor is pushing a particular home inspector on you beware. You might want to hire a home inspector of your choice. See what kind of reaction you get if the Realtor is still trying to get you to use the home inspector he or she recommends you may want to get your own home inspector. There have only been a few times when a Realtor has come to my unhappy about the defects listed in the report. One time was about Aluminum wiring being present in the home. The Realtor said I cost Him or her money because the buyer was backing out of the purchase because of the hazards, and their insurance would not cover Aluminum wiring. The Realtor said I could have made it sound better in the report, which is common in older homes, so it's all right. I did advise the client to check insurance rates or if they could get insurance and have a Licensed and Certified electrician to evaluate all connections. I made it know that I abide by a code of ethics and can not candy coat any hazard found during a home inspection masking the client feel like it is not essential. I am guilty of providing a comprehensive report, and it has cost me business from some Real Estate agents, but I'm okay with that result. I work for the client only and not the Realtor, and the client was Pleased knowing this information, but again most Realtor's have your best interest.
How can you find out anything about the service you're about to pay for if you don't ask your home inspector any questions about the home inspection service. Don't ask the inspector about the type of tools he or she uses. Don't ask how long he or she will take inspecting the home your about to purchase because that may give you a good idea of how thorough the inspection may be. Not asking the inspector you hired anything about the report when is it delivered, how long does your average report take you to write, or is it completed on-site, do you add photos to the report, is it a narrative or just a checklist. The advice is a guide you can use to hire a bad home inspection company. Of course, nobody wants an inadequate home inspection, so do the opposite hire a company that cares about the home inspection profession and has pride in his or her work. I am courteous and professional, always trying to provide the most for the client. Sometimes you have to pay a little more for premium service, which I deliver thorough home inspections and particular reports. I spend the time at the property and on the report. There is no way I could provide a completed report with as much detail at the end of the inspection. So use this as a guide and hire yourself a great Houston home inspector.
Having someone else look at the property will not benefit you like an inspection from a home inspector. Experienced home inspectors find defects regularly and know exactly how to find them. They also have lots of experience in report writing. The other issue is they won't be licensed, and you won't be able to negotiate their findings. Sellers will want a licensed home inspectors report.
Always check the Texas Real Estate Commission website to make sure the home inspector you plan to hire for your home inspection service has an active license.
Infrared or thermal imaging scans can find defects that are not visible with the naked eye. Most home inspectors include this service. Don't hire a house inspector that doesn't have the potential to expose these types of issues.
Taking home inspections to the next level with Technology
Looking for an advanced Houston home inspector? Well today the home inspection industry can deliver just what your looking for. In the past this wasn’t the case. A lot of today's home inspectors have embraced the advanced tools into there home inspection services. Is a home inspector an advanced just because they own expensive advance tools? No, just because you carry around expensive tools doesn't make you a more advanced home inspector.
So what makes a home inspector more advanced?
It takes experience. Experienced home inspectors can catch many defects even before they pick up a tool and that only comes with performing many home inspection. An advanced home inspection always starts here.
Inspectors are required to meet a certain amount of continuing education every year. The longer someone has been inspector the more education and certifications an inspector will acquire overtime. This will show up in the home inspection. Home inspectors tools can be vary high tech. The knowledge and the right education takes advantage of the full capabilities of any advanced device your home inspector may carry. Having certifications helps also. Like infrared certifications educate the home inspector how to unlock the full potential out of the equipment.
The willingness to be more than average. If a home inspector has the right drive they can become exceptional at there job. If not than they may be average or perform poorly.
Tools can help tremendously. With the the right training to operate the tool to it's max potential. More defects can be uncovered by your home inspector. Without the additional training a tool is just a tool and can cause different problems if not used properly.
Moisture meters are used to determine if a suspicious area has elevated levels of moisture. There are different types of moisture meters , but home inspections use a non invasive moisture meter. The reason is because a probing moisture meter would cause damage and a home inspector is not allowed to damage the property.
Zip level are used for measuring the levelness of the foundation or drainage patterns.
Some reasons for the changes has been states regulating the industry and creating a standard of practice. This defines all areas that must be inspected and the minimum standards of practice that must be followed by a home inspector.
Now home inspectors must have a state license to perform home inspections in Texas. The state also requires inspectors to complete so many hours of continuing education every two years in order to renew a home inspectors license. This increases the knowledge of a home inspector and a better understanding of how a home functions.
Also home inspectors must Carrie E. O. insurance Errors and Omissions this protects the client.
Until 1985 there were no requirements for home inspectors. Texas was the first state to implement licensing in 1985 and after Texas other states began exploring licensing of the home inspector.
Many home inspectors are members of national organizations also which Carrie a higher standard of practice and usually require more education to be a member. Some of the top organizations are International Association of certified home inspectors ( internachi) , American society of home inspectors(ASHI), The National Association of Home inspectors(NAHI) and there are many more.
All the above reasons have raised the bar in the home inspection industry providing the client with a more reliable and consistent home inspection.
The home inspection industry has come along way from pencil and paper. Today's inspections feature computer generated reports with detailed comments and photos inserted in the reports and sometimes videos. The home inspector still offering check list reports with a few comments hand written into the report with a pencil are becoming extinct. Clients now have an easy to read computer generated report. The report software available is becoming better and better. There is even voice to text commend home inspection software now making it easier to produce these high quality detailed reports.
More and more home inspectors are turning to technology in the tools they use. Now being able to discover moisture issues without evidence, overheating electrician systems, and missing insulation. Infrared thermal imaging is responsible for most of these hidden discoveries. Moisture meters are playing there part as well to verify moisture and discovery. Gas meters detected gas leaks. Digital water levels measure foundations. Plumbing camera's help to find obstructions and damaged plumbing pipes and drains. Blower door test show you what areas can improve to become more energy efficient. Drones have become an advantage to help Houston area home inspectors to see areas that wouldn’t have been safely accessible in the past due to steep, multi story roofs or fragile roofing materials.. You must obtain a license from the FAA to operate Arial drone for commercial purposes so a home inspector would have to carry the FAA license to take advantage of a drones capabilities. There are times when a homes location is too close to air traffic and a drone can’t be used and there are restrictions with weather that will not let you operate a drone. There are even drones available for crawl space inspections.
Most home inspectors go above the standards of practice utilizing technology along with there education and training. Imagine if your home inspector showed up today with a pencil and paper. I don’t believe that would fly with today's client. Today's home buyers have come to expect above the standards home inspection services and wouldn’t settle for a report written with a paper and pencil nor should they.
Many home inspectors incorporate thermal imaging into there home inspection services at no addition cost to the buyer. Home buyers have really benefited in a big way opposed to the early years of the home inspection business.. Home inspectors today find more defects than ever before protecting real estate buyers from high cost defects that more than likely would not have been discovered in the earlier years of home inspections.
What issues could be found with infrared
During a home inspection many problems can be detected with a thermal imaging scan. Some can affect your comfort, safety, or the home overtime.
A thermal imaging scan can expose electrical hot spots. From overheated wiring, breakers, receptacles, light fixtures, ceiling fans, mechanical equipment. A thermal imaging scan of the home is a must. The first sign of electrical components failing is excessive heat, and thermal imaging scans is the best way to detect these issues.
Thermal imaging is also a great way to detect moisture. The moisture could be from plumbing supplies , plumbing drains, roof leaks, water intrusion from poor drainage, moisture intrusion from walls, moisture intrusion from windows and doors. All these issues can lead to the deterioration of your home, and provides conducive conditions for mold growth. Detecting leaks early can save a home owner or buyer money and health concerns associated with mold.
Leaking ducts can affect your comfort and your wallet. If you have ducts leaking in your attic space than it's costing you money to cool or heat your home. Don't heat or cool your attic space throwing money away and reducing your level of comfort in your home. Although some leaks can be obvious some may be harder to locate that's why it's important to hire a home inspector that uses the most advanced tools such as infrared which makes it easy to locate these problem areas. Check out some photos below of some leaks that were discovered at a Houston Texas home inspection with the use of infrared thermal imaging camera.there were a lot of leaks discovered during this inspection at the unit and at supply ducts. The effect of all the air leaking into the attic was very weak air flow at many of the supply registers or no air flow at all. Although this inspection was performed in the spring and the house was not uncomfortable at the time of the inspection. Once the Houston summer kicks in the house would have been very uncomfortable.The cost of cooling the attic space would have increased there electric bill significantly and increased the wear and tear on the unit causing it to run much longer and of course repairing the leaks and some of the supply ducts would have been an extra expense for the buyer. Don't trust your home to any old home inspector have a quality home inspector inspect your home you never know what may be hiding. Houston's Edge Home Inspections is always there for you.APRIL 6, 2015
LOOK UP WHAT'S ON YOUR ROOF?Your roofing materials are a significant part of the roof system. Proper maintenance is essential to pro long the life of your roofing materials. With the price of roof replacement being so high you want to get the most out of your roofing. Here in Houston Texas we already have a problem due to the extreme heat roofing materials just don't last as long as they are intended in most cases. So theirs's strike one. Take a look what you should be aware of before it causes a problem. Below is a list what to be on the look out for.11 things that require maintenance so your roofing last longer.Making sure that the roof is free of debris is a good place to start. Here in Houston one of the most common issues I find as a home inspector is pine needles or leaves clumping together at valley areas , behind chimneys or at uncleaned gutter areas. This can cause leaks from water not draining properly. It can trap moisture and creates a good condition for mold growth or algae. Eventually causing premature failure. So cleaning debris from your roof is a great benefit. Just make sure your careful if your going to do it yourself some roofs are just not safe to walk. If the roof is too steep I recommend a professional taking the task over.Overhanging tree branches can do damaged if not maintained. Cutting tree branches back 3' to 5' can help insure that you don't receive damage during a storm to your roof. Of coarse it can't prevent it entirely, but can diffidently help from unnecessary damage.If your attic is not properly vented it will cause your shingles to deteriorate at a much faster rate. Adding additional soffit vents, ridge, and roof vents.Cleaning moss, algae., mold, mildew, from your roof. Use a non abrasive method. Meaning don't get the old pressure washer out to clean your roof it will remove the granules from the shingles and lower the life span of your roof.Make sure all pipe penetrations are sealed tightly. Around 12 - 15 years the roof boots elastomeric rubber seals wear out from sun light and heat. These will require maintenance. If your not keeping up on your maintenance on your roof boots theirs a good chance they will leak over time.The roof flashing at head walls, chimneys, side walls, missing kick out flashing. If the roof flashing either wasn't installed properly or is damaged the roof can leak. Most common is lifting flashing and sealant separation.Gutter debris can cause water to slow and not drain properly from your roof causing all kinds of issues.Shingle uplift can cause shingles to blow off easier during high winds or nails that are lifting under the shingle and will eventually puncture shingle and have the potential to leak.It's not best to walk the roof in the high heat of the day normal foot traffic at these times can damage the roofing materials.Caulking nail heads at ridge ends and roof boots, combustible to limit any small leaks.Making sure all combustible roof vents are properly sealed. It is a common find by an home inspector to find combustible vents that allow water to penetrate the structure of the home.Your roof has a very important function.Your roof keeps water out of your homes structure protecting your roof structure. Roofing leaks can cause thousand of dollars and heath issues. Can you say mold? Water entering into your home can cause mold growth and I know you don't want that.Mold is very expensive to remediate not to mention the health issues involved. Keeping up with your roof's maintenance can prevent a roof leak eliminating the potential for mold growth.Have you ever though of all the things your roof protects besides structural components. well lets look at a few. Your insulation.Water heater if located in attic.Heating and cooling system. Drywall. Can lights that are located at attic areas if present in home.Electrical systems water and electricity are not good for the home owner.Rust forming on metal such as vents. Roof maintenance conclusion.As you can see your roof coverings require maintenance. With roofing so important to protect your structural to your health and being very expensive to replace. Maintaining your roof will limit the chance of water damage to your home.Maintaining the roof will limit the long list of issues on a home inspection report if your selling your home. This will defiantly make the real estate deal go smoother. Having a poorly maintained roof that either needs repairs or replacement could be a deal killer or cost you money in the transaction.Some things you will be able to preform yourself, but somethings require some knowledge and experience to spot. If you are hesitant to call out a roofing company call us out your trusted Houston home inspector to give a full evaluation of your roof. What you get from having a home inspector evaluating a roof. One of the first things unethical business trying to sell you a new roof when you have 5 or more years worth of life left. Leaks freak people out and many times you may just need a simple repair. It's unfortunate but some people pray on people. The best thing is the home inspector has no interest in selling you a new roof. So the home inspector will give you an honest report and will alert you of what needs to be done.So remember roof preforming roof maintenance can save you money and increase you roofing materials life. Knowing what to look for is a Huge advantage with your roof maintenance in Houston Tx . I believe we have covered why you should be concerned about your roof. I hope this is helpful and better prepares in the future thank you so much for reading.
When a roof is too steep to walk or to high to access than the only thing a home inspector can do is observe from ground or ladder. This is not idea for inspecting roofing materials. There are many times when not all areas will be visible from the ground and defects can be missed. Looking from the ground with binoculars sometimes is the only option. Over the last few years drones have become popular by home inspectors and provides an option to get a great view of those inaccessible roof areas.
With a drone there is no need to put yourself in a bad and unsafe position. I have gotten on roof's that I should have not have trying to give the client the best home inspection possible. I can usually get on these roof's, but most of the time the problem is safely getting down. Some roof's are to high to access and a drone can solve this problem.
Providing your client with a better service should always be the goal of any home inspector.
One of my biggest fears as a home inspector is missing a costly roofing defect. If you miss a roofing defect and it begins leaking shortly after your inspection the client is not going to be very happy with you. It could even be worst if the client decides to sue you. You could lose your home inspection business or your home inspection license.
This is not my objection to eliminate the need to walk a roof. I still believe that walking a roof is always the best option it's just not safe or possible all the time. When you walk the roof you get to feel how the decking reacts. You can't tell if the decking material is weak unless you walk the roof. For this reason drone inspection are not perfect, but are the closest option right know and come pretty close. So with that being said I would use the drone only in case the home was not safe or inaccessible to walk.
Some roofing materials should never be walked unless you're a specialist because steeping in the wrong place can damage the roofing. Walking these certain types of roofing materials can damage them. Concrete and Clay roofing tiles are a more fragile roofing material then a regular asphalt shingle.
What do you need to fly a drone for commercial use as a home inspector?
If you have purchased a drone like, I have. Do you plan on using it for commercial use. If so there are some things you need to do before you began to use your drone commercially. You will need to register your drone. If you want to provide a drone service for your home inspection business you will need a remote pilot certification.
The certificate demonstrates that you understand the regulations, operating requirements, and procedures for safely flying drones. Do not start using your drone for commercial use unless you are certified from the FAA to do so.
How to past the drone certification course part 107 Exam
There are many available options to find a course online if you need the structure of taking a course.
What to do when your ready to take your FAA remote pilot license test?
Schedule the Aeronautical Knowledge Test at one of the FAA-approved knowledge testing centers across the United States. Find a testing center near you.
Cost is $150 t0 $200.00
Note you must be 16 years of age to take the test.
Apply for and obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate with a small UAS rating (also called a Remote Pilot Airman Certificate).
Pass a background check by the Transportation Security Administration (this vetting happens automatically during your application process).
Things to know after you have your certification.
Every two years you have to pass a recurrent Aeronautical knowledge test.
Conduct a preflight inspection, to insure your UAS is safe for operation.
Follow the FAA part 107 rules when operating your drone.
What drone should I buy for my home inspection company?
I recommend doing a lot of research into drones and check reviews. From doing my own research I settled on Autel Evo. I should say the Autel Evo chose me see after scouring the internet for articles on the best drones for roof inspections and countless YouTube videos. I had narrowed down the choices to three drones. I than went to best buy to look at them. I't so happened that the other two drones were out of stock, so that's the reason I bought the Autel Evo. In all honesty it was already at the top of the list.
What I wanted in a drone?
At the top of my wish list was, I wanted a drone that was stable and could maneuver into tight areas.
I needed a drone that would capture the defects in a quality photo.
Once again I wanted quality video
I didn't want a huge case to have to carry. So this meant the drone, I was in the market for was one that folded.
I wanted to be able to complete the roof inspection with one battery. This one says 30 minutes of battery life, all the reviews I saw most people got about 26 minutes.
I didn't opt for the cheapest or a real expensive drone. This drone was about $1000.00. I did add two additional batteries, but that was a must if you do more than one home inspection per day.
TO DRONE OR NOT TO DRONE THAT'S THE QUESTION There's a lot of confusion about the commercial use of drones? I can defiantly see the potential for drones used in commercial businesses. So to me any technology to improve service for my business is worth looking into. In the home inspection industry drones could be very helpful on roof's that are to steep to safely walk. A drones use in these areas could provide images or video of these areas that would not be accessible or visible. It may even save lives or injuries. I have found myself in some dangerous situations at times trying to view areas during a roof inspection. I know we can say the roof is not safely walk-able, but not being able to see certain areas of the roof may have hidden damage.This is where the drone would be of service for a home inspector keeping you out of dangerous situations, while still being able to view these otherwise unsafe or inaccessible areas.So are drones legal to use in the home inspection industry. Well the FAA has repeatedly claimed that flying a drone for commercial purposes is Illegal. So if you go by the FAA rules you cannot use a drone for commercial use. So to make it even more confusing in 2011 a Federal administrative law judge overturned a penalty of $10,000. by the FAA on Ripheal Pirker for using a drone to film a commercial. Judge Patrick Geraghty said there are no laws on flying a drone commercially and ruled in favor of the defendant.So where does this leave us. This leaves us looking at the state laws in your state. In Texas there are some areas where commercial use is allowed it does say Real Estate brokers are able to use drones to take aerial photos, along with other exceptions. So this still leaves me confused about drone use in the home inspection business. Although we inspect Real Estate we are not Real Estate brokers.I do see some inspection companies utilizing these technologies, but am unsure if this is legal. So I'm waiting for the FAA to regulate the rules for commercial use. These are supposed to come out at the end of the 2015 year, but the FAA is behind and it doesn't appear that this will happen until 2017. So until I know that I can utilize this technology and be 100 percent legal doing it. I will wait until the FAA makes it's rule changes regarding drone being use as a commercial service.
15 things to known before you decide to buy an older home. If your like me I love the character and the interesting architecture of older homes. Each era has some unique styles that can definitely lure in a potential home buyer ,and I'm not saying that's a bad thing. I myself have been intrigued and have admired friends or family who have made the jump in purchasing an older home. Different era's of homes have certain issue you should be aware of before making such a life changing decision. I would like to target these types of real estate buyers and give some helpful information to prepare you.The list of items to be aware of before buying an older home.Asbestos in older homes is a potential.Lead paint in older homes is possible.Faulty or known electrical panels that are fire hazards or safety hazards.Aluminum single stranded wire could be in the home.Missing GFCI protection Missing AFCI devices Foundation issues Old HVAC systems No bath or laundry exhausts Low amounts of insulation Galvanized plumbing supplies Polybutylene pipe ungrounded electrical receptacles Roof leaks Single pane windows. Electrical issues to expect in 1950's, 1960's and 1970's Homes Lets start out with the electrical system. If you purchase a 1950's home and the electrical system has not been upgraded expect a long inspection list of defects provided in your home inspection report. One of the most expensive issues will be to upgrade to the service panel. The panels in the 1950's were the old fuse types and not meant to handle all the extras we power in a home. Electrical codes have changed a lot since the 1950's and homes have become safer as a result. Expect a lot of electrical system hazards with a older home.Homes in the 1960's and 1970's may include aluminum wiring.Home that are wired with single stranded aluminum wire more over time develop lose connections causing wires to overheat. Aluminum wiring has certain qualities that cause the lose connections. Aluminum wires expands and contracts much more than copper wire over time this creates a lose connections that can spark or arch inside the will which can raise the risk of a house fire. There are special connections made for aluminum wire which can be an option, but I always recommend consulting with an insurance company before purchasing a home with single stranded aluminum wiring. Insurance can be difficult to get and you may want to ask there recommendations as to how to repair so you can be insured. If they suggest re wiring than this may be something that needs to be negotiated due to the high expense to re wire a home. I also always recommend a licensed electrician evaluate the entire electrical system.Many 1950's, 1960's and 1970's homes will be missing modern safety devices.Many of these homes will be missing modern safety devices that protect you and your family. Unless the electrical system panel and branch circuits have been upgraded than it's pretty safe to say that the home will be missing GFCI ( Ground Fault circuit interrupters) safety devices in these older homes. Expect to found some two prong ungrounded receptacles in the 1950's and 1960's homes. Since AFCI's( Arc Fault Circuit interrupters) weren't required until 2002 than more than likely these won't be present.Faulty service panels or known hazardous panels Faulty improper wired or known service panels that are fire hazards. If your Houston home inspector finds a service panel that is a known fire hazard than it should be recommend that it be replaced . Faulty or improperly wired is also possible with any of these homes built in anyone of these era's Asbestos could be present.Homes that were built 1950's, 1960's and 1970's are have the potential to contain asbestos in some of there building materials. If buying a home in anyone of these areas it is highly recommend to have a certified asbestos inspector inspect the home for asbestos. Asbestos fibers can have serious health effects if inhaled. Asbestos should never be disturbed without the proper safety precautions.Lead Paint If the home your buying was built before 1978 than the higher chance there is of the home having it. The older it gets the higher percentage there is for the home to contain lead paint. The lead paint could be concealed under additional layers of paint. Take the necessary precautions when remodeling an older home.Foundation Problems Weather the home has a concrete slab or a pier and beam foundation an older home has a higher chance than a new home of having foundation issues. Sometimes you can tell the floors slope fairly easy. That's why I use a precision zip level to measure the foundation free of charge with the purchase of your general home inspection service. Don't get stuck with expensive foundation repairs no matter the type of foundation the home has. It's definitely a higher risk of foundation problems with older homes.Old HVAC systems HVAC systems have an expected average life span and it is 12 to 18 years according to most professional HVAC companies. Particular in the Houston area we work our a/c systems hard and it's very important for our comfort. An older system is likely to need more maintenance than a newer system. The system will be less efficient than a newer model. If the system uses R-22 refrigerant than at the beginning of 2020 R-22 becomes illegal and if you have refrigerant leaks than your stuck with upgrading the system or possible having to buy a new unit.Missing exhaust fans On average homes that are older are lacking exhaust fans at the bathrooms and laundry room areas. Although they may not be required at some bathrooms with an adequate window size. I always recommend them because lets be honest who actually opens there windows in Houston when temperatures are above 90 degree. Homes not having an exhaust fan can cause some moisture issues.Low or missing insulation It's very common to find either a very low amount of insulation or missing insulation in older homes. This condition will increase your homes cost to cool and heat the home.Roofing materials are in poor condition.The roofing materials may be at the end of there life span and have evidence of leaking in areas. Anytime time that moisture invades the structural of home there is always a potential for mold. Roofing material replacement is quite expensive. So knowing the condition of the roofing materials is a must so you can make an informed decision on buying an older property.Galvanized plumbing supplies If galvanized plumbing or Polybutylene plumbing is present at this point it has outlasted it's expected life span and needs to be replaced. Leaking plumbing is not a situation that's fun so it's very important to known what type of plumbing the older home may have.Old windows Unless the seller has updated the windows than it's pretty much a lock the home has single pane low efficient windows. Upgraded the windows will increase the energy efficiency of the home. Conclusion buying an older home could cost you thousands of dollars to upgrade if it hasn't been done. There are many potential hazards that could exist also. So go into the transaction armed with a Houston area home inspector so you are informed of what type of hazards or expensive repair list that can come with buying an older home. the list of repairs go on for days. keep in made that with lead paint or asbestos a possibility testing and special remediation may be required to safely remove these types of items driving cost higher. At the end of the day it's your decision older homes tend to have some great character and charm. Like your older home inspected by an experienced professional home inspector see what I have to offer.
Issues that come up during a home inspection about HVAC systems.Your HVAC system consist of some expensive equipment. So providing accurate information about the homes HVAC system to a home buyer is imperative. The are many parts working together to provide a comfortable environment. Most home buyers are very concerned and want information about how the air conditioning system is functioning. I'd say here in Houston home buyers are very interested in how the homes a/c system is functioning. I can't say I blame them. our climate is very hot for the majority of the year. So your homes a/c system is of course one of the biggest concerns of Houstonians. What's the function of the a/c unit?The main functions of the a/c unit is to cool the home and to remove the humidity out of your homes environment. It's not a good ideal to turn the air conditioning system off when you go out of town or when your homes vacant and on the real estate market. This is the worst thing you can do and can cause moisture issues in the home.What does the HVAC systems consist of ?Well for the cooling part of your HVAC system consist of a condensing unit which will be located at the exterior and an evaporating coil which is usually located in the attic space. There will be drain lines a drain pan, refrigerant lines. thermostat, wiring, service disconnect(s) emergency shut off, fan to carrier the air, ducts to distribute the air to desired areas, Plenum/ A/C junction boxes to connect ducts, Filters to clean the air, registers at room areas. Heating unit(s) to heat the air during the winter if needed, flue to carry carbon monoxide safety out of the home. So with so many parts and things can go wrong. Having a experienced home inspector is a great advantage for a home buyer.What type of issues can be found during a home inspection with the HVAC systems ?There are many issues that can be found below I have listed a few of the problems found during home inspections that I've preformed. Remember a home inspector does a visual inspection and takes temperatures, but doesn't use pressure gages or take units apart.The temperature difference doesn't fall in between 14 degrees and 21 degrees so the a/c unit doesn't cool properly .Unlevel condensing unit(s) is not good for your condensing unit refrigerant needs to flow through the coils evenly if it's not the unit will not run efficiently and unlevel units could put additional stress on the refrigerant lines.Thermostat doesn't respond to the a/c system or heating unit.Condensation dripping from ducts, condensation dripping from refrigerant lines, condensation dripping from the evaporating coil, Condensation ponding on top on evaporating coil, A/C junction boxes or plenum, condensation dripping from registers and various areas.Thermostats not functioning properly.Air leaking into attic space at ducts, evaporating coil.No air flow at registers or low air flow.Water in the drain pan indicating that the primary drain line is clogged. Significant rust at drain pan. A lot of rust can cause the drain at the drain pan to clog and if there is not a emergency a/c shut device present at the drain pan. This can allow the drain pan to over flow into the attic area.Improperly sloped drain pans where the pan doesn't slope towards the drain line which also could cause the drain pan to over flow into the attic space.Missing emergency shut off at drain pan.Rust present inside the heater cabinet.Smell of gas in attic space.Evidence of flame roll out serious back drafting issue.Flue not properly connected at heating unit leaking carbon monoxide into the interior attic space.Mold like or mildew stains at registers.Dirty filters.Bent fins at condensing unit.Venting improperly.Venting not properly secured.Old heating and a/c units.A/C units that use R-22 the unit may cool properly, but at the beginning of 2020 it wont be legal to purchase R-22 refrigerant Heating units and a/c units missing service disconnects.Over or undersized breakers for condensing units Best practices for getting the most life out of your a/c unit.Getting the most out of your air conditioning and heating system is important to home owners due to replacement cost. What are some things you can do to prolong the life on your air conditioning system.Having your yearly maintenance it's a good ideal and will help keeping your unit operating at an efficient and optimal level. Everyone known this one ,but it is really important change your filters on schedule. Changing your filters will keep your unit operating at an efficient level. Dirty filters will cause your unit to have to work harder causing more wear and tear on the unit. It will cost more to cool your home when your unit is not working efficiently not to mention costly repairs. Following this advice can help your unit last longer and protect against premature failure.Air leaking into the attic space can also make your a/c unit work harder so make sure to do #1 each year.I see this one all the time during Home inspection services . Over grown vegetation at condensing unit. The condensing unit needs to be able to breath to cool properly and vegetation can restrict air flow and cause over heating issues. Be sure to keep areas around the condensing unit free of vegetation. Also clear any debris from unit such as leaves, pine needles, tree limbs and any other type of debris.As you can see if you take care of your HVAC system it will take care of you. It will also help you go through the home selling process with far less defects reported. As a seller having your a/c in top working order can help you net a bigger pay day without having to negotiate for expensive repairs or replacement. The HVAC system is important to home buyers and not maintaining will cause you to lose money or worst you could lose the buyer do to buying fears. Spending the money to maintain your HVAC systems will save you money in the long run. It also limits break downs that seam to always happen at inopportune. So don't forget to call your trusted HVAC technician out at least once a year.