Issues found at a home inspection that can haunt seller
Beware some issues can be serious hazards
Exposed Defects and Hazards could kill the deal!
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.
Electrical hazards can kill a deal or be costly
From improperly wired, old outdated wiring, fire hazards, shock hazards dangerous panels, or wiring.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.
Your home's electrical system is made up of different sections in a home inspection report.
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.
Common defects Service panel
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.
Branch circuit defects
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 or structural issues
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.