10 Most Common Home Inspection Problems

The 10 Most Common Home Inspection Problems

1. Faulty wiring—open junction boxes, amperage mismatches, no wire nuts on wires.

  • The cure: Fix junction boxes; upgrade to at least 100 amps.

2. Poor grading and drainage—spongy soil around the foundation, signs of leaking in basement.

  • The cure: Regrade so that grounds slopes away from house for 10 feet; remove porous material around foundation.

3. Faulty gutters—clogged or bent gutters, water not channeled away from house.

  • The cure: Preventive maintenance; gutters of adequate size, splash pans to divert run-off.

4. Basement dampness—water stains, powdery residue on walls, mold or mildew.

  • The cure: Repair gutters to channel water away from house; apply waterproof coatings to basement.

5. Roof problems—brittle or curled shingles; broken or missing flashings.

  • The cure: Apply new shingle, or tear off if needed (usually after three re-roofs ); replacing flashings, especially around chimneys and other protrusions.

6. Foundation flaws—cracks in foundation, sloping floors, sticking doors or windows.

  • The cure: Fill cracks with silicon caulking or epoxy; apply waterproof coating to exterior.

7. Poor upkeep—needs repainting, worn carpeting, cracked driveway.

  • The cure: Give the house a minor facelift.

8. Faulty plumbing—inadequate water pressure, slow drains, signs of leaks on ceilings.

  • The cure: Clean and rout drains; reseat toilet with new wax ring, repair leaks.

9. Poor ventilation—extreme heat in attic, vapor condensation.

  • The cure: Ensure that roof soffits are not blocked; install additional roof vents; vent bathroom and kitchen fans outside.

10. Defective heating—cracks in the heat exchanger or water tank; carbon monoxide leaks.

  • The cure: Reseal chimney flues; replace sacrificial anode in water heater.

Excerpted from “Top 10 House Problems,” Practical Homeowner, Practical Homeowner LP, March 1990