Specializing in Pre-Sale and Pre-Purchase Inspections. We offer home inspections, pest inspections, septic inspections, radon testing, air quality testing and water quality testing. Serving the Piedmont Triad, Triangle, & Surrounding Areas. Veteran Owned and Operated. Licensed and Insured.
During a home inspection, there are a number of things that can be found. These can range from something as simple as a running toilet to a severe problem with the foundation. However, five of the most commonly seen issues are old roofs, leaking water heaters, leaking pipes, clogged gutters, and bad window seals. Below, we will delve a little further into each one of these.
The problem that inspectors come across most often in homes is old roofs. Some damage can be easily seen just by visually inspecting the roof itself. However, many times the inspector will find evidence of a deteriorating roof by looking around the attic space for signs of a leak. If the home does not have an attic, another tell-tale sign of a leak could be stained ceilings. This is definitely a problem that should be addressed sooner rather than later, as a small issue can quickly become a major one.
Another prevalent problem detected on home inspections is a leaking water heater. There may be water pooled on the floor, in the drip pan of the water heater, or on the top of the unit. These leaks can be due to rust, loose fittings, or possibly internal damage to the tank. A good practice would be to check your water heater at least once a month for signs of leaking.
Sneaky leaking pipes are a top five issue that inspectors uncover as well. Have you ever gotten a water bill that seemed to be substantially higher than prior months? This could be a red flag that you have a leaking pipe. Other signs of leaks can include wet spots and/or stains on walls or ceilings, visible mold, or a mildew smell permeating from an area of a home. It is paramount to determine the source of a leak and remedy the problem as soon as possible to prevent further, potentially extensive damage.
An additional finding that is seen time and time again is clogged gutters. Homeowners may not think about their gutters as an important part of the home but they serve an important purpose. Your gutters divert water from your home and foundation. If the gutters are clogged or filled with a ton of debris, the water will begin to spill over. This can create issues with the foundation. It may also cause dry rotting on the roof, which can decrease the lifespan of the roof. Cleaning out the gutters at least twice a year is highly recommended. It may also be cost effective in the long run to install gutter guards to block debris from amassing in gutters.
The last frequently seen dilemma encountered during inspections is bad window seals. The most obvious sign that a home has a bad window seal is if there is condensation built up or a foggy look to a window that cannot be wiped away. Another indication of bad seals is feeling outside air coming in through the window. Fortunately, most of the time, this is not a significant problem, but it can definitely have an effect on your heating and air bill!
As you are reading through this, you may notice an element that seems to be a recurring theme…water. Water is such a vital part of life, but it can wreak havoc on a home! The best thing course of action if any of these issues pop up on an inspection report is to call a professional who specializes in the area of concern. This may prevent a minor issue from becoming a complicated and costly one.
With summer in full swing and quarantine in effect, your air conditioner may be your best friend right now! Are you doing everything you can to keep it healthy? Here are a few tips and tricks to ensure the summertime heat stays outdoors where it belongs.
Just like humans, HVAC systems need a yearly checkup to verify all is well. Scheduling a maintenance check each year is paramount. So many people forgo this tune-up, which can be a costly mistake. There may be a minor issue with your unit that is easily fixed if addressed in a timely manner, which can become a larger, more expensive problem down the line if ignored. When it comes to your HVAC unit, it’s much better to be proactive versus reactive.
Another vital practice is to routinely change your air filters. Have you ever forgotten to change a filter and taken a look at it six months later? It is not a pretty sight. Dust, dirt, and debris can obstruct the airflow and clog your air filters. You may not think a clean air filter makes a big difference, but it absolutely does because dirty filters lead to less efficient cooling. There is also the resultant poor quality of air you are breathing in your home when your filters are not regularly changed.
One thing you may not think about that can affect your cooling performance is the condenser unit. This is the unit that you will find outside of your home. It is a good idea to occasionally check the unit to make sure there is nothing growing on and around it. If you see plants, weeds, or leaves cluttering the condenser just remove it. This is a simple and free way to maintain your unit, and free is such a beautiful word.
The last thing to keep an eye on is the drain line. This is another thing you may not think about but that can cause major issues. We recently inspected a home where we noted evidence of a prior repair to the bathroom ceiling. We found out the damage was caused when the drain line became clogged, which resulted in flooding and caused the bathroom ceiling to cave in (major headache, a hit to the piggybank, and a little of crying from the homeowner). To see if you may have a clogged drain line, you can pour a little bit of water down the line and then walk outside to the check the line and see if that water made its way down. Also, be sure to clear anything that may be obstructing your drain line outside. As stated earlier, being proactive here is the best approach. To clear your drain line, turn off your unit and pour one-fourth of a cup of distilled vinegar into the line. Wait about 30 minutes and flush it out with a cup of water. Repeat monthly to deter the growth of mold and mildew. Simple, effective, and inexpensive.
Having to replace an HVAC unit is a cost that most of us would like to avoid for as long as possible. With periodic inspection of your system and scheduled annual maintenance, you may be able to extend the life of your unit for several seasons to come!
Buying a new home can be one of the most exciting times in your life. Part of the home-buying process is obtaining a home inspection. A thorough inspection is so important because purchasing a home is quite a large investment. However, at first glance, reviewing your inspection report can be a bit confusing or overwhelming. Not to worry, we will break down the report to give you a better idea of what you’re looking at. If you’ve never seen a report, our office is happy to share a sample report.
The table of contents is a great place to start. You can refer to this page to quickly locate the page number where each new section begins. Following this, you will find the intro page. It is here you can identify the definition of various abbreviations you may see throughout your report. Next, you can see a section titled General Summary. This part of the report is a brief overview of all systems and discoveries that were made during the home inspection. It is not an all-inclusive list, so it is extremely important to thoroughly read the entire report.
The remainder of the report is a comprehensive dive into each system. The first system reported on is the structural system. This will include things like the foundation, roof, walls, and ceilings. This is a very important section to pay attention to. The foundational integrity of a home is paramount, as structural repairs can be expensive. Another item in this list to pay close attention to is the roof, as any major problems can also be quite costly to fix.
Then you will find the section pertaining to electrical systems. Included here are the outlets throughout the home, as well as the electrical panel. The inspection will reveal if there are any outlets throughout the home that may not be functioning. Further down, you can locate the plumbing section. The inspector will be checking the water heater, locating the water main, looking for dripping and/or nonfunctioning faucets inside and outside the home.
The HVAC system is our next segment, and it is usually a big concern for home buyers. A visual inspection of the HVAC equipment, as well as vents and ducts, is completed, and units will be tested to ensure the heating and air are properly functioning. However, it may not be a bad idea to have a licensed HVAC specialist complete a comprehensive checkup to point out any potential issues that could arise.
The final section of your report will encompass all appliances in the home. This will include the kitchen appliances, bathroom exhaust fans, garage door, as well as cabinetry throughout the home.
Don’t let a home inspection report make you nervous simply because there are several pages, leaving you thinking there are numerous issues. Sometimes the things found on inspection are easy fixes, such as a loose window latch. It is important to sit down with your agent and figure out what you can live with, what repairs you would like to negotiate with the seller, and what will ultimately be a deal breaker. Of course, if you have any questions or need some clarity about what is in your report, our inspectors are more than happy to speak with you!
We are pleased to announce that Jamie is joining the Parkwood Team!
Jamie worked several years as a real estate agent prior to joining Parkwood, so she knows first hand how to support clients while going through the inspection process. Her main responsibilities will be to manage our clients in the Raleigh market, but she will also provide support for Noelle in the Triad market.
Please help us welcome Jamie!
Parkwood is pleased to announce the addition of a new home inspector to our team. Mike Dowd has worked in construction most of his life, including time working for a commercial roofing company. He has a bachelors degree from ECU and an associates from the University of Akron. He also has experience teaching at the collegiate level for several years.
We believe his work and teaching experience blend together perfectly. As a home inspector he is able to utilize his construction knowledge and explain complex topics to clients.
With a previously owned home, it is impossible to determine who may have had access to keys to the house. Parkwood has licensed locksmiths on staff to make sure you have peace of mind upon taking possession of your new home. As long as the service is booked prior to closing, we are happy to add this service onto the closing statement so there is no upfront cost.
Call today for a quote!
This is a long overdue post as Derrick joined Parkwood back in March of 2018.
Derrick is a valuable addition to the Parkwood team. He has a keen eye for detail and is a thorough and knowledgeable inspector.
He has a bachelors degree from Greensboro college and worked for many years welding, fabricating, framing, and pouring concrete. He is also rigger certified.
Derrick has proven to be a hard worker who provides quality inspections and superior customer service. He enjoys answering clients questions and helping them navigate the inspection process.
We had a great turnout at our Home Inspection 101 event earlier this month.
Agents were pleased to learn about the home inspection process in more detail. We know their clients will be served better by their dedication to furthering their knowledge. Many thanks to Elizabeth Sheffield with Coldwell Banker, and her client, for providing the home.
Keep an eye open for our next event in our agent education series in June! You’re going to love it!
Earlier this month, we attended the annual NC Licensed Home Inspectors Association Continuing Education Conference. We find this to be one of the better opportunities in the state for our state mandated continuing education each year. It is typically a four day event with educational opportunities beyond the required CE. They also have a room full of vendors where we can discuss some of the latest innovations in our industry. This year, the conference took place in beautiful Carolina Beach. The weather was cold and windy- so we weren’t upset being in class all day (and we are always grateful for the opportunity to see the ocean).
Mid February we had a chance to participate in a wonderful event with one of the fastest growing real estate brokerages in our market, Providence Realty. They were celebrating a tremendous year, due in part to being an office overflowing with talented agents that always go above and beyond for their clients.
We enjoyed a fun filled evening with clients, agents, and friends. Already looking forward to next year!
Images from Triad Real Producers Magazine.