Top 5 Most Common Issues Found During a Home Inspection

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.

4 Tips To Keep Your Air Conditioner Running Smoothly

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!