How to pass your home inspection
Every home buyer, whether in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County, the Edmonton area or elswhere, wants the security of knowing that the home he is considering purchasing is good beneath the surface. That is, will the roof leak? What about the plumbing? Has the basement flooded? Ensuring that the areas listed below are in order will help you pass inspection with flying colors. Also, when you know what to look for, you can prevent little problems from growing into costly and unmanageable headaches. [See also my blog articles on home inspection: "Should I Get a Home Inspected Before Purchasing It?" and "Questions Buyers Ask, Part 4: Home Inspection".]
Defective plumbing usually manifests with leaking and clogging. Looking under sinks and pipes can detect leaks. Water pressure can be determined by turning on all the faucets in the highest bathroom and then flushing the toilet. The sound of running water indicates undersized pipes. If dirty water appears when you turn on the faucet, it could indicate that the pipes are rusting.
Damp or wet basement
A white mineral deposit on the walls and basement floor indicates water seepage. A mildew odor might also be present. Sealing a crack in or around your basement foundation, depending on severity and location, runs from $300 - $1,000. Waterproofing an average 3-bedroom home is estimated at around $5,000 - $15,000.
Insufficient wiring & electrical
Your home should have a minimum of 100 amps service. It should be clearly marked and the wire should be copper. Octopus plugs indicate inadequate circuits and are a fire hazard. Cover plates on all junction boxes and outlets.
Faulty heating & cooling systems
The most common causes of poor heating are insufficient insulation and an inadequate or a poorly functioning heating system. A clean furnace, without rust on the heat exchanger, typically has a life span of 15-25 years. A cracked heat exchanger on a forced air gas system could emit deadly carbon monoxide into the home. Unrepairable, it must be replaced if damaged.
Water seepage through the roof results from deterioration of the asphalt shingles (e.g. curling or splitting), or damage from a storm. When water is not properly directed through gutters and downspouts, or gutters leak, this could result in major internal problems.
Damp attic spaces
Aside from basement dampness, problems with ventilation, insulation and vapor barriers can cause water, moisture, mold and mildew to form in the attic. This can lead to premature wear of the roof, structure and building materials. The cost to fix this damage could easily run over $2,500.
Rotting occurs from exposure to elements, and is most prevalent on doors, window frames, trim, siding, decks and fences.
Left unattended, smaller repairs can lead to problems with water and moisture penetration into the home which could lead to a chimney being clogged by fallen bricks or even a chimney which falls onto the roof.
Adequate security features
These basic safety features should be functioning properly: locks on windows and patio doors, dead bolts on the doors, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every level.
Investigate the underlying footing, basement and foundation to ensure structural integrity.
Keeping these items in mind as you walk through your home will help you provide for any future costs and disappointments. A REALTOR® has many resources in place to assist you. He or she can recommend a professional inspector, repair services or any other housing-related need you may have.