Most Common Defects

No house is perfect. Even the best built and best maintained homes will always have a few items in less than perfect condition. Below are some of the items we most commonly find when inspecting a home:

  • Roofing Problems with installation of roofing materials are the single most common defect we find. Usually it doesn't mean the roof needs replaced, but rather that it is in need of maintenance or repair. Sometimes we find roofs that need total replacement. Tile roofs are particularly problematic.
  • Electrical hazards Most common in older homes, but often found in newer homes as well. Electrical hazards come in many forms, from ungrounded outlets to wiring done incorrectly by the homeowner. Many homeowner's insurance companies will not write policies on homes with older electrical systems.
  • Rotted wood Caused by being wet for extended periods of time, most commonly found on roof eaves and trim outside.
  • Water heater installations Many water heaters are not installed in full compliance with local plumbing codes.
  • Air conditioning installations Most systems are poorly installed. Many perform poorly. We commonly find leaking ductwork and evaporator coils covered with dirt and mold.
  • Plumbing defects Plumbing issues commonly found include dripping faucets, leaking fixtures, slow drains etc... Even in brand new homes, it is common to identify minor plumbing defects.

Roofing Issues

Roofing Issues

Of all the problems you can encounter around the house, roofing problems are by far the sneakiest. Leaks can develop unnoticed for years causing rot, mold, warping and other expensive damage.

Experts recommend that you go into your attic or crawlspace at least once a year after a rainstorm to check for leaks and water damage. Special attention should be paid to areas where you have flashing (the metal or plastic weather stripping that will be around chimneys, pipes, vents, roof planes and eves) because this is typically the most likely area to develop leaks. It is also recommended that you visit the surface of your roof yearly - during good weather - to look for any loose, missing, eroded, warped or otherwise damaged shingles and to check the overall condition of your roof.

You should also clean rain gutters and downspouts of leaves and other debris regularly, preferably in the fall once the trees are bare. While doing this, check for mineral deposits which could indicate the erosion of asphalt shingles.

Many people would prefer not to inspect their roofs themselves. Roofs can be pitched at very steep angles and pose quite a challenge to those leery of heights. Inspecting the roof from an attic or crawlspace full of spiders and other creepy inhabitants may not be too attractive either. Another issue is most people are unsure of what to look for. Leaks can be hard to track - water travels downward and the damage can be far from the actual leak. Because of this, hiring an expert to inspect the roof for you is something you should consider.