Last month, our own Robb Johnson was interviewed as part of Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty’s ongoing Perpectives series. During this interview, hosted by Realtor Greg Fleischaker, Robb discussed a few items that homeowners and buyers alike should keep an eye out for during home inspections.
1. Electrical Systems: “From a safety standpoint, we see a lot of handyman faulty wiring and electrical issues,” Johnson explains. Problems like faulty switches, outlets that are improperly wired, reversed polarity, wires that are not grounded, double-tapped circuit breakers, and wrong wire sizes are routinely discovered. Many local homeowners try to DIY their electrical work or hire someone who is not a licensed electrician to save money.
2. Roofing: Roofing is another trouble spot that puts homeowner safety at risk. Improperly installed and aged surfaces or missing flashing at transition areas are routinely observed. Hail damage with frayed or granular loss on shingles has been particularly common since the two major storms of 2012. Ideally, inspectors get onto roofs, but sometimes they need to use drones or telescopic cameras to look at steep-pitched roofs.
3. HVAC: Heating and cooling systems are expensive for buyers too. There are only so many things an inspector can check in this department. They can look for proper temperature differentials in heating and in cooling modes or use mirrors to look for issues with older systems; but on the newer systems, HVAC technicians may be necessary to check for cracked heat exchangers because the burners have to be pulled out.
4. Plumbing: Plumbing issues like leaks, outdated or problematic systems, fixtures, line pressure, and plastic piping that deteriorates at the joints are assessed. Inspectors look at sinks, ceilings, walls, exposed pipes, fixtures, and drains. Licensed plumbers can further evaluate the system.
5. Ventilation: Adequate ventilation is the fifth area visually checked, with inspectors looking to see that there is proper air flow in crawl spaces and insulation on top of the ceiling. Good ventilation protects the home from excess moisture, rot and expensive utility bills. It also protects families from pollutants, dangerous gases and allergens.
You can listen to the podcast interview and read the transcript by visiting the Louisville Home Inspections episode of Lenihans Sotheby’s International Realty’s Perspectives real estate series.