As a home inspector, we come across a lot of the same issues. I wanted to share 5 common defects found during a home inspection. Some of these issues could have been easily prevented with education. Others can be fixed before they cause damage and cause costly repairs. Let’s take a look at the 5 common defects found during a home inspection and how to fix or prevent them.
Defect #1: Foundation Clearance to Grade
The soil around your home’s perimeter should be a minimum of 6″ below brick and 8″ below siding or stucco. This clearance is there to prevent water from intruding during heavy rain. It also helps water from splashing up and soaking into the siding. Sometimes planters or gardens are installed against a homes brick or siding. This can lead to water infiltration and cause damage to siding, sill plate, rim and floor joist, and drywall. Make sure the grading slopes away form your home, it should slope 6″ in the first 10′.
Defect #2: Attic Ventilation
Attics should be ventilated. This is to guard against moisture build-up and mold formation. It also extends the life of the roof covering. Many times exhaust fans are not vented to the exterior of the home like they should be and are vented into the attic. This adds moisture to the attic and can lead to a mold issue. Proper attic ventilation can help prevent ice dams, too. The best ventilation would be continuous ridge and soffit vents.
Defect #3: Gutter and Downspout Placement
Gutters and downspouts carry water from the roof away from the foundation. Downspouts should not drain onto lower roofs. This can damage the roof and void manufacture’s warranty. They should drain into a lower gutter or drain at least 6′ away from the home’s foundation. These two tips will keep your basement dry and prevent damage to your roof.
Defect #4: Structure Damaged Caused by Plumbing
Some times joist, studs, and foundations can be damaged when pipes are ran for plumbing. Lack of planning can lead to the home’s structure being modified without engineers approval. Most of the times these issues can’t be seen, that is why a phase inspection is recommended during the construction.
Defect #5: Lack of GFCI
Over the years the requirement for GFCI’s in your home have changed. Most homes are not up to the current safety standards. GFCI’s are required in garages, bathrooms, kitchens, exterior receptacles, swimming pools, wet bar, crawlspaces, and laundry areas. If your home’s electrical system has not been updated with GFCI’s, we highly recommend it.