Home and W.E.T.T. inspections. Brantford, Cambridge areas ~ 226-400-3454. Hamilton, Burlington areas ~ 905-929-4401

Preparing for the inspection.


Preparing your home for an inspection will help the deal go smoother.
Category: Home Inspections
Posted by: nookncranny

Typically, a home buyer will have some nervousness and uncertainty when it comes to the home inspection. Although I, nor any other home inspector, will be able to find all the flaws in a home, we generally see most. And usually the majority of items noted are not considered major issues, such as minor electrical improvements (GFCI receptacles, open junction boxes, etc.) or general maintenance (window/door caulking, eaves trough cleaning, grading improvements) and so on.

However, what can become more of an issue and concerning to many buyers is what CANNOT be seen. Such as crawl spaces, attics and the majority of a foundation wall.

ATTICS: When I inspect a house and am unable to locate an attic access because it was sealed off during the last renovation, this immediately becomes a red flag for buyers as they do not know what's going on in this space. This is often accompanied by newer shingles, but this doesn't mean the framing, sheathing, ventilation or a slew of other possible deficiencies are in good condition as well. On occasion, new shingles have been installed but the sheathing, the wood that shingles is nailed to, is old and should have been replaced at the same time, but either the home owner wasn't advised of this by the roofing company, or they chose to save money and leave it for the new owner to deal with. There could also be mould growth due to poor ventilation, electrical concerns, bathroom or kitchen exhausts venting into the attic, framing issues and inadequate insulation depths and even, depending on the age of the home, vermiculite insulation that could contain asbestos.

CRAWL SPACES: There aren't too many homes that still have crawl spaces, but they are out there. Often the space and openings do not meet minimum access requirements for safety (Think about it- your on your belly in a cramped space and you come face-to-face with an upset Raccoon) getting out quickly can be very difficult and no one wants to be bitten or scratched by one of these critters!) and being able to access or see all four corners is often impossible as there just isn't enough room. That's if someone can even get into the space. If access again is limited or closed off, the potential issues that could be present can include moisture intrusion from the exterior, plumbing leaks, electrical safety concerns, missing vapor barrier, missing insulation, wood framing rot due to moisture or WDO (Wood Destroying Organisms) un-sealed and un-insulated duct lines, un-insulated plumbing lines, structural concerns such as poorly installed support posts or piers and so on..

OTHER ITEMS: The other items list includes the electric distribution panel, furnace, water heater, foundation walls and so forth. These items are also part of a home inspection and many buyers want to know the age of equipment, which is found on the data plate inside the furnace cabinet. The electric panel is opened to allow the inspector to view the type of wiring present, are the breakers/fuses connected to the correct gage of wire, are there signs of overheating, too many circuits connected to one safety device (breaker/fuse) and many other potentially unsafe situations that cannot be seen from five feet away because too many items or a fridge/freezer has been placed in front of it.

These are important areas of a home that should be made accessible to the home inspector and if not, are written up in the report to the buyer as limitations to the inspection. This notation also includes many of the items I have mentioned and more, as to what could be present but not able to be determined. So a seller is not helping themselves by closing off and blocking access, intentionally or by accident, as this just raises red flags and more questions that create uncertainty and apprehension.

 


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Last Edited: 14/10/2017