Home Inspector : Dangerous Home Problems You Can Uncover

Home Inspector San Diego CAThe home inspection is that pivotal event you hold your breath for when you’re buying a house. It’s an opportunity for a licensed home inspector to scrutinize every inch of your potential new place for problems—both minor ones and the deal-killing kind.

But when so much is on the line, why wait until the inspection to start investigating? Open houses and private showings are the perfect time to get a little nosy. Let us be clear: We’re certainly not suggesting you should forgo the expertise of a home inspector. But you can get a jump-start so that you can turn your inspector’s attention to some potential problem areas.

These eight crucial problems can be easily uncovered—even without a home inspector license.

So go ahead and take a peek.

1. Cracking caulking

Get on your knees and examine the caulking around the sinks and tubs. While cracking could just be a sign of age, it also might indicate mold inside the wall (a no-go, unless you’re up for a major challenge).

“Any cracks or holes must be taken care of before you go further,” says Bill Horne, a former landlord and commercial real estate owner. Keep an eye out for dark stains, too, which also might indicate something nasty growing underneath.

2. Slow drainage

During a walk-through, make sure to let the water flow—everywhere the Realtor® will let you, at least. Turn on the faucets for every sink, toilet, or tub, and watch carefully as the water drains.

“Slow drainage indicates clogged drains or substandard installation,” Horne says. It gets worse: You could even have a sewer line disaster waiting to happen—and that’s an expensive fix.

Horne also suggests visiting the cellar or basement while everything is draining. Look for drips—another good way to identify potential plumbing or pipe problems.

3. Too few vent pipes

While you’re checking out the backyard, take a peek at the roof and count the vent pipes. One vent pipe should line up with the kitchen, and there should be an additional vent pipe for each bathroom.

Like most issues, a shortage of vents doesn’t make the home uninhabitable. Sure, if the bathrooms aren’t vented, it might mean an additional expense down the line, but it’s not the end of the world.

But don’t assume you’re in the clear, even if the kitchen and all bathrooms are vented. If the vent ends in the attic, it could send dangerous amounts of moisture into your home.

Make sure to draw your home inspector attention to the problem, and let your Realtor hash it out with the seller. Your smart detective work could lead to a better deal on your dream home, or keep you from buying a money pit.

Read more at realtor.com