Your Comprehensive Guide to the Types of Inspections Homebuyers Might Want

Mar 3, 2023

If you’re buying a home, you will want to understand its true condition so there are no surprises.  To find any hidden issues and to learn about and how to maintain your new home, you will need to arrange and pay for a home inspection. There are many different kinds of inspections that could – and perhaps should – occur prior to purchasing the new home. They are:

A General Home Inspection: A licensed or certified professional will visually examine the roof, plumbing, electrical, heating, and cooling systems, foundation, and more. Findings are typically presented in a detailed written report to the person or entity who requested the inspection and will summarize the inspector’s observations and recommendations. It will also include pictures to help illustrate any issues. The inspection should take between three to four hours in a home and an hour-and-a-half to two hours in a condo or co-op.

The home inspector may recommend additional inspections if they find issues you, the homebuyer, should investigate further. Such as:

Asbestos Inspection: If potential asbestos is suspected, your inspector will recommend getting the material tested to find out if it is asbestos. Samples will be taken of suspected materials and sent to a lab for analysis. If ACMs (asbestos-containing materials) are found, the asbestos inspector will recommend the safe, proper way to remove or remediate.

Chimney Inspection: The chimney professional assesses the condition of the property’s chimney and venting system to ensure compliance with local building codes:

  1. A visual examination of the accessible portions of the chimney and flue to look for any signs of damage or blockages.
  2. In addition to a visual examination, specialized tools such as cameras may be used to inspect the inside of the chimney.

Electrical Inspection: A licensed electrician examines the property’s electrical fixtures, outlets, wiring, and more to ensure that they are safe, in working condition, safety, and in compliance with building codes.

Lead Inspection: The inspector looks for lead-based paint and/or lead-contaminated water. If lead-based paint is found, the buyer or seller may want to remove or encapsulate it. And if lead-contaminated water is found, the buyer may want to install a water treatment system or have the plumbing replaced. Recommended for homes built before 1978.

Masonry Inspection: To assess the condition of the brick, stone, concrete, and other masonry materials, the inspector will visually examine the property’s exterior and interior to see if there are any cracks, bulges, or moisture intrusion that indicate damage or deterioration. A detailed repair and tuckpointing plan will then be developed based on the findings.

Mold Inspection: To identify the presence of mold, the inspector will look for signs of moisture or water damage. This type of inspection may be recommended for properties with visual suspected mold, mildew smell in the house or a history of water intrusion. If mold is found, the inspector will offer recommendations for its safe removal or remediation. An inspector may also provide guidance on how to prevent mold from recurring in the future.

Pest Inspection: To evaluate a property for the presence of ants, rodents, stinging creatures, termites, and more, a licensed pest control professional will look for droppings, nests, damage to wood and other building materials (which could lead to structural issues), and other common signs of pest activity. A remediation plan will be provided if any signs of activity are detected.

Radon Inspection: You cannot see, smell, or taste radon. But it still may be a problem in your home. A radon test collects radon gas or radioactive particles so they can be measured. The test equipment sits in your home for typically 48 hours. The seller will have to keep the windows and doors closed for the duration of the test to ensure accurate results. A radon inspection should take between two to three days to get the final results. Find the EPA standards and information about radon here.

Roof Inspection: A licensed roofing contractor or forensic architect/engineer will evaluate the roof for any signs of deterioration; improper installation; leaks; missing or damaged flashing, shingles, or tiles; and other issues that could affect its performance. The inspector may also assess the age and expected lifespan of the roof and provide recommendations for repairs or replacement if necessary.

Sewer Line Inspection: Here, a licensed plumber will use a camera attached to a snake line to look for any cracks, tree roots, collapsed lines, clogs, and other problems inside the sewer. This inspection should take less than an hour.

Structural Inspection: A building engineer or architect evaluates the integrity of the property for any signs of damage.

If you want a general home inspection or one that is more focused on a specific area, we can help you get started. Just call or email us – or visit my list of preferred list of local vendors to find experienced inspectors who have been vetted by myself, my team, or previous clients. After all, we at Jackie Mack & More are always here to help you with every step of your home selling and buying process – and don’t want you to experience any surprises along the way.

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