As a professional home inspector, it is your responsibility to deliver high–quality work to satisfy your client and gain better reviews. You should have a keen eye and a systematic order for scrutinizing the home for carrying out certified home inspections in Fredericksburg. Furthermore, your job might require navigating a tight crawlspace, inspecting an old and rusty water heater, or being aware of asbestos in an older home. Whereas, it might be possible that the home you’re inspecting has cracked driveways, infested wooden areas, and clogged air filters.
It appears that a home inspection is still one of the primary deal breakers for your clients. And so, you are responsible for carrying out a thorough home inspection process. Even though the inspector of practice allows you to skip some of the areas or precision, there are still some factors/items you should never overlook. Below we have discussed those factors to help you in your further home inspections.
A home’s structural problems can cause disaster. They can make the house prone to vermin and water damage, resulting in broken walls, sloping floors, and sagging roofs. Although older homes are at a higher risk of having structural issues, shoddy building practices can also be to blame. Hence, skipping or overlooking structural problems is not an option for you.
Both buyers and sellers can request a structural inspection of homes from you. A buyer may request a structural inspection to resolve any issues with the “core” of a property. While, sellers might address potential structural problems that could indicate faulty construction or the breakdown of a critical structural component. In that case, they may decide to employ a structural engineer before listing their house for sale.
Remember, in both cases, you will be detecting the issue firsthand, so it is better not to overlook it in any way.
It is highly advisable not to overlook the septic tank when performing a home inspection in Fredericksburg, whether for the homebuyer or home seller. Inspecting the septic tank can help you find the problems with the house’s plumbing system, which you can add to your home inspection report. You might need to perform three tests while inspecting a septic tank.
The first test will require turning on all of the home water to add to or charge the system with enough water to support the number of people the system should support (as per its design) for 24 hours, which is often a few hundred gallons. Secondly, as the following test, you should examine the tank for accumulations of scum, effluent, sludge, and solids. While it is intended for the solids to stay in the tank until they pump out, a significant portion of those solids will turn into sludge and sink to the bottom.
Finally, you will use a probe to test the leach field for hydraulic stress. This only means that the leach field is flooded. Furthermore, if the probe holes fill up with water, the system most likely has a problem.
After inspecting the home’s structure, it is vital to inspect the home’s exterior. When inspecting this factor, you should look forward to inspecting the foundation, stucco, deck, roof, door frames, handrails, and exterior walls. It would be best never to overlook a home’s exterior when performing a professional home inspection. Below is what you will be looking for while inspecting a home’s exterior:
- Foundation – Walk around the building to ensure no cracks or rotted areas in the foundation. Check the top piers for any movement or broken connections. Look for rust on the metals, which indicates moisture from potential water damage.
- Exterior Walls/Siding – Exterior walls must be square, angled at a 90-degree to the ground, and without any cracks larger than a quarter-inch. Deep cracks, slanting walls, and particularly horizontal wall cracks are all indicators of stress on the foundation. If the fractures continue to widen and force the foundation to shift, it might affect the integrity of the entire structure.
- Roof – The fact that house inspectors are not obliged to climb to the roof to conduct an examination is significant. By climbing the roof, you can better understand the roof’s condition, particularly the fascia and flashing. First, see if the roofline is level and straight on all sides. Ensure that there is no debris in the gutters. Also, check the stability of the chimneys and skylights. You might also need to check missing shingles, damaged flashing, the presence of moss, etc.
HVAC systems are the most significant part of a house, so you should not overlook these. When inspecting the HVAC systems, the heating and cooling systems must be turned on one at a time while you are recording the room’s temperature. You will then assess the speed and efficiency of the heating or cooling system, assuming the appliance is operating as intended and has no apparent leaks or electrical problems. For older systems, you will also be inspecting the damper, furnace, and other heating system parts.
When inspecting a heating system, keep an eye on how soon the room reaches the target temperature and warm air distribution throughout the space.
When using a cooling system, you should observe how quickly the temperature drops and whether the airflow is even all around the space. Additionally, check for odd noises emanating from the AC and look for rust on the metal of the cooling unit. You’ll also conduct a ductwork inspection, which is essential for energy efficiency.
It is your responsibility to inform the homeowners and prospective buyers of the actual state of the home so that they can get ready for any necessary repairs, be prepared for negotiations, or at the very least, have a basis for determining the approximate value of the property. Your assessment of the house’s state helps figure all that out.
If you overlook a serious factor/item during a house inspection in Fredericksburg, VA, the first-time buyer or homeowner may have to pay a hefty repair or replacement bill.