If you’ve ever had a home inspection done before buying or selling a home, then you probably know that they are a valuable resource for determining the problems and the value within a home. You probably also know what they check for, and some of the common issues found during an inspection.
What you may not know is that there are many things that can be overlooked or missed during a home inspection that can stop a home sale or purchase in its tracks and prevent you from buying the home of your dreams or selling your home and making your next step.
To help you keep an eye out for these home inspection items, we’ve put together a short guide on what is missed and how to go about addressing the problems before they become an issue.
While a standard inspection covers most issues, some require a specialized inspection. Even with a specialized inspection, some problems can be missed or may not be thought to be inspected for. Hopefully, these items we describe won’t be a problem for you, but if you know what they are, you know to check for them just in case your home inspection doesn’t cover them.
Lead in the Home
This is typically found from old paint that was done on or around homes. It can be found on walls, floors, and even outdoor furniture and other items. It is not restricted to interior paint, so you’ll want to check your siding and other areas of your home that are painted.
While this is not a problem for new homes, unless the construction was performed unpermitted, older homes may contain lead paint without the owner being aware of it. If you’re buying a home that is older than 10-20 years, you’ll want to check for lead. This is not always a standard inspection item, so you’ll need to check with your home inspector to be sure.
Mitigation usually involves removing the toxic paint by a professional disposal team that is equipped to handle hazardous material, which can be expensive, but once done, the home can be repainted. It should be completely safe as long as all of the lead was removed.
Mold, Radon, and Asbestos
We grouped these three together because they are all equally as dangerous and often aren’t covered on a standard home inspection. They are also less common problems than some of the others, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check for them.
Mold can appear almost anywhere in a home, including inside walls, under crawl spaces, on the ceiling, inside the insulation, and other places. Mold can usually be killed, and the affected area cleaned thoroughly or removed, but pervasive mold will require professional remediation.
Radon and asbestos both require special detection. Radon is a chemical that can seep into a home through ground soil or water that is contaminated and can make people who breathe it sick. Radon is typically a gas, but it can also contaminate water and become toxic through ingestion. Removal involves finding the source and having a decontamination team remove the source and clean the affected home.
Asbestos is a building material that was used in flooring, insulation, and other components for many years. Older homes are still prone to have some form of asbestos in them, and as such, this should be a concern when you have a home inspected. Asbestos removal is similar to the other two, a professional team has to remove the substance from the home, this is usually quite costly as it involves removing the insulation or breaking up flooring and removing it, and then sanitizing the area.
Swimming Pool Defects
This is not a problem for every home, but it is also one that is overlooked for homes that it does apply to. Swimming pools are considered part of a home, and as such, they have to be kept up and functional when the home is sold, or else they can be a detriment to the sale price, rather than an asset.
Having your home inspector check the pool for cracks, cleanliness, and other defects will save you a headache if you’re selling, and save you money if you’re buying.
While these items we’ve listed are ones that don’t always affect every home, and may not be necessary, being aware of potential issues gives you the ability to prevent unforeseen problems.
Our best advice is to perform the most thorough inspection possible to make sure that any and all issues are caught as soon as possible.