Not one of our home inspectors has ever found a perfect home...
not even their own.
Even the best maintained homes have a few items that aren't in tip-top
Here is a brief summary of some of the more common things we find.
Ceiling Stains -
Ceiling Stains are almost always caused by water.
The moisture may be coming from an internal source such as a leaky
toilet or shower drain, or the source may be outside and
allowed to enter the home through some exterior defect.
It can be difficult to tell the exact source as water may travel
a long way and even through some building materials before
finally reaching the ceiling.
It can also be difficult to tell if the stain is a sign of a current leak,
or if the stain is from an old leak that was repaired in the past.
Electrical Hazards -
Due to changes to electrical and building codes, and improvements in
construction materials and methods, electrical hazards are more commonly
found in older homes, although they do appear in newer homes as well.
Problems include ungrounded outlets, not having GFIC protection where
needed, overcrowded service panels, and incorrect wiring done by the
We also identify switches, outlets, and fixtures that are inoperable,
which can sometimes be a sign of a more significant concern.
Engineered Framing Member Defects -
Many newer homes are built with engineered lumber and trusses.
They have many desirable features like being more ridged, more uniform
in size and able to span greater distances.
However they need to be installed properly.
The manufactures require squash blocks, fillers, special hangers and many
other requirements unique to engineered framing solutions.
Plumbing Defects -
Homeowners are notorious for taking shortcuts when working on plumbing,
but it’s not uncommon to find minor plumbing problems even in
newly constructed homes.
Of course, it’s not a surprise to find a leaky faucet or
But we also see dishwashers incorrectly hooked up to the waste system,
hot water heaters not in full compliance with local plumbing codes,
and other plumbing issues.
Roofing Problems -
Out of sight, out of mind... and not many people often spend time
looking at their roof and gutters.
Although problems with roof and gutters are common,
rarely does it signal that a roof needs to be replaced.
More often than not, the problem can be addressed sufficiently
through minor or localized repairs.
Rotted Wood -
In most cases, rotted wood results from long-term exposure to
It can appear anywhere that inadequately protected wood is
frequently wet, whether inside or outside your home.
We’ve found rotted wood at the top of the home as the result of
a leaky roof or defective gutters, down to the basement or crawlspace
as the result of poor grading and other problems.
In-between, a leaky tub, sink, shower, or toilet can provide the
source of moisture needed if a leak goes unchecked for a long period
Unlined Chimneys -
Current building codes require that masonry chimneys be lined, however
that was not always the case.
Many homes in our area that were built over 50 years ago were originally
built with an unlined chimney.
The byproducts of the combustion process contain gases that when condensed
form an acid that can deteriorate the mortar used to hold the bricks in
Aside from causing structural problems, deteriorating mortar may
fall off, block the flue allowing carbon monoxide to enter the home
posing a severe health risk or even death.
Of course there are many other issues which your NAHIPA Member Home
Inspector finds on a regular basis, but we could never list them
We see structural issues where rafters and joists are improperly cut to
make room for ductwork, wiring, pipes, and access doors.
We see safety issues like handrails are improperly placed or smoke
detectors that do not work correctly.
... and we see our share of pests, rodents, and below standard
workmanship as well.
Your NAHIPA Member Home Inspector brings all of this experience and
knowledge with them on each inspection they perform and they provide
you with the information you need to make a confident, informed decisions
about the home.
We invite you to use our Find an Inspector tool to locate a NAHIPA Member
Home Inspector providing home inspection services in your county.