The Most Common Problems Revealed During Home Inspection

Date: March 6, 2019


Image result for common home inspection problems


It’s a common question we get from people buying West Chester or Liberty Township homes for sale: what should I expect during the home inspection?


First and foremost, there’s no reason for homebuyers to be worried about the home inspection. Most of the time, home inspections go off without a hitch. After all, home inspections are really a tool to protect home buyers from unexpected problems.


But inevitably, there will be some people who encounter problems during their West Chester or Liberty Township home inspection. Here are the most common problems revealed during home inspections:


  • Outdated or faulty wiring: A long time ago, homes were built with what’s known as “knob and tube” wiring. This type of electrical is outdated and creates a higher risk of fire hazard. Knob and tube wiring can be expensive to replace, so it’s something important for home inspectors to flag.

Your home inspector will also note any issues with open junction boxes, amperage mismatches (for instance, an electric washing machine and dryer need a higher amp circuit than your coffee pot), or no wire nuts.


  • Poor drainage: Home inspectors will look for poor grading and drainage around any West Chester or Liberty Township home for sale. They’ll point out spongy soil around the foundation, any pooling water, or leaking in the basement. Common fixes include installing French drains around the property, regrading slopes away from the house, and creating more permeable surfaces (e.g., replacing a paved driveway with a gravel driveway) to allow water to absorb into the ground instead of pooling around the foundation.

  • Basement dampness: A home inspector will look for any signs of dampness in the basement – including signs of mold, mildew, or standing water. Simple fixes include repairing gutters to divert water away from the home and installing waterproof coating to basement floors and walls. For instance, a finished basement should have a vapor barrier between the concrete slab and the flooring to prevent mold and mildew from growing in the space.


  • Roof repairs: A roof is one of the more expensive capital improvements a homeowner will face when buying a home, so it’s important to know how much life is left on the West Chester or Liberty Township home for sale that you’re looking to buy. A home inspector will note any brittle or curled shingles, as well as any broken or missing flashings. They should be able to tell you whether there has been any roof damage over time, any potential weak spots that could cause leaks, and give you a general sense for when the roof might need to be replaced down the road.

  • Faulty plumbing: True story: a client recently purchased a home without getting a home inspection. The day after moving in, she went to take a shower and realized there was no hot water! A home inspector would have picked up on this issue, as well as any problem related to inadequate water pressure, slow drains, or signs of leaky plumbing. A new $1,500 hot water heater could have been negotiated with the sellers, but instead my client had to bear the full cost because she insisted on foregoing a home inspection.

  • Defective heating and cooling: Depending on when you’re purchasing a West Chester or Liberty Township home, it might be easy to overlook whether the heating and cooling systems work. For instance, in the middle of winter, the sellers might not have the central AC cranked up and ready for you to experience first-hand. A home inspector will make sure that all heating and cooling systems work by testing the equipment. He’ll ID any problems with the heat exchanger and water tank, and will be sure there are no carbon monoxide leaks (which would indicate that a chimney may need to be resealed).

  • Code issues: Whether you’re buying a mid-century home or a newly built home, there’s a chance that some of the construction may not actually be done to code. We often tour homes where the existing owners have made improvements on their own, perhaps not realizing that their changes are not up to code. Stairwell heights might be too low. Stair treads may be too narrow. A pool may be improperly secured. A back deck may be incorrectly supported. These are all code issues that a home inspector will identify for you.

  • Problems with the foundation: Home inspectors often find foundation issues, such as bricks and stones that need repointing or floor joists that need supporting. A bad foundation can lead to major issues down the road—like warped floors and cracked walls.

  • Poor maintenance: West Chester and Liberty Township home inspectors will also make note of the general maintenance of the property, including whether the existing homeowner has taken good care of it or not. He will document things like a driveway that needs to be repaved, siding that needs to be replaced, or interior surfaces that need to be repaired and painted.


This may seem like a lot to take in – but fear not. Remember, a home inspection is meant to protect YOU as the homebuyer. This allows you to go into a deal eyes wide open. The last thing you want is a major surprise after closing.


If you’re looking for a local home inspector, give us a call today. We’d be happy to share a list of West Chester and Liberty Township home inspectors that we trust wholeheartedly!