We always talk about most common defects at the homes. Electrical most important for safety cannot be neglected at all does not matter if it is minor or major defects at electrical system. My experience shows on based of my inspections in some homes electrical panel in bath or panel close to sink or panel over loaded and/or using breakers under/oversized,improper grounding,power outlets hot/nue reversed,missing/inoperative GFCI's type outlets,missing face plates,live wires and not using junction box. These kind of electrical deffects discovered in most of self contained basement apartments.I always recommend to my clients all electrical work must be done by qualified electrical contractor to avoide safety/fire hazards.
Some of significant findings with most talked infrared technology in home inspection industry.Most of time inspector remove panel cover if there is any hot spots cannot be detected with open eyes.Infrared is the technology can find these type of deffects.I am using Flir infrared camera since june 2011 and love to find hidden deffects.
Furnace Room And Water Heater Safety
Furnace rooms are important area in the homes, my opinion most neglected by home owners.In most of my inspections i observed furnace room over storage. No enough space for service person in case of emergency.Highly recommended keep furnace area clean for combution air and service person.Entry from bedroom/bathroom to furnace room, furnace may acceptable but water tank required direct vented out.
It is very easy to find if there is any water leaks kitchen/baths under sink,faucets etc. Now question is if there is any plumbing leaks behind drywall or bath tub drain etc.. Extensive water leaks can be found with open eyes and flash light, minor leaks may not seen with open eye and flash light, also it is very hard to rub all walls and ceilings with moisture meter. One of my inspection i could not see any moisture/water stains at liv/din room ceiling. When i scan ceiling with infrared camera got surprised because infrared discovered water due to plumbing leaks from bath above. Seller called plumber for second opinion and plumber found minor leaks and fixed properly. I did re-inspection for my client before closing and problem was solved.
When home inspector inspect the attic it very easy to find out if there any leaks or any wet insulation at attic or lack of insulation. Now question is if there is lack of insulation or wet insulation behind the drywall visual inspection cannot find these kinds of deffect. Only infrared camera is the best tool for home inspector to use and find hidden defects.
Environmetal Hazards: Mold can grow any where in the home and require only water/moisture/humidity.Mold can be control but cannot be eliminate due to part of nature.The only key to control modl is control moisture and fix any water leaks in the home.Minor mold growth can be remove. Mold can grow very easy at cold rooms and attic. Many home owners block ventilation at cold room and potential of moisture/mold. Attic is the hidden place and not often get chance to home owners to take a look at. Most common reasons to mold grow at attic such as poor ventilation, attic soffits covered with insulation,roof leaks,bath exhaust pipe discharged at attic etc..If extensive mold growth we always advise consult an mold removal company.
Still asbestos present in some older homes. If your home inspector found any asbestos in duct registers should be removed bt qualified asbestos removal company. Vermiculite insulation may mixed with the asbestos at attic. Home owner should call asbestos company to varify if vermiculite insulation mixed with asbestos.
Moisture control is the key to mold control!