Know How Home Inspection Are Done

home inspection

During a home inspection, buyers should not only be present for safety reasons but also to ask questions. If possible, they should clear away things like plants, trash cans and furniture that might block their view of areas and systems of the home.

Home inspectors will usually recommend that you call in a plumber, electrician or roofer for further evaluation of specific problems. They will not, however, be able to resolve all of the issues identified.


Home inspectors typically spend a lot of time looking at the roof, checking for damaged shingles and signs of water leaks or rot. They’ll also look at the chimney, check gutters for debris and moss, and inspect the downspouts to see if they’re in good shape and draining properly.

If the roof is too high to get a good look at, a home inspector will sometimes use binoculars to take a closer look from the ground. In most cases, a home inspection will only include areas that are easily accessible and safe to investigate. Inspectors won’t open up walls or tear up carpet to examine the condition of pipes and wiring, for example, nor will they go inside a crawl space.

You can help make the process go more smoothly by cleaning up the home before the inspection. A clean house gives the impression that it’s been well maintained, and it can also give buyers confidence that any problems found will be easy to resolve. Replace light bulbs and test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in advance of the inspection, and trim tree branches and prune shrubbery to improve curb appeal. On the day of the inspection, send the kids to a playdate and the pets to a friend’s for a few hours so they won’t distract the inspector or get in his or her way. Also, be sure to remove any items that are likely to get in the way of conducting the inspection, such as toys or laundry.


The home inspector will look at the electrical wiring and check that it has GFCI outlets (which help prevent electrocutions in areas like bathrooms, garages and kitchens). He or she will also check the breaker box and see that it is properly installed. This is a huge area of potential damage since faulty wires are the number one cause of house fires.

The inspector will look at each light fixture and outlet to see that they are in working condition. They will check for blown bulbs, which can be a sign of either a broken bulb or faulty wiring. If the light is blown, the inspector will either spend time trying to determine what’s wrong with it or simply note that there could be a problem and move on.

If you find a home that you want to buy, a good home inspector will give you a detailed report on the condition of the property. This will include a list of major defects and minor issues, with a description of what the issue is, where it’s located in the house and how serious or severe it is.

Some buyers choose to make the results of a home inspection a condition of their offer, so that they can back out of the deal if something significant is found. Other buyers will use the inspection as a bargaining tool, asking the seller to make repairs or lower their purchase price.


Home inspectors will check for visible signs of leaks under sinks, around faucets and toilets as well as to make sure the water-using appliances are working properly. They also examine outdoor pipes that run from indoors to the main sewer line for rust, damage or potential problems caused by tree roots.

Generally speaking, the pipes will need to be in good condition and have functional anti-freeze protection for winter use. If they are corroded, it could mean that future repairs will be costly. In addition, the home inspector will examine the location and status of the main water shut off valve.

Leaks, clogs and other problems will need to be repaired to prevent expensive water-related issues that would otherwise require a professional plumber. As such, it is wise to get any plumbing issues taken care of before your home inspection if you’re getting ready to sell.

Regardless of the age or size of the property, home inspectors can identify a wide range of issues. From minor things like drywall cracks to serious problems like water in the basement, they’ll uncover safety hazards that should be addressed before you commit to buying the property. To reduce the risk of missing something significant, it’s a good idea to include a home inspection contingency in your sale contract with a specified time period for you to set up and complete a home inspection.


Home inspectors will check the heating systems and ductwork for damage and proper functioning. They will also check for safety hazards like smoky furnaces and non-functioning fireplaces. They will also look for evidence of wood destroying insects, like loose or missing shingles and sagging siding.

If the house has a septic system, it will need to be inspected by a licensed septic inspector. This is usually done after the home inspection and is a separate fee. If a septic system fails inspection, it can cause the real estate transaction to fall through.

It’s important for sellers to prepare their homes for inspection before the process starts. This includes turning on all the utilities and clearing away any clutter that could obstruct the inspector’s view. Also, make sure that the inspector can easily access any areas they need to examine. This may include crawlspaces, attics, basements and closets.

It’s essential to remember that reasonable buyers do not expect a perfect home. They do, however, expect the home to be in habitable condition. That means that any major issues will be up for negotiation, but they should not be enough to kill the deal entirely. It’s important for both parties to approach the home inspection in a calm, collected manner and focus on what is truly significant.

Gutters and Downspouts

As part of the roof portion of the inspection, home inspectors check gutters and downspouts. These are important for ensuring water is properly channeled away from the foundation of the house and can help reduce problems like wood rot, basement flooding, and mold.

Gutters and downspouts are also good places to look for signs of damage, such as clogs and leaks. If a downspout is completely clogged, this is a major problem that can lead to serious foundation issues, so it’s very important to clean or replace downspouts and gutters on a regular basis.

Downspout connections should be securely attached to the house’s fascia board, and gutters should have wire strainers to keep large debris from blocking downspouts. Home inspectors will also look for the proper slope of gutters and downspouts, as well as checking for cracks in eaves, soffits, and corner posts.

While it’s impossible for a home to pass every part of a home inspection, most surprises come from things that buyers and sellers don’t typically see on a daily basis, like bugs in the attic or foundation damage. Home inspectors are trained to spot these types of issues and can provide a lot of information to both parties in the home sale process. This can help to shorten to-do lists after the closing. As a buyer, you can also benefit from accompanying the home inspector during the inspection so that they can explain how various systems work and how to fix them.


Home inspectors check for signs of pests and rodents. This includes looking for holes, cracks, and other damage to insulation; checking the air flow in heating vents; making sure all toilets are flushing properly; and checking that window sills and trims are secure, free of rot, and sealed tightly. Inspectors also look for a proper clearance between the siding and soil to prevent moisture from getting into walls, attics, or basements.

Most home buyers make their offers contingent on a thorough and accurate home inspection. This allows them to renegotiate the price or walk away from the sale altogether if they’re not happy with what a home inspector finds. This can put extra pressure on sellers, especially if it turns out there are a lot of repairs to be made.

As a seller, you can help make the process go more smoothly by being as prepared as possible. Gather receipts for any maintenance work you’ve had done on the property. This shows that you’ve taken care of the house and may reduce the number of issues found by a home inspector.

Some things that can be overlooked include peeling wallpaper, decorative finishes, furniture with loose fabric or stuffing, and outbuildings like sheds or gazebos. These items can hide pests and rodents or provide them with hiding spots to lay eggs. Similarly, inspectors aren’t concerned with things that have a cosmetic impact on the house, such as stained ceilings or scuffed paint.