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The process of buying a home can be long and grueling and you don’t want to do anything that could lengthen it anymore. But both before and after you buy the home, you need to ensure you take a closer look at what exactly you have your hands on. Anyone on the housing market should have a home inspector to identify any potential issues, but there are several places and problems they won’t take a close enough look at, so you have to check yourself. After you move in, here are some of the risks you have to be aware of.
The home inspector (if you have hired one) will perform checks on the doors and windows, ensuring they’re secure and that the locks work. However, they won’t check the smoke and carbon dioxide detectors. So, you should check them yourself and know how to replace them if necessary. Regardless of how secure the doors, you should ensure you replace the locks on both the front and back doors, as well as any locks that might be on your garage or shed. The seller might be the most trustworthy soul out there, but you can never be sure of who exactly has keys that might work on your home if you don’t get them replaced.
Check out those pipes
The standard home inspection will take a look at the taps, any visible pipes, the toilet cistern, and other aspects of the plumbing. Make sure you do the same if you don’t hire an inspector. Even if you do hire one, it’s a good idea to follow them every step of the way and don’t be afraid of asking questions if you suspect a problem or don’t understand their assessment. Furthermore, inspectors won’t look at the pipes under the bath, in the walls, in any crawl spaces, or any underground storage tanks. You have to check these yourself for signs that you might need a plumber. Otherwise, you could have hidden leaks or mold.
Time to heat things up
Similarly, while the home inspector will look at parts of the home heating and cooling systems, like the air conditioner, water heater, or furnace, not all of them off as comprehensive a service as you might like. They are not required to note how much of a lifespan is left in the HVAC appliances or to try and estimate any potential fixes or how much they might cost. It’s worth taking a look at heating and ventilation experts in the area to get a better assessment of the condition of your HVAC. Otherwise, problems could fit between the range of as simple as a radiator needing a flush to a dangerous problem in the water heater’s pipes that could lead to water damage.
Are you sharing your home?
Many home inspectors will keep an eye out for the signs of pests. However, often they don’t look close enough for the signs that you have an unwelcome guest in the home. For instance, they won’t move furniture inside or outside the house or check specifically for things like droppings that could be a sign of increased rat or increased squirrel activity around the property. Similarly, they won’t check crawl spaces or any areas of the home that could be considered small enough to be inaccessible without risk. Nor will they check for termites or other wood-destroying pests. You need to learn to identify these signs for yourself or hire a pest specialist to come out and give the home a more thorough check.
Under the surface
Home inspectors will check for many of the causes of mold and damp in the home, including air leaks in the doors or windows and leaking taps. However, as mentioned, they won’t check any hidden pipes nor are they going to check for hidden mold. If you move into a home that is older and hasn’t had a bathroom renovation in decades, then it is worth looking for signs of hidden mold. You might have to open a hole in the bathroom wall to confirm your suspicions, however, so become as certain as you can before you take that step.
In over your head
When the weather is clear, home inspectors are most likely going to take a look at the roof to let you know of any issues, including whether or not the roof has aged beyond its usefulness. However, if the inspection happens to fall on a day when there’s rain, snow, or hail, then it’s considered a safety risk and they won’t check it. If that happens, it’s worth learning the signs of a roof that needs replacing or repair and climbing up yourself or hiring a specialist to take a look for you. A cracked or missing tile can let in the rain, leading to the spread of damp and mold. Furthermore, roofs are only effective for so many years. If the roof hasn’t been replaced in over two decades, it might be due for a replacement.
At the root of things
Depending on where the foundation is, the inspector may or may not have to take a closer look at it. Because it’s so integral to the health of the home, it’s worth inspecting it just to be sure. Many issues can cause a foundation to weaken, which can lead to the sinking of the home, cracks in the walls, or even partial and complete collapses. Visible cracks, mortar joints that have become slanted or uneven, and uneven floors are all signs that there’s a deeper problem in the foundation of the building. This kind of damage can be caused by nearby construction, changes in the surrounding soil, the growth of tree roots and even moisture spreading throughout the building.
Most people don’t take enough care to inspect the home once they move in, which can lead to all sorts of expensive issues down the line. Put in the time now and save yourself the headache and the money later.