A home inspection encompasses a thorough examination of a house. It is generally performed during the sale of a house. Since buying a home is a big investment, a home inspection is a good way to assess the condition of the house before making the purchase. If you found your dream house, don’t move in immediately — rather, conduct a home inspection first, which includes professional pest control, to justify that it is indeed your dream house, minus any unwanted and unpleasant surprises. Here is a critical home inspection checklist to follow before buying a house:
1. General or Residential Home Inspection
This inspection mainly covers features of the house like electrical wiring, plumbing, roofing, insulation, etc. The inspector will check if everything is functioning properly and then write a report suggesting any improvements or repairs deemed necessary to bring the home up to current standards.
2. Radon Gas Inspection
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is a decay product of uranium. This gas is mainly found in areas over granite and is quite hazardous to health. Radon gas from natural sources may accumulate in homes, especially in confined areas such as attics and basements, and may put the lives of the occupants at risk. It is important to test for radon as its levels fluctuate naturally. Getting a test done will reveal high levels of the gas. If a radon test comes back high, you can minimize its effects by sealing concrete slab floors, basement foundations, and water drainage systems.
3. Termites and Pest Inspection
Termites or wood destroying organisms weaken the structural integrity of the house. These can be detected through termite control. Pests like rats may also cause significant damage to the house. Conduct a pest inspection to check the risk of a pest problem on the property you intend to purchase.
4. Structural or Constructional Inspection
Check the age of the roof and ask the seller to pay for a roof certification on an older roof. Get your own if the seller is unwilling to do so. Get a roof inspector to check the condition and stability of the roof. Check what the walls and ceilings are made of — whether they are made of rock lath and plaster or some other material. Ensure they are made of high-quality materials and check the condition of drywall walls and ceilings. Consider the layout and floor plan of the house, check if the storage space fits your needs and if the plan allows separation between personal and shared areas. The room layouts and circulation patterns should allow for flexible arrangement of furniture.
Don’t forget to check the personal as well as guest parking space. Be aware of the different types of doors and windows fitted across the house. They should be made of solid or panel type and should have good weather-stripping and thresholds.
5. Chimneys, Fireplaces and Wood-Burning Stoves
Since fireplaces are one of the most popular selling features, you must examine them carefully. Check if the flue is lined with terra cotta as the ordinary brick lining is in violation of most codes. Verify that there is a working damper in the fireplace. Request the owners to have the chimneys cleaned before you buy the home.
6. Septic System Reliability and Well Water Quality
If there is a septic tank on the premises, get it inspected too. Every septic system consists of a tank where the solids settle and leach fields where the grey-water is discharged. A quick inspection and a simple dye test can determine if the leach field is functioning properly. At the same time, check the quality of well water. Call only certified inspectors and reputed pest control services to conduct the home inspections for better results.
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