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The Most Common Problems Found During Building Inspections

Water Damage

When buying or selling a home, it’s important to have a professional building inspector check it for defects. Every building (residential and commercial) is apt to have some issues, and your independent building inspector is trained to find them all. Some problems are more common than others. The following is a list of the five most prevalent issues to turn up during the average building inspection. Knowing what to look for, and where to look, can help you prevent small repairs turning into major headaches.

  1. Roof Damage – Roof issues aren’t always easy to spot at first glance. Unless there’s an obvious leak, a visual check by the untrained eye can easily miss some common problems. Many defects occur beneath the surface or in the attic where they remain hidden until the damage is already done. An up-close inspection by a professional will often reveal trouble before it gets expensive.
  2. Faulty Ventilation – Moisture is one of the chief enemies of a healthy home. Lack of adequate ventilation can prohibit proper airflow, leading to condensation issues. In fact, overuse of insulation in new homes is a common cause of moisture issues. This typically results in mold and mildew, which leads to water damage, fungus, wood rot, etc.
  3. Plumbing Issues – A building may develop plumbing problems from several causes. Joints and seals can erode over time or crack from stress. Shifting soil can create leaks in a building’s pipes. Clogged septic tanks or inlets will also cause plumbing issues. Keeping a home’s plumbing in good working order requires routine care and precautions, especially waste lines. Old fixtures are another common cause of plumbing issues.
  4. Drainage – Proper drainage is important to maintaining a healthy structure and foundation. When water ponds at the base of a building from clogged gutters and downpipes, it can seep into the foundation and create moisture problems. Water ponding can also be caused by sloping grade back toward the home. Moisture problems will eventually cause damage to subflooring, joists and walls. Extreme cases can lead to wood rot, termites and other costly issues.
  5. Structural Defects – These defects may be due to poor building practices or result from normal wear and tear as the building aged. In fact, many structural defects can be traced back to the presence of one or more of the above-mentioned issues. Older structures in disrepair, or even newer buildings poor building practices are subject to structural defects.

Unfortunately, many common problems aren’t apparent to the homeowner until the conditions worsen enough to be expensive repairs. In order to identify these and other common defects early, it is highly beneficial and cost-effective to hire a professional building inspector. Both buyer and seller will benefit from having a trained expert who can locate hidden trouble sources before they become major issues.

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