Frequently Asked Questions
How to prepare
No home is perfect. Anything from major damage to minor maintenance issues
For homeowners, it’s important to be aware of any issues your home may have prior to putting it on the market. Getting a pre-listing home inspection will ensure that you’re aware of any problems and can take care of them on your terms – or present them as-is and adjust your selling price proportionally. The alternative leaves you open to costly surprises and delays, and even potential deal-breakers once you’ve entered negotiations with the buyer.
For buyers, an inspection is vital to uncovering issues a home may have but are invisible to the untrained eye. Even if the inspection finds more problems than you’re comfortable with and you move on to a different home to start the process all over again, it’s money well spent. An inspection will give you the opportunity to ask the seller to make the repairs before you
Before the inspector arrives, there are a few things you should know. There are no federal regulations governing inspectors. The laws are going to differ state by state. Therefore it’s important to interview your inspector or inspection company prior to hiring them. Since each state is going to have their own standards of certification for inspectors – and some don’t even have any – credibility is a big issue in choosing the right inspector.
Once your inspector has arrived, it is recommended that you accompany him or her on the inspection of the property. This is so you can become familiar with the home and its systems as well as exactly what repairs the inspector recommends and why. You might also want to prepare a list of items that you’ve seen in the home that you feel are cause for concern as well as any questions you may have. The inspection is a great time to find out where the home’s water and gas shutoffs are and where the fuse box is.
Here are some other suggestions for homeowners:
Accessibility: Make sure that all areas of the home are accessible, especially to the attic and crawl space. It’s also a good idea to trim any trees and shrubs that may make an inspection of the exterior of the property difficult.
Housekeeping: The inspector may photograph your home for the inspection report, so clearing the clutter and moving vehicles from the front of the home will help the inspection go smoother.
Maintenance: Repair minor things like leaky faucets, missing door handles and trim.
Hidden Water Damage
Water is a powerful force. Any doubt of this fact can be erased by a simple visit to the Grand Canyon. And while your home is in no danger of becoming one of the Seven Wonders of the World, water can wreak havoc on a much smaller scale.
Water damage can come from several sources: floods, burst pipes, leaky roofs, seepage, etc. Many types are obvious, as is the damage caused by them. But even if you can’t see the damage right away, a slow flow of water can often be worse than obvious leaks. Left untreated, it can cause:
- Pipe corrosion
- Foundation damage
- Foul odors
Repairing hidden water damage can be an even greater challenge. Depending upon the source of the damage, it may or may not be covered by homeowner’s insurance. In the case of mold, getting rid of the problem may be a monumental undertaking.
How can you protect yourself from this menace? A professional inspection can help. Using advanced moisture detection devices, coupled with years of experience, we can often detect water damage long before it becomes a problem.
What about termites and other pests?
Termites and other pests
Termites and other wood destroying insects such as carpenter ants can do massive damage to a home and greatly impact its value. While our area is not known for having the exact conditions most typically associated with termites I can confirm that they do in fact impact homes in the Tri-Cities Washington region.
How do I prevent a termite infestation?
There are many steps you can take toward preventing infestation if you know what termites look for and take steps to make your home less attractive to them.
Termites are ground insects that look for habitats that provide food, moisture, and shelter close to the ground. Any place where wood meets ground qualifies, especially if the soil in that area stays moist. Since mulch and many other landscaping materials cause the soil to remain moist, you should minimize mulching in direct contact with your foundation. Some experts recommend mulching no closer than a foot from the foundation of your home. You should also stack firewood away from your home. Make sure that gutters and downspouts are in good condition and keep moisture from accumulating. You should also make sure to eliminate any moisture problems in and around your home, especially in basements and crawlspaces.
You can also hire professional termite exterminators to apply chemical treatments that protect your home. Be sure to find out how long the treatments last. The chemicals on the market today generally protect your home for up to 5 years.
How do I know if my home has termites?
It takes an expert to detect hidden termite damage. Our office performs thorough inspections for termites and other wood destroying organisms.
What are the most common defects?
No house is perfect. Even the best built and well-maintained homes will always have a few items in less than perfect condition. Below are some of the items we most commonly find when inspecting a home:
The single most common defect we find is problems with roofing materials. It doesn’t always mean the roof needs replacing, simply that it is in need of maintenance or repair.
Caused by leaks, ceiling stains are very common. It can be difficult to tell whether the stains are from leaks still present, or were caused by leaks which have since been repaired.
Most common in older homes, but often found in newer homes as well. Electrical hazards come in many forms, from ungrounded outlets to wiring done incorrectly by the homeowner.
Caused by being wet for extended periods of time, most commonly found
Water heater installations
Many water heaters are not installed in full compliance with
Most gas furnaces seem to be in need of routine maintenance such as new filters or gas company certification at the least. Many have other issues such as faulty operation or inadequate fire clearance as well.
Plumbing issues commonly found include dripping faucets, leaking fixtures, slow drains etc… Even in brand new homes, it is common to identify minor plumbing defects.