What Does a Home Inspector Look For?
We’ve already talked about what a San Antonio home inspector does, and we’ve covered what the home inspector looks at, but what is the home inspector looking for? Anybody could look at the checklists we post for your information and look at the components, but what does any of that mean? When you see your San Antonio home inspector looking at the ceiling, is he just dazing off into the abyss? When he shines his flashlight on your electrical panel, is he just starring at the shiny copper wires?
No, I promise, we are looking for things. Sometimes, we are looking for the absence of things. In some cases, we’re looking to make sure certain things aren’t too beat up or deteriorated. Basically, there’s a lot of stuff to look at, and when you’re looking at stuff to determine if specific components are present, installed correctly, in good condition, AND performing their job correctly, its called inspecting.
Inspecting takes a lot of training and education, as well as certification to do, at the absolute bare minimum. People with significant construction experience are much better suited to be inspectors than those who aren’t, but that doesn’t mean those without the experience can’t make for good inspectors.
What Inspectors Are Looking For
- Presence. The presence or absence of components is the first thing we check for. Is there kickout flashing where the siding meets the roof? Is there GFCI protection in that garage? Is that a smoke alarm or a carbon-monoxide/smoke combo alarm? Identifying what things should be or shouldn’t be present is a majority of the work, and the constant evolution of building codes necessitates constant education and training to be able to identify when new components are necessary or if old components are out of date and should be replaced.
- Installation. Just because something is there that should be there doesn’t mean that it was installed correctly by someone who knew what they were doing. You see this all the time with plumbing fixtures, lights, roof flashing, flooring, etc. Incorrect installation of components will often lead to deterioration or early failure of a component. When we inspect a component to make sure it is present, we are also checking and testing to ensure it is installed correctly. In some cases, we’re also checking to ensure that the correct material has been used, such as the correct gauge of wire.
- Deterioration. Deterioration of any components found in a system, such as rotting wood siding, rust on metal components, shingles that are losing their granulation. Anything that was installed in an otherwise correct manner (or incorrect manner) that is “wearing out”. We have to judge a home as if it was built yesterday, and if something is otherwise doing its job but is getting worn-out or about to fail, it needs to be documented.
- Damage. Damaged components could probably be filled under “deterioration”, but I like to make note of the difference. The biggest difference is that damage can be an indicator that he previous homeowner was neglectful and didn’t take care of their home properly, or even evidence of bad renters. When I start seeing damaged interior doors/closet doors, damaged countertops, damaged electrical receptacles, or even repairs made from somebody putting their fist through the drywall, it should get documented.
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Ensure Home Inspections provides thorough inspections, detailed reports, and personalized consultations at affordable prices in San Antonio, TX & surrounding areas to Homebuyers, Homesellers, and their realtors/agents. We also offer WDI/Termite Inspections, Thermal Imaging, Drone Roof Inspections, Foundation Inspections, and more!
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