Wear and tear along with severe weather events can take a real toll on your home. During all that, it’s critical to keep up with the ongoing maintenance of your home to avoid massive future repair bills or even catastrophic failure.
A key event in a home’s life is when it changes hands from one owner to the next. That’s also when it gets a thorough review from foundation to roof on what needs to be repaired. It’s called the home inspection.
We’ve gathered the top home inspection findings here in North Carolina as well as nationally. This should give you a good idea of where you need to spend your time and money on home maintenance.
Top Home Issues Found in North Carolina
This is a summary of issues found here in North Carolina as documented by home inspectors and realtors.
- Roofing. Most asphalt shingles have a 15 to 40-year lifetime. However, wind, hail, and rain can damage them, requiring early replacement. In addition, if there are leaks in the roof the underlying sheathing and rafters could have water damage. It’s best to keep up with maintenance by replacing loose or missing shingles and monitoring other areas.
- Electrical wiring. Older home wiring systems may not be up to current codes as well as having a few problems. Loose wires and potential sparks can be a fire hazard. Faulty outlets can also be a shock hazard. One item on the inspector’s list is to ensure that GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets are installed in areas with water such as bathrooms and kitchens.
- Attic ventilation and insulation. Quite frequently, older homes do not have adequate attic ventilation nor sufficient insulation. These problems can be reasonably addressed by installing vents and adding insulation. This also helps with heating and cooling costs.
- Heating and cooling system. Key issues here are the ductwork installation and sealing as well as HVAC units at the end of their expected lifespan. Ductwork can be repaired. HVAC units can be tuned up or replaced.
- Grading and drainage. This can be a major concern as water can leak into the basement, causing cracking leading to structural issues and even resulting in flooding. The excess moisture can also lead to mold, mildew, and pest infestations. We’re the experts in this area. Request a free inspection and we can advise you on next steps.
- Structural issues. These show up in the basement or crawl space with settling or cracked walls. They can result in uneven floors, doors that won’t close, and cracks in drywall.
- Plumbing. Leaking faucets will need to be fixed. Leaking pipes may well lead to other more serious problems such as rot and mold.
- Termites. Wood in contact with the ground along with moisture invites termites into the home. A termite inspection is important, along with follow up treatment and replacement of any damaged wood.
Top Home Issues Found Nationwide
The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors compiled information from several home inspectors across the nation to reveal the ten most common problems they find.
Note that the top three on this listing ranked very high, with percentages shown. Those ranked four to 10 were significantly lower than the top three.
- Grading and drainage. This was top of the list reported by 35.8% of respondents. As noted above, it’s absolutely essential that the home’s landscape grading moves water away from the foundation and avoids pooling of water that can enter the basement or crawl space.
- Electrical wiring. This came in second at 19.9%. This identifies whether the breaker box and wiring are compliant with current electrical codes. There could even be insufficient service to the house. All this can result in electrocution and fire hazards.
- Roof damage. This ranked third on their list with 8.5% reporting it as the most common problem they encounter during inspections. Things to watch for include missing shingles that can cause leaks, sagging roof line due to structural damage, and rotting eaves.
- HVAC systems. In older homes, furnace issues appear from improper exhaust vents to malfunctioning controls. Air conditioning systems can also show problems, including inadequate cooling, poor ventilation, and even noisy fans and compressors.
- Poor overall maintenance. This includes cracked and peeling paint and crumbling masonry, along with makeshift wiring and plumbing. Broken fixtures and appliances also add to this category.
- Structural problems. As noted above, this includes foundation walls, floor joists and rafters, as well as windows and doors out of alignment. These are serious problems that can take considerable effort to fix.
- Plumbing. This is usually due to dripping faucets, clogged drains, or even leaky pipes under sinks or in the basement or crawl space.
- Home exterior. Home inspections identify poor caulking and sealing around windows as well as broken or cracked window panes. It will also point out any damaged paint that is allowing water into the home along with damaging wooden siding.
- Poor ventilation. Many homeowners attempt to seal up their home to help save energy costs, whether that’s heating or air conditioning costs. That can lead to excess moisture buildup, causing rotting and water damage.
- Miscellaneous problems. This category bundled together interior problems that didn’t rank very high individually.
Additional Home Inspection Survey Data
A similar home inspection survey of homebuyers conducted by Porch identified most of the issues above and added these further common issues found by home inspectors.
- Gutters. Gutters and downspouts are vital for channeling the rainwater off your roof and routing it safely away from your foundation. In their survey, 16.9% identified gutters as a problem, while 8.9% identified downspouts as well.
- Tree branches overhanging the roof. This can be dangerous should windstorms knock down the branches or topple the tree.
- Fencing. Damaged or rotting wooden fences certainly need to be addressed.
- Water heater. A water heater can be a source of water damage. In older homes it may not have the required drainage system to protect from leaks or overflows.
- Driveways, sidewalks, patios. Cracked or shifted concrete can be hazardous to your family and guests. Plus, once cracks and shifting starts it can easily increase over time.
- Foundation issues. Cracks in basement or crawl space walls can lead to leaks and flooding. It’s important to address these issues at once.
- Moisture. A big percentage of the items listed above have to do with water damage or moisture buildup. It’s a perpetual battle to keep water out of your home and inside the plumbing and air conditioning systems.
We Can Help
Contact the professionals at Tar Heel Basement Systems for a free inspection and repair estimate to identify any issues with your foundation, basement, or crawl space that need attention.