Check your water heater, there should be a drain line connected to the TPR (Temperature Pressure Relief) valve on your water heater, If the water heater overheats or there is too much water pressure the valve will open and drain the water and relieve the pressure. The drainpipe connected to the TPR valve should be visible and within six inches of the floor. If there is water dripping from the end of the pipe, it should be repaired prior to a home inspection?
Check for water near or around the house foundation. To keep water from pooling near the foundation, a six-foot-long extension to move water away from the foundation should be installed. No matter if you have a slab, basement, or crawl space, water near your foundation is bad news for you and your home. Water intrusion is one of the leading causes of mold, wood rot, and insect damage.
Keep your rain gutters clean, you can easily forget to clean them. Your gutters control the flow of water from your roof and protect not only your foundation, roof, insulation, and walls but also your lawn. Damage from gutters that are not properly functioning can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to repair.
Kitchen ranges need anti-tip brackets installed to prevent your range from tipping over if weight is put on the door which could be a dangerous situation. Although required by appliance manufacturers since 1991, that does not necessarily mean you have one installed. Check your range for this important safety feature.
Check your dishwasher drain tube, it should go up above the bottom of the sink and down into the drain or garbage disposal. The loop prevents dishwasher wastewater from siphoning back into your domestic drinking water. Although new dishwashers come from the manufacturer with the drain looped up at the side of the dishwasher, every installation manual still requires this high loop underneath the sink.
Check electrical outlets, switch covers, and boxes to make sure they are not loose. If they are loose, it can cause an open-ground situation. Make sure there are GFIC circuit breakers or outlets installed in kitchens, bathrooms, garages, and all outdoor outlets. Manually test each one for proper operation. AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters) breakers are required in bedroom circuits for homes built in 2008 and thereafter. Manually test to make sure they are functioning properly.
Check your plumbing for leaks, you should regularly check for leaks under sinks, around toilets, boilers, and hot water heaters. Make sure to check for dripping faucets in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. Staying on top of plumbing issues can save you time and money when it comes time for a home inspection.
According to general practice, a handrail is required if you have more than four steps, inside or outside. Handrails should be installed if the rise is two feet or more. Porches and decks more than two feet off the ground should also have proper railings installed. Make sure handrails are securely fastened.
Checking and cleaning your dryer vent should be on everyone’s regular maintenance list even if you are not preparing for a Home Inspection. Dryer vents should be professionally cleaned at least annually, and the vent should be made of metal or flexible metal tubing. The connection should be taped and not screwed together. Dryers cause about 7,000 fires every year in the U.S. Consider upgrading to metal vent pipes in the event yours is plastic tubing.
This may seem obvious, but there are things a home inspector will check that you may not have actually used in a long time. “Check all your windows, doors, garage door sensor lights, etc. Remember, the buyer will expect everything to work properly before purchasing their dream home.
Keep in mind that a Home Inspection is different from an Appraisal. A home inspector checks the safety of a home and identifies potential issues; they do not determine its market value.
Once again home inspectors are not your agent, they report on the condition of the property. Once they present their Home Inspection Report, their job is complete. They cannot help the buyer with negotiations. Instead, they get their report to their real estate agent, and they will help them decide what to do regarding any deficiencies.
By: John Schuler
Certified Home Inspector
J & H Home Inspections, LLC Located in Little River, SC