Here in Missouri, we get our fair share of weather events from wind and tornadoes to ice storms and blizzards. All that can put an enormous amount of wear and tear on your home. Keeping up with the natural aging of your home requires regular ongoing maintenance.
We’ve pulled together a listing of top home issues you can expect to help you focus your efforts on sound home maintenance.
Top Issues Found by Home Inspectors
While we can be ever vigilant in maintaining our homes, the big test comes when you’re selling your home and the buyer’s home inspector shows up to make sure everything is up to snuff.
The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors compiled information from several home inspectors to reveal the 10 most common problems they find.
- Surface grading/drainage. This was at the top of the list, reported by 35.8% of respondents. It’s absolutely essential that the home’s landscape grading moves the water away from the foundation and avoids pooling of water. Any water around the foundation can cause cracking along with leaks into the basement or crawl space.
- Electrical wiring. This came in second at 19.9%. This important inspection element identifies whether the breaker box and wiring are compliant with current electrical codes. It will also point out missing ground fault outlets, as well as wiring at overcapacity due to increased demands from computers, television screens, and appliances. 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 encountered during inspections. Things to watch for include missing shingles that can cause leaks, a sagging roofline due to structural damage, and rotting eaves. The age of the shingles is an important factor as well.
- HVAC systems. In older homes, furnace issues appear from malfunctioning controls to improper exhaust pipes/vents. Air conditioning systems can also demonstrate problems from inadequate cooling to poor ventilation and even noisy compressors and fans.
- Poor overall maintenance. Most of us can pick up on this one, from cracked and peeling paint to crumbling masonry along with makeshift wiring and plumbing. Broken fixtures and appliances are also readily apparent.
- Structural problems. What’s typically found here are foundation walls, floor joists, rafters, and windows and doors out of alignment. These are very serious problems and 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. This is primarily about windows, doors, and siding. A home inspection will identify any poor caulking and sealing around windows as well as broken or cracked windowpanes. It will also point out any damaged paint that is allowing water into the home or that’s damaging the wooden siding.
- Poor ventilation. Many homeowners attempt to seal up their homes 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.
Home Inspection Survey Data
A similar home inspection survey 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. Inspectors look for damaged or clogged gutters as well as the correct size and slope. 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. That branch can do a great deal of damage to your roof.
- Fencing. Damaged or rotting wooden fences certainly need to be addressed. If you’re trying to keep your pets and children corralled, it becomes critical to family safety.
- 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 for leaks or overflows.
- Driveways, sidewalks, patios. Cracked or shifted concrete can be hazardous to your family and guests. Plus, once cracks and shifting start, they 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
As foundation repair experts, we have a great deal of experience identifying and repairing home issues in Missouri. Contact the professionals at Foundation Recovery Systems for a free inspection and repair estimate to identify any issues with your foundation, basement, or crawl space that need attention.