What do home inspectors look for?

Guest post by Grant Waller, owner of PacWest Home Inspections based out of Beaverton, Oregon

The process of purchasing your dream home can be an enjoyable experience, but be sure to inspect the home before falling in love with it. Buying a house is a serious investment and should be properly planned out.

Here are some common issues that home inspectors look for:

Cracked grout


Not only is cracked grout ugly, it can lead to loose tiles and further problems. Cracked grout in the shower is especially an issue because water can seep in through the cracks and cause damage to the wall behind it.

Double tapping in electric panels


An inspection of your potential home’s electrical system is one of the most important things your inspector will check for. One of the most common problems that inspectors find is known as double taps within the electrical breaker box.

This is where two electrical circuits are attached to a single breaker. This is a very serious problem that could potentially cause a fire. The most common way to fix this issue is to have twin breakers installed. Because this is a major electrical issue, it’s not uncommon to request the seller to fix this problem before closing.

Roof issues

Roofing problems are very common in older homes. Asphalt shingles last somewhere between 15-40 years, so the average roof will need to have its shingles replaced multiple times.

If the roof has not been properly maintained issues are more likely, but this isn’t usually a deal breaker. As a buyer you can negotiate a lower price on the home to make up for the cost of repairing the roof.

Hairline stucco cracks

Many stucco homes are prone to cracking issues, but the good news is most of them can be repaired easily. There are different kinds of cracks, including hairline and spider cracks. A professional home inspector can determine the cause of the crack by looking at the way the wall is designed and how large the crack is.

Although stucco is very durable, it’s normal for there to be a few fine cracks. However, if you don’t fix them  they can lead to bigger problems down the road.

Signs of mold

Mold is pretty much everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. Most types of mold are relatively harmless however unpleasing to the eye and may cause minor stains and paint damage. The problem with mold is that when it finds an environment in your home that is dark and damp it can grow and spread within a matter of days. Some types of mold, like black mold, pose health threats to humans and pets. For this reason it is very important to have your potential home inspected for mold.

A/C issues

If there’s an issue with your heating and air conditioning, you’ll see it on your energy bill. If your A/C system  isn’t working as efficiently as it could, you may need to repair the system or get a new one entirely. Make sure that the furnace and air conditioner are up to date. Old heating and cooling systems are expensive to repair and replace.

Poor Ventilation

Newer homes are much more energy efficient than older houses. This is great news for your energy bill, but don’t sacrifice the quality of air in your home. Because there are less spaces for air to escape (leaks in doors and windows) moisture in the air can build up and lead to mold. Homes without proper ventilation may tend to get very hot in the summer due to the buildup of heat.

Plumbing Problems

Common plumbing issues include dripping faucets, leaky pipes, running toilets, low water pressure, slow or clogged drains, sump pump failure, water heater issues and more. These problems can lead water damage and mold. Leaks may also be found under the home which can go undetected without a professional home inspection. Plumbing problems that go undetected can cause water damage, mold, and other foul-smelling issues that can pose health risks.

The truth is that every house has some issues come up during the home inspection. These are some common ones we see a lot. Reading this blog and doing further research will help you have a better idea of what to expect so you’ll be more prepared to negotiate with the seller.