December 2018: Preparing for Winter

Ask The Inspector

Top 5 Problems Revealed During a Home Inspection

Purchasing a house is a major decision, and a home inspection report can be used to assist in the decision-making process. Here are some of the more common issues our inspectors find during a home inspection. Learn more

How Should a Seller Prepare for a Home Inspection?

If your home is being inspected, there are certain things you’ll need to do to prepare. Find out the best way to get appliances, systems and more ready with this advice—straight from one of our Global Property Inspections inspectors. Learn more

Expert Advice

Prevent Injuries by Practicing Ladder Safety

A recent Consumer Product Safety Commission report on ladder safety showed some startling statistics: each year, thousands of people are injured and hundreds more lose their lives. By understanding the leading causes of ladder accidents, the vast majority can be prevented.  Learn more

How to Remove a Popcorn Ceiling

Love them or hate them, popcorn ceilings have a real presence in older North American homes. If you’re in the “no way” camp, the good news is you don’t have to live with your popcorn ceilings forever. Learn how to remove all that texture with a little DIY know-how. Learn more

Two-Prong Outlets vs. Three-Prong Outlets: Does it Matter?

Ever wonder why the older electrical receptacles have only two slots, and don’t have the hole below the slots to allow three prongs, or if they can be switched out? Sometimes they can, but other times that would be a potentially dangerous mistake. Here’s why. Learn more

Snapshots From The Field

What’s wrong with this picture?

This photo shows Styrofoam used as a filler in a poured concrete foundation wall of a house in an area of California at risk for earthquakes. As you may have guessed, Styrofoam is not an acceptable filler in this situation, and the home inspector recommended further evaluation by a qualified structural engineer.

Maintenance Matters

Drafty Windows? We Have Help

There is a chill in the air, the North Wind has an extra bite and a draft is coming through the windows. What can you do to keep the cold air out? Try these four tried and true DIY projects you can complete in just one weekend. Learn more

Water in My Basement? Never

No homeowner would knowingly do anything that would lead to a wet basement. “Knowingly” being the operative word. Here’s what builders, contractors and homeowners alike can do to prevent drainage issues and keep homes dry. Learn more

Tips for Proper Furnace Maintenance

Gas furnaces are a fixture in countless homes. To help your system stay strong throughout its lifespan, you’ll want to get on a regular maintenance program. Whether you decide to undertake upkeep yourself or you hire a professional, here’s what you need to know about your gas furnace. Learn more

 

Monthly Trivia Question

Question: True or False: New home constructions don’t need to be inspected.

False.

Add Value to Your Home with These Improvements

You probably have a long list of remodeling projects you want to get around to, and sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. Of course you want to remodel your home based on your personal tastes, but if you’re looking to move soon, it’s better to look at renovations and improvements that will add value to your home. We’ve compiled the four best home upgrades that will put the most money in your pocket when it comes time to sell.

1. A New Front Door

Nothing beats a new steel front door when it comes to recouping your investment. A new steel front door boosts curb appeal, rejuvenating your home’s appearance to make a great first impression for homebuyers. You can have a professional install your new door (for give or take $2000), in which case you’ll recover about 75% of the cost, or you can DIY this project (for around $250) and recoup up to a whopping 600%.

If you go the DIY route, make sure to get acquainted with the parts of the door you’re installing before you start in. If it’s your first time, you can expect to spend a bit more time on this project (don’t be surprised if it takes you six or eight hours). Oh, and enlist a friend to help—it’s a lot easier with two people, trust us.

2. New Hardwood Floors

Buyers love hardwood floors, and they’ll pay to get them (to the tune of about $5000 at closing). If you install those hardwood floors yourself, you can potentially make a 282% profit. It might be a multi-day affair if you haven’t worked with flooring before, but don’t worry—the techniques aren’t hard to master and it’s worth rolling up your sleeves to pocket the extra savings. Even if you hire a professional, though, this improvement will just about pay for itself.

If you have hardwood floors already and just want to give them a facelift, you can do that with a simple sand-and-refinish job. Floor sanders and other supplies are available to rent at most home improvement stores to make the process easy and affordable.

3. A Bathroom Update

We’re not talking about demolition down to the studs, but a mid-range bathroom update will definitely add value to your home and improve your return on investment. Replacing your bathroom’s essentials (meaning the tub, tile surround and floor, toilet, sink, fixtures and vanity) will run you somewhere in the range of $10,500, while you’ll average a tidy $10,700 back at closing. Of course if you do the update yourself instead of hiring out, you’ll pocket even more.

4. Fiberglass Attic Insulation

Attic insulation is one of those things you never pay attention to, but you sure know if it’s not there. Having adequate insulation is the best way to keep comfortable in both hot and cold weather while keeping your energy bills low, but up to an astounding 90 percent of homes don’t have enough. If you can see the floor joists in your attic, you have at most 6-7 inches of insulation, only half of what the U.S. Department of Energy recommends. Depending on where you live, you could need even more.

The good news is that insulation is easy to add yourself, and it’s also one of the most inexpensive and worthwhile upgrades on our list, costing you only about $700 to add $1500 of value when you sell.

National Property Inspections Helps You Improve Your Home

From home energy audits to full inspections, NPI has you covered when you want to find ways to add value to your home. Find your local inspector today to schedule an appointment.

Tips for Proper Furnace Maintenance

Furnace_shutterstock_132626027

A gas furnace is a key piece of equipment in a home. Most furnaces are installed centrally in the house but often are tucked away in a closet, up in the attic, or in the basement or crawl space. In other words, they may not be the easy to access. To help your home’s heating equipment live a good, long life, regular maintenance is strongly recommended. Just because the furnace is out of sight doesn’t mean it should be out of mind.

Many HVAC companies offer service agreements that include a regular scheduled maintenance program. Or maybe you’re a handy do-it-yourselfer who wants to get their hands dirty and take care of things themselves. If that’s you,  here are a few furnace maintenance tips.

  1. Change the filter regularly. The filter prevents dirt from entering the furnace. Dirt and debris can build up on the blower fan and in the ductwork, which can also reduce air flow, wasting fuel and drastically lowering the unit’s efficiency. The filter may be changed monthly, quarterly or annually, depending on the type of filter and the conditions the furnace is operating under. Generally, we recommend changing the filter monthly. Make sure to use the proper size filter.
  2. Remember safety first. When maintaining your furnace, follow some basic safety practices. Most furnaces have a service switch that can be shut off so the unit won’t turn on during maintenance. Check for gas leaks and loose wires before you begin cleaning the furnace. If you smell gas smell or notice a loose wire, contact an HVAC professional.
  3. Clean the blower and ducts. The blower assembly is usually next to the filter, so the dust and dirt that penetrates or goes around the air filter goes to the blower. Use a damp cloth or vacuum to clean the blower, belts and pulleys to remove any accumulated dirt.
  4. Inspect the fan. After the dirt has been removed, make sure the fan spins smoothly and is properly secured. The bearings on the fan and motor may need lubricating, and if the fan is belt-driven, then the fan belt should be checked for proper tension.

Cleaning and maintaining a furnace is not a daunting task and is fairly inexpensive to complete. Proper maintenance will extend the service life of your equipment and help your furnace stay energy efficient.

By Kenn Garder, National Accounts Manager and Technical Support, NPI/GPI

Water in My Basement? Never

Grading_shutterstock_135142733

No home owner would knowingly do anything that would lead to a wet basement. “Knowingly” being the operative word.

Let’s start with the builder. Hopefully, every builder knows to grade the yard in such a fashion that rainwater will naturally run away from the house on all four sides. If that’s done, then so far so good.

Many home owners like to add flowerbeds next to the house to enhance the beauty of the property (the maintenance of which virtually eliminates any free time they might otherwise have, but that story is for another day). That flowerbed next to the house is now flat, or nearly flat, and won’t necessarily direct rainwater away from the house. Sometimes home owners go one step further and use landscape timbers to wrap or frame the flowerbeds next to the house. Now we have a framed-in, flat space next to the house that rather than shedding rainwater probably traps it. This is not a guarantee that this will lead to a wet basement, but it greatly increases the odds.

Let’s go back to the builder for a moment. I couldn’t find a picture that shows this and was too lazy to keep looking, so please use your imagination. Depending on how the builder ties a sidewalk into a patio or driveway and wraps that sidewalk back toward and close to the house, this trapped space between the sidewalk and house — just like the landscape timbers mentioned previously — can act as a dam that holds water that just might find a way into the basement.

A missing downspout is a common cause for a wet basement. It might be something as simple as the homeowner removed it while mowing the grass and forgot to replace it — and then it rained that night.

How about a wet basement and an optical illusion? My neighbor told me he got water in one corner of his basement every time it rained hard. The gutter and downspout in this corner looked fine, and the grading appeared sufficiently pitched to shed rainwater. However, when I pulled back all the mulch piled up in this corner, I found a significant depression causing negative grading. Rather than shedding rainwater away from the house, it was being funneled directly toward this corner. Once discovered, it was a relatively easy fix for my neighbor.

A point I would like to leave you with is this: A home inspector is not going to routinely pull back mulch to look for negative grading. It could be there and simply hidden by an optical illusion. A good inspector can tell you a lot, but based on the limited time on the premises, they can’t tell you everything.

By Roland Bates, President, NPI/GPI

Make Your Refrigerator More Efficient with These 8 Hacks

When we think of ways to save energy, we don’t often turn to the fridge. It just does its thing, right? Well, not quite. Here are eight ways to make your refrigerator more efficient.

First, it’s important to note that if your refrigerator is 15 or more years old, you may not be able to get the most out of it energy-wise, even if you do everything right. Older models are simply never going to be quite as efficient as newer models, and more sophisticated units are coming out all the time. When you decide to replace your older fridge, opt for an Energy-Star-certified model.

Now, on to the hacks!

1. Get rid of frost if you have it.

This is much more common in older units. If your refrigerator is accumulating frost, the first thing you’ll need to do is defrost it. Otherwise, you’re automatically setting yourself up for a far less efficient fridge. That’s because frost buildup can cause fridge coils to work overtime and make it more difficult for the unit to keep at a consistently cool temperature. It’s a bit of a process, but defrosting is totally worth it—plus, who couldn’t use extra room in the freezer?

2. Open your fridge as little as possible.

One of the easiest ways to save energy is to keep your refrigerator closed. That means not leaving the door hanging open while you’re cooking and making selections quickly when you need something. The less your refrigerator has to readjust its temperature from being introduced to warm air in your home, the less it has to work and the more energy you’ll save.

3. Use your in-door water and ice.

This one goes right along with keeping those refrigerator doors closed. The less you open your fridge or freezer for beverages and ice, the less you’ll need to open your fridge.

4. Avoid putting hot or warm dishes in your fridge.

This is a small one, but it could make a big impact over time. Use Tupperware and plastic wrap whenever possible, and allow any food to cool down completely before placing it in the fridge. This helps keep heat out of your unit.

5. Remove fridge clutter.

Raise your hand if your fridge is packed at all times. If you have a big family or a penchant for cooking, it can be unavoidable. Luckily, it’s almost guaranteed that there’s an item or two in there that’s out of date. So take some time to go through your refrigerator’s contents and weed out the stuff that isn’t going to get eaten. It’s especially important not to store large items, like takeout boxes, casserole dishes and loaves of bread on the top shelf, as they could trap heat in the unit and cause your compressor to work overtime.

6. Use the power-saver switch.

Your unit might not have one of these, but if it does, it’s in your best interest to use it! Power-saver switches are connected to heaters built into the walls of refrigerator units. These heaters are designed to help prevent condensation, but the secret is that they may not even be needed. Try turning on the power-saver switch to disable this feature—you may find that no condensation builds up and you can save a little energy.

7. Keep your refrigerator away from your stove.

The heat from your stove can cause your refrigerator’s compressor to work overtime every time you go to cook. Over time, this can even wear out the unit and shorten the life of your appliance. While you may be stuck with this setup for the time being, keep in mind that ideally, your fridge should be several feet away from your stove when you mock up new design plans.

8. Clean your condenser coils.

Cleaning behind the fridge hardly ever makes the top of the old chore list, but if you’d like to have a more efficient unit, it’s a must. Dust removes heat and causes the coils to work much harder than they need to. Pulling the fridge out and sweeping under it, then using a bristle brush to dust the back will do the trick. And luckily, you shouldn’t need to do this too often.

Call National Property Inspections to have your home questions answered.

Our NPI inspectors can answer the most important questions you have about the condition and maintenance of your home. Call us to sell or buy with confidence.

How to Keep Your Pond from Freezing This Winter

Garden ponds provide a sense of calm in spring and summer. But as the days grow colder, it’s important to know the simple steps to take to keep your pond from freezing over until warmer weather returns.

First, a thorough cleaning of the pond is necessary to remove any dead plants and algae from the water. Any rotting foliage left behind may produce gases underneath the ice’s surface that can kill your fish over the winter. Move hardy plants to deeper water, where they will be safely submerged (at least 18 inches deep) to keep from freezing. If your pond freezes over entirely before you can move plants, be sure to remove and store them inside for the winter in the basement or a heated garage. Tropical lilies and other tender plants must be removed and stored in pots without drainage holes. Plants can be wrapped in damp newspaper and stored in trash bags. Check them every other week or so to make sure they do not dry out.

Clean the Filter and Pond

There are options for storing your pond’s filter between seasons, but a thorough cleaning is always a good idea before the cold sets in. Once it has been cleaned, you can move the filter closer to the water’s surface to keep your pond from freezing over. Or, simply remove the filter and store it until springtime. Next, vacuum the pond to remove any dead plants and left-over debris. Again, these can produce toxic gases when left beneath an icy surface, which can be harmful to your fishy friends.

Fish Care

When the temperature drops, reducing the amount of food you give to your fish can help them acclimate to the cold. As soon as it gets below 50 degrees, stop feeding them altogether to prevent them from creating unnecessary waste products in their environment. The fish will go into semi-hibernation, when they will feed on the nutrients in the water. There are some breeds of fish, however, that are sensitive to cold weather and need to be brought indoors when the weather gets cold. These include fancy goldfish with ornate tails, bubble eyes and lionheads.

Cover The Pond

To keep your pond from freezing over completely, investing in a cover will ensure that falling leaves and branches do not make their way into your aqueous environment. This will also assist during the process of prepping the pond for springtime when the cold thaws. All you need is a shade cloth, netting, or landscape fabric to do the job. If you are in doubt of how best to handle your pond’s care, contact the friendly experts at National Property Inspections.

Pond Safety

Whether you have a large or small pond, chances are you have some sort of pump and filtration system. During the cold months, it is especially important to disconnect these lines before water freezes and breaks the entire device. In fact, it’s best to purchase a de-icer to melt a small hole in the surface of your pond, allowing noxious gases to be purged from the water.

When it comes time to keep your pond from freezing, Call Us to help batten down the hatches. Their expertise will go a long way in keeping your fish, filtration system, and overall outdoor haven a safe and beautiful place year-round.

How to Use a Candle: 6 Common Mistakes to Avoid

How to Use a Candle

No matter what you think of them, you have to admit scented candles are kind of amazing. Nothing’s better at creating ambience and a relaxing atmosphere in your home than a few well-placed candles, but you should know how to use them to get the best effect. It also helps to be aware of the hazards that come with having an open flame in the house. Believe it or not, it’s more than just knowing how to wield a lighter.

1. Lighting and Forgetting About It

We’ll start with one of the worst things you can do—lighting a candle and just walking away. Directions for use on most candles advise only burning under direct supervision, for a number of really good reasons. If you have curious toddlers or pets, for example, a candle can lead to burned fingers or singed whiskers. Candles can also become dangerously hot if they’re left burning for too long, which is why you should only keep them lit for two hours at a time.

2. Not Leaving It Lit Long Enough

Have you ever had to throw a candle out because the wax around the outside didn’t melt? It could be a poorly designed candle, but what’s more common is an effect called “tunneling.” That’s when you see the candle level lowering just around the wick, and it’s caused by not leaving your candle lit long enough. When you light a candle, you want to leave it burning long enough for the entire top layer of wax to melt, forming a pool from one end of the container to the other. This usually takes about an hour of burning. If you blow the candle out too fast, you’ll end up with a hole in the middle of your candle that’s hard to fix.

3. Forgetting What Season You’re In

There aren’t too many things more subtly offputting than a scent that’s at odds with the time of year. Picture pumpkin pie in the height of summer, or pina colada when it’s 20 below. Of course, you may not care about these things when you’re alone, but when you’re entertaining it’s best to keep seasonal scents in mind. For the fall and winter months, lean toward warm, spicy aromas like gingerbread or cinnamon. In spring and summer, light floral scents are best.

4. Going Overboard

When you light a candle, your sense of smell adapts quickly, which can lead you to want to light more and more. Resist this urge. To make the most of a scented candle, you’ll want to mix scents as little as possible, and avoid lighting more than two or three at a time. Walking past a candle shop can be a little headache-inducing, and you don’t want to replicate that experience in your home.

5. Choosing the Wrong Scent for the Room

This is a little like choosing the wrong candle for the season—some scents just don’t work well in certain rooms. Here are the aromas to stick to for every room:

  • Kitchen: It’s always better to be baking real cookies, but in a pinch, a candle scented like baked goods or spices can make your kitchen more homey.
  • Bedroom: This is your sanctuary, so encourage relaxation in this space with scents like lavender that help you drift off to dreamland.
  • Living Room: The living room is a versatile space, but whatever you use it for, it helps to have a scent that inspires conversation, friendliness and warmth. Try sandalwood, vanilla or coffee.
  • Bathroom: A bright citrus like lemon or grapefruit is best for the bathroom, or you can experiment with herbal notes like basil.

6. Using a Candle to Cover Up Odors

Lots of us have been guilty of this one—you might think a candle is your best bet for getting rid of odors, but scented candles aren’t designed for that. Instead of neutralizing bad smells, scented candles mask other odors without eliminating them, so you get the scent you want with an unmistakable undernote of funk. For those times when you need to get rid of a smell, it’s better to open a window or use a product that’s specifically formulated to neutralize odors.

National Property Inspections Can Help You Maintain Your Home

For answers to questions about all your home’s most important systems, call us today. Our inspectors can keep you in the know when it comes to maintaining your most important investment—your home.

Look for These Problems When Buying an Old House: Part 2

Buying an Old House

In our last post, we shared many of the most important problems to look for when buying an old house, but that’s not nearly the whole story! Read on as we continue our rundown of everything you should know about before you buy your older dream home.

Plumbing Problems

As you might imagine, older houses can come with more than their fair share of plumbing problems. Whether pipes are leaky because of house settling, rust from water intrusion or simply have worn-out fittings, these can spell real trouble. The thing is, you may not be able to see evidence of these problems during an initial walkthrough. That’s where a home inspector can be a lifesaver, especially if they’re using an infrared camera that can detect subtle variations in temperature within walls and ceilings. Cooler temperatures can be an indication of moisture collecting where it shouldn’t be!

Foundation Trouble

Some amount of foundation settling is normal in an older house, and in most cases it isn’t a cause for concern. However, certain conditions may be dealbreakers—a significant amount of sinking in a corner of the foundation, for instance, can indicate a sinkhole. Other soil conditions, like freezing and thawing cycles, can cause upheaval along the perimeter of your foundation. Other signs to look for include horizontal cracks bigger than ¼ inch, doors or windows throughout the house that don’t close correctly and uneven floors. Foundation cracks can even lead to other problems, like damp, moldy basements and termite infestations, so it’s important to identify them before you decide to buy.

Roof Damage

Many older homes also have roofs that are approaching the end of their life spans. Unless you’re prepared to climb up on the roof, though, chances are you won’t see the problems that might mean a roof replacement in your near future. Depending on the style of roof on the house you’re considering, an inspector will spot problems with shingles like cupping, cracking or mold. In the case of asphalt shingles, they’ll also note if a lot of shed granules are ending up in the gutters. It’s also fairly common to see multiple layers of shingles on the roof where homeowners opted to save money by not stripping their roof before applying new shingles.

Drafty Windows

It’s a fact of life—old homes tend to have drafty windows. This may not seem like a big deal for some, but it does have a long-term effect on both your comfort and your checkbook. Windows that aren’t airtight let cold air through in the winter and hot air through in the summer, which makes your HVAC system work harder than it should. This leads to higher heating and cooling bills, more costly breakdowns and actually shortens the lifespan of these important appliances.

Failing Appliances

As with any other aspect of an older home, you need to pay careful attention to its built-in appliances. The age and condition of air conditioning units, furnaces, water heaters, dishwashers and more should be documented to get a general idea of how long they’ll still be viable before you’ll have to replace them.

Get an NPI Inspection Today

NPI inspectors are professionally trained to identify the condition of a home’s most important systems, no matter its age. Contact us today to schedule an inspection before you buy.

Look for These Problems When Buying an Old House: Part 1

There are a lot of great things about owning an older home, but it’s not all craftsmanship and charm. If you’re thinking about putting in an offer on an old house, you should know that there are some potential issues to be aware of before you commit. Be on the lookout for these costly problems that come along with buying an old house.

Lead Paint

If you have young children, lead paint should be one of your first concerns when considering an older home. Lead-based paint was widely used in exterior and interior home applications prior to 1978, so if the house you’re looking at was built before this date and hasn’t been updated, it may have lead paint. The good news is that property owners are required to disclose the possible existence of lead paint before you buy, so you can make the decision whether to go through with the purchase and have the lead paint removed. Having lead paint professionally removed generally costs between $8 and $15 per square foot.

Asbestos

It’s commonly known that asbestos exposure is linked to certain types of lung cancer, but what is it and why was it ever used in homes? Asbestos is a natural fibrous mineral that had many useful industrial applications beginning in the mid-19th century. Asbestos was used for its exceptional fire resistance, sound-dampening properties and as electrical insulation. It was mixed with cement and other materials to create siding for homes, roof shingles and “popcorn” (or acoustic) textured ceilings. Asbestos use in residential building materials wasn’t banned until 1989, so chances are that homes built before then will have some asbestos in them.

Inaccessible asbestos in walls or pipe insulation may not pose much of a threat, but if you’re planning any major remodels of your older home once you buy it, you’ll need to have it professionally removed—this service can be costly depending on how much asbestos needs to be removed, but can range from hundreds for a single wall or pipe to tens of thousands for a whole house remediation.

Old Electrical Systems

Technology advances faster and faster every day, and for older houses that haven’t been updated, some of their systems can be very antiquated compared to today’s standards. Take one of the most important features of your home—its electrical system. Not very long ago, people were much less reliant on electronic devices and appliances, so home electrical systems were built to carry a much lighter load than we require today.

Not only are the electrical systems in older homes less able to support 21st century electricity needs, the wiring can sometimes be difficult or impossible to replace when it breaks. For example, replacement fuses for old knob-and-tube wiring aren’t made anymore, so blown fuses are often replaced with ones that aren’t designed for the system. This can overheat old knob-and-tube systems and potentially cause a fire.

Insect Damage

Insects like termites aren’t picky—they’ll go after new homes with just as much zeal as old homes, but old houses are much easier targets. New houses don’t have the same cracks, loose boards and other areas that provide insects the pathways they need to enter your home and do their damage.

What are the signs that you might be dealing with termite damage in an older home? You can look for buckling floors (this might mean that wood-destroying insects have gotten to the floor joists), tiny holes in drywall or other exposed wood structures that sound hollow when you knock on it. Replacing insect-damaged wood in a home can be prohibitively expensive depending on the extent of the infestation, so you should definitely rely on an independent, third-party inspection to determine whether there’s a problem before you buy.

Call National Property Inspections Today

This only scratches the surface on problems you might face when buying an old house. Stay tuned for part two of our blog series, and if you’re in the process of buying or selling an older home, Contact us for a comprehensive home inspection!

Check out Part 2 of this post here!

5 Home Inspection Myths You Shouldn’t Fall For

Ordering a home inspection is the most critical part of the buying process. Because of the crucial role your inspector plays, there are lots of misconceptions out there about his or her exact part in the transaction. We’re here to clear up some common myths and help you learn what to expect from that all-important inspection report.

Myth #1: Your inspector can advise you on whether or not to buy the house.

Truth: Your inspector is considered an impartial observer and should never advise you on whether or not to move forward with the sales process.

An inspector’s role is to tell you about the condition of the home so that you can make your own educated decision. And if you think they can be coaxed into disclosing their opinion, think again. Even if you come right out and ask, “Would you buy this house?” a good inspector will stand firm and reiterate that they can only tell you what’s working and what’s not. This is actually for the best! You’ll want a third party looking at the home with fresh eyes, one whose only job is to educate you, not sway your opinion.

Myth #2: Your home inspector will tear into walls.

Truth: Home inspectors are trained to perform visual, noninvasive inspections.

Inspectors will never move furniture or boxes, tear holes in walls in order to look in them, or otherwise damage or manipulate your property. Save for making a few minor adjustments to your home’s settings (like the thermostat) in order to get accurate readings, you won’t be able to detect your inspector was there. But just because your home inspector can’t literally see into walls, doesn’t mean they won’t be able to let you know what’s going on behind them. With tools like infrared cameras and moisture meters, inspectors can still identify leaks, electrical problems and more.

Also, depending on weather conditions and safety concerns, your inspector could be limited in the scope of their report. For example, if ice is present on a roof, your inspector will likely elect not to walk on it and make a note of this in the report.

Myth #3: New constructions don’t need inspections.

Truth: Every home needs an inspection, whether it’s one month old or 100 years old.

Believe it or not, brand new homes can have just as many issues as old ones, often due to rush and communication breakdown during the building process. Add to that the fact that the home hasn’t been lived in yet, and issues like leaks and HVAC malfunctions won’t have had a chance to show symptoms. Even brand new homes need a full inspection to ensure safety and pinpoint any building mistakes that could cause major repairs down the road.

Myth #4: Inspectors work on a pass/fail system.

Truth: No home is ever evaluated on a pass/fail basis.

Each home is inspected based on the universal safety and maintenance standards, but a certain number of RRs (recommend repair) and As (acceptable) won’t earn your home an A or an F. Instead, it’s up to you whether a home “passes,” meaning you’ve decided it’s a wise investment based on information provided to you in the inspection report. This all comes down to needed repairs and how much they’ll potentially cost weighed against the price and value of the home.

Myth #5: Home inspectors can predict future maintenance needs.

Truth: With so many factors at play, it’s simply impossible for a home inspector to predict all of your home’s maintenance needs.

A brand new HVAC system, for example, could malfunction a few months or years down the road with no warning whatsoever. Things like climate and weather, wear and tear and manufacturer error mean that anything can happen. What an inspector can do is paint an accurate portrait of the condition of the home at the time of their inspection so that you can compare it with the average lifespan of appliances and systems and make the best choice for you.

Call National Property Inspections to schedule your inspection today.

Our inspectors can assess your home’s major systems and provide a full digital report on their condition, including high-quality photos. Contact us today!