Top 10 list of defects

Originally Posted By: kmcmahon
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I’m compiling a list for the public of the top 10 items inspectors find wrong in a home. Please list the most common defects you’ve found.


Don’t worry if you have duplicate answers to someone else. Like I said, I want to get a popular list of the most commonly found defects in a home.


1. Lack of or improper grounding of electrical outlets.
2. Lack of GFCI outlets near a water source.
3. Lack of or inadequate roof drainage system.
4. Roof beyond or near the end of it's useful life.
5. Mortar deterioration in foundation walls
6. Inadequate attic insulation.
7. Improper electrical panel wiring (double taps, etc.)
8. Water heaters beyond or nearing the end of their useful life.
9. Galvanized water supply piping at or near the end of it's useful life.
10. Leaking waste piping under sinks.


--
Wisconsin Home Inspection, ABC Home Inspection LLC

Search the directory for a Wisconsin Home Inspector

Originally Posted By: aslimack
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Worn out service cable, poor grading…


One of the most coomon for me is inadequate downspout extensions (#3)


Adam, A Plus


Originally Posted By: aslimack
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Oh, and no insulation on the back of the access panel, stairs, etc., which you did cover, but many home owners don’t seem to think that counts as part of the insulation package.


Adam, A Plus


Originally Posted By: dvalley
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? worn or outdated systems and homeowner additions are the most common defects, especially in older homes. Electrical system problems are safety related and require immediate attention.


Inadequate Insulation & Ventilation in Attic ? poor insulation and poor ventilation causes excessive utility costs and lack of occupant comfort.


Whole House is Poorly Maintained ? deferred maintenance represents a potential high cost situation to bring the home back into condition. If the homeowner did not properly care for the home, someone will need to later.


Heating/Cooling System Defects - improper installations, inadequate maintenance and aged components and insulation tubing on exterior pressure line are common.


Roof Problems ? improperly installed and aged surfaces occur frequently. I also see poorly installed or missing flashing at transition areas. Repairs may be simple or the entire roof may need to be replaced. Follow-up any adverse roofing system findings with an evaluation by a competent roofer.


Minor Structural Damage - Minor structural damage means the house is not likely to fall down, but you should deal with the problem before it becomes more serious. Such damage is usually caused by water seepage into the foundation, floor joists, rafters or window and door headers. First you need to fix the cause of the problem (a leaky roof, for example), then repair or replace any damaged pieces. The more extensive the damage, the more expensive it will be to repair.


Plumbing Issues ? the most common defects are leaking, outdated or problematic systems like polybutelene. Repairs can often be made but on occasion total system replacement is the only solution.


Poor Drainage around the Structure ? water needs to drain away from the structure at its perimeter to prevent water intrusion. Roof gutters and downspouts can sometimes be added to rectify site drainage problems.


Air and Water Penetrating Cracks and Window Perimeters at Exterior ? structure cracks and separations at the windows can allow water into the wall cavities which is conducive to mold growth.


Minor Structural Damage ? cut and broken trusses are often seen in attic cavities and on occasion I also see structural components missing. Usually repairs are needed, however I find it is rarely an imminent safety hazard.


Termite and other wood destroying organisms due the local environment and conducive conditions.


Fire safety issues related to fireplace chimneys



David Valley


MAB Member


Massachusetts Certified Home Inspections
http://www.masscertified.com

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."

Originally Posted By: rwills
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Most of the ones I find on a regular basis and are safety related are:


1- No extension pipe on Water Heater T&P valve. Approx 95% of the time.

2- Open ground or loose outlets. Approx 90% of the time.

3- Railing missing somewhere. basement, attic, exterior, etc. Approx 50% of the time.
4- Smoke alarms missing or inoperable. 75% of the time.

Just to name a few!


--
Bob Wills - MAB Chairman
BW Inspection Services
Warminster, Pa.
http://www.bwinspections.com

Originally Posted By: rray
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Here’s what my E&O provider provided me in August 2001:


Quote
Top 10 Most Common Home Problems

In a recent survey, the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) identified the most common home problems. It is interesting to note that four of the top ten problems involved water or moisture.

1. Improper Surface Grading and Drainage
Responsible for the most common household aggravations, including water penetration into the basement or crawlspace. All basements eventually will leak.

2. Improper Electrical Wiring
Includes insufficient electrical service, inadequate overload protection, and amateur (and often dangerous) wiring connections.

3. Roof Damage
Caused by old or damaged shingles or improper flashing and drainage.

4. Heating Systems
Includes broken or malfunctioning controls, blocked chimneys, and unsafe exhaust disposal.

5. Poor Overall Maintenance
Includes cracked, peeling, or dirty painted surfaces, crumbling masonry, makeshift wiring or plumbing, and broken fixtures and appliances.

6. Structure-Related Problems
Usually as a result of problems in other categories, damage is sustained by structural components like foundation walls, floor joists, rafters, and window and door headers.

7. Plumbing
Includes old or incompatible piping materials and faulty fixtures and waste lines.

8. Exteriors
Flaws in this category rarely have structural significance but may pose discomfort to the occupants due to water and air penetration. Inadequate caulking or weather stripping are most common.

9. Poor Ventilation
In an effort to save energy, many homeowners have ?oversealed? their homes, resulting in excessive interior moisture. Significant moisture can lead to rotting and failure of both structural and non-structural elements.

10. Miscellaneous
This category includes interior components (often cosmetic in nature) that were so infrequent that they did not rank individually on the survey.
Homeowners should understand that regional climates, local building codes, and the age of the home have a direct bearing on the ranking of these defects. For instance, the statistics relating to electrical and plumbing problems and roofing may vary from one location to another. In addition, in older homes, problems such as heating system failure, inadequate electrical service and wiring, and worn plumbing was found much more frequently than reflected in the nationwide survey.
Unquote


--
Home inspections. . . .
One home at a time.

Originally Posted By: kmcmahon
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Trying to get our own list, not use one published by ASHI!



Wisconsin Home Inspection, ABC Home Inspection LLC


Search the directory for a Wisconsin Home Inspector

Originally Posted By: Blaine Wiley
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Quote:
3. Lack of or inadequate roof drainage system.


Gutters aren't required here. They are an optional accessory.

The most common items I see:

1. Reversed polarity receptacles
2. Nonfunctional GFCI's
3. Missing/improperly installed/size reduced drip leg on water heater
4. Leaks at faucets or drains
5. FPE electric panels
6. Wood rot on exterior trim or siding
7. Amateur electric workmanship
8. Nonfunctional or broken windows
9. Nonfunctional safety reverse on garage door
10. Roof covering worn out or improperly installed


Originally Posted By: pdacey
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Not in any particular order:


1. Absence of drain pan below water heater.
2. Absence of emergency pan or float switch below evaporator coil.
3. Absence of or faulty GFCI at required locations.
4. Absence of smoke detectors at required locations.
5. Absence of antisiphon mechanism in commodes.
6. Inadequate or lack of air gap at refill tubes in commodes.
7. Water heater in garage not elevated 18" to ignition source.
8. Exposed fasteners on roof surface.
9. Penetrations through fire wall in garage. (usually pulldown attic ladders. The 1/4" wood fronts are not fire rated)
10. Downspouts draining too close to structure.
11. Step cracking in brick/stone veneer siding.
12. Cracks in garage floor slab

These are the ones I can immediately think of.


--
Slainte!

Patrick Dacey
swi@satx.rr.com
TREC # 6636
www.southwestinspections.com

Originally Posted By: tgardner
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1 Loose Toilets


2.GFCI broken or missing


3.PT valve drains pipes missing or undersized


4.Siding too low (Piled up mulch)


5.Open plumbing vent flashing & open Chimney flashing


6.cracked chimney caps


7.Loose receptacle.;-reverse polarity - open grounds - missing cover plates.


8. Multiple taps on breakers


9. Stab-Lok Panels - (lately a rash of '70s homes)


10. Fogged Windows (see above)


Things I most hate -
1.Crawl spaces especially ones used as storage.
2. Attics with vermin (rats, bats, & squirrels, Oh My!)


tg


Originally Posted By: rbracklow
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Boy,


You Guys did an excellent job of itemizing the most common problems, with perhaps the exception of chimneys, such as missing screeds, cleaning of Flues and moisture intrusion from chimney movement, or bad flashings.

Oh yes, Roof flashings and jacks, big leakage areas.

Ron.


--
The highest compliment my clients can give me, is the referral of their Friends, Family and Business Associates!

NorCal NACHI Chapter Founder and Chairman.

Originally Posted By: fmagdefrau
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Wood rot at the bottom of exterior door frames and wood rot at the bottom of the 2x8 on each side of the garage door are my top two


drainage is number 3
Missing a shingle or two will be 4
5 is outlets
6 would be trees and shrubs overgrown and destroying the siding and roof
7 is breakers double taped
8 floors
9 cheap windows
10 just plain owner neglect, lack of painting and caulk and what not

Frank


Originally Posted By: rchoreyii
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Here in Southern New Mexico I find


1. No weep screed at the base of stucco walls
2. Loose outlets (very common)
3. Overhead service wires to low (electric company says not their responsiblity)
4. Cracked sealing on roofs (the sun is hard on things here, 300+ days of sunshine)
5. grading and drainage
6. No gutters on any pitched roof home
7. The biggest problem is people do not maintain their homes


--
Ron Chorey
LAS CRUCES Home Inspections
rchorey@comcast.net
rchoreyii@nm.nachi.org