8 Common Issues Found During Home Inspections

8 Common Issues Found During Home Inspections

September 5, 2022
Martin Whitmore, President of US Window & Door
buying a home

Buying a home has lots of steps. Once a home buyer is "under contract" on a property, it's common for them to hire a professional home inspector as the next step. This contingency allows the home buyer to determine whether anything is wrong with the property before purchasing it.

A home inspection is a thorough visual examination of a house's physical structure and systems. A single-family home inspection typically takes between two to four hours to perform, though this varies significantly depending on the size and condition of the home.

Following the inspection, the inspector will provide the customer with a report outlining their findings, replete with photographs, analysis, and recommendations.

Purchasing a new house is a momentous occasion in one's life. While this is the start of a new adventure, it is also a significant decision that should not be taken lightly.

You may have discovered the ideal home for you and your loved ones; it is critical that you verify that the home is genuinely as wonderful as claimed. Paint colors, kitchen cabinetry, and tiles can easily change, and certain other parts of the property may be more difficult to replace or repair.

A home inspection conducted prior to making an offer on the house or condominium can provide the utmost peace of mind prior to signing the contract. This way, you'll have a clear understanding of what you're getting into with your new property.

Once you've identified the issues in the home, you can plan home improvement projects to fix them. For example, replacing old drafty windows with vinyl windows in San Diego helps to keep the cool air in your home and keep energy costs down. In this article, we'll cover the 8 most common issues found during home inspections. 

Problems with Drainage 

These issues will vary from case to case but are serious and can cause big damage if not immediately fixed. Each year, about 51,000 home fires are ignited by electrical faults, so it's natural for home inspectors to scrutinize a home's electrical system to ensure that everything appears to be in working order. Electrical inspectors frequently discover fraying insulation, do-it-yourself wiring, misaligned wires, and over-fusing.

Faulty Wires 

This is a cause of house fires, most of which could've been avoidable. Issues such as undersized and improper wiring are very common. House fires caused by faulty electrical wiring are common. Modern homes have an ample supply of power and electrical outlets. Older homes do not.


It's typical to see extension cords running from room to room in older homes. This places a burden on the electrical system, outlets, and cords and thus could lead to a fire. Another common electrical problem found in all ages of homes is exposed electrical wires. 

Any wire that is exposed is susceptible to physical damage. If this occurs, it's sure to wreak havoc. Open splice wire (when a wire is conjoined using only electrical tape and/or wire connectors) is a typical do-it-yourself job and is common in garages, attics, and crawlspaces as well above dropped ceilings. This is a high priority, however, and should be corrected by a licensed electrician.

Roofing Problems

These are some of the biggest problems that homeowners face and can contribute to huge damage to both in and out of the house. Roofing issues are one of the primary areas that a home inspector would evaluate, as they are a critical component of the property. In case of roof leaks, the home is vulnerable to a slew of problems.

Home inspectors will check to ensure that the materials are still in good condition, that they are installed properly, and that there are no visible signs of water damage. Many homebuyers would walk away from a contract if the house has roofing difficulties, as this is one of the most expensive repairs.

Incorrect Ventilation 

This will usually involve vents in the bathroom and the kitchen — when a fan is incorrectly installed, moisture can leak into the attic and can contribute to the home's deterioration. Poor insulation and poor ventilation cause high utility costs and a lack of occupant comfort.

While you likely will not run into issues with the ventilation in newer builds, older homes usually do have problems with ventilation. Simply put, poor ventilation will lead to moisture buildup, which can lead to wood rot, termite infestations, mold development, and foundation issues. Home inspectors will take a trek into your attic to determine the state of your home's ventilation.

Why is ventilation important? Poor ventilation can result in a lot more work for your HVAC system to keep your home cool and comfortable.

If there is not enough ventilation within your home, there will be a large amount of heat that builds up in your attic, raising the overall temperature of your home and sending your cooling system into overdrive. Proper ventilation equals more energy efficiency.

Structural Problems 

Problems with the home's structure will first appear as cracks on the walls, which will likely appear in areas close to the ceiling. Other symptoms include floor cracks and windows that won't open. 

painting house exterior

Structural issues are not only relatively common, but these issues are also the most severe and expensive problems that home inspectors identify. Structural issues usually occur due to cumulative problems created by neglecting other issues mentioned on this list. 

The structure includes foundation, walls, floor, and roof, all of which the home inspector will take into account. Common issues may include bulging walls, uneven flooring, foundational cracks, drainage issues, and more. As to be expected, older homes are more susceptible to structural damage. 

Plumbing Problems

A plumbing system that's poorly designed can become a health hazard and will usually involve leaking faucets, leaks in the water heater, and leaking toilets. 

Plumbing issues and leaking pipes are frequent reasons for a home inspection to fail. These difficulties might be as basic as a slow drain or a leaking faucet, or they can be more complex, such as cross-connection problems (where water from another source contaminates domestic water).

In some situations, pipes will have to be replaced altogether. Plumbing is a major source of concern because if a hidden leak is left unattended, it can result in mold spreading throughout the home.

To locate leaks, the home inspector will look for signs of mil damage and fractures around pipes throughout the home. Additionally, they will inspect the ceiling for wet stains or fractures.

Problems with the Heating System

Your HVAC system uses almost half of the energy in your home. It works hard every year to keep your home climate-controlled. Therefore, it tends to need servicing quite often. Unfortunately, many people do not service their HVAC systems yearly, which results in issues during the home inspection.

A home's cooling and heating system is very important, and ignoring proper maintenance can cause irreversible damage and will lead to expensive repairs. Every home inspection includes an analysis of your heating and cooling systems. This is important for a couple of reasons. First of all, as a homeowner, you would want to ensure that you have adequate heating and cooling for the entire year, especially if you live in extreme temperatures. 

Secondly, a faulty HVAC poses a fire risk and the risk of spreading mold and mildew when there is poor ventilation. HVAC issues such as wiring and ventilation problems are relatively common in home inspections. This can be avoided with regular maintenance and care. A home inspector will check out your fireplaces, sprinkler systems, and furnaces, too. 

checking gas and heating system

The average home inspector will not do an in-depth job of inspecting the furnace and AC. If you purchase a home with an HVAC system over ten years old, hiring an HVAC specialist to perform a complete system check is wise. This step will help you determine the remaining life of the unit and project future repair costs.

Some common HVAC issues include:

  1. Dirty Filters (most common issue)
  2. Improper Flue Installation
  3. Dirty Coils
  4. Unlevel Pad
  5. Cracked Heat Exchange
  6. Broken Condenser

Overall Maintenance Problems

Many homeowners fail to provide their homes with ongoing maintenance after their purchase, which can progress into serious problems that have the potential to depreciate their value. A home inspection is a vital part of buying a home. Ask your real estate agent for a list of good inspectors in your area. When you have found one that you like, book them to get your inspection scheduled.

Your inspector will look at many different components during the home inspection process. Then, they will write a detailed report about what areas were flagged and which ones are in good condition. This blog post will help prepare you for the common things that fail a home inspection.

You may be able to enter into negotiations with the sellers to help fund some of the fixes found during the inspection before closing on the home. However, if you live in a hot market where homes are sold as-is, the likelihood of a seller putting any capital towards fixes is very slim.

window issues during home inspection

Even if this is the case where you live, home inspections are still recommended. You will know what needs to be fixed upon moving into your home, and you can begin planning for the work that needs to be done. In addition, home inspections are a great way to ensure that you move into your next home with realistic expectations.

There are other home inspection issues that may come up, such as water intrusion, mold, termite damage, appliance issues, wood damage, termite damage, drafty windows, and water heaters. 

If you're suffering from drafty windows, it's important to replace them immediately. Drafty windows can increase energy windows and won't protect your home. We offer high-quality EnergyStar-rated products from Milgard to improve curb appeal and improve home value. Schedule a free in-home estimate* today, and let us replace your old windows.