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Phone: 631-223-8752


P.O. Box 1111
Setauket NY, 11733
United States


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Common Problems Found During a Home Inspection

Tom O'Dwyer

HomePort Inspections

HomePort Inspections

If you're heading to an open house this weekend consider this:

HomePort's top 5 most common problems found during a Home Inspection:

1) Wet Basement: The telltale signs of a wet basement are musty odors, dehumidifiers and sump pumps. Moisture problems in the basement, if gone untreated, may lead to mold growth and damage to the building materials. 

2) Improper Grading: Improper grading around the foundation is the number one cause of a wet basement.  Take a walk around the house and look for any depressions or slopes around the foundation, the grading should be built up within 6-feet of the foundation.  Note the grading of the surrounding property, if the house is built at the toe of a hill you can expect water issues.

3) Roof/Attic Problems: From the exterior, the roof decking and roof ridge should be straight and even, depressions and sags are signs of potential roof problems. Multiple layers of roofing material should be noted, flashing should lay flush and be tucked in. The real roof inspection is performed from inside of the attic. From within the attic the roof structure, rafters, roof decking, and ventilation can be assessed, any defects or leaks can then be observed with accuracy. The roof ventilation is very important, daylight should be visible from within the attic, the best ventilation is the combination of soffit and ridge vents, which create a convection type airflow. Without proper ventilation the attic will accumulate moisture which leads to mold growth and damage to the structural members and building materials. The presence of mold growth also poses a major air-quality issue.

4) Foundation Problems:  Movement of the foundation is a structural problem. Signs that indicate foundation movement include the plumbness of walls, door frames, windows frames, the roof ridge, interior sheetrock seams, cracks in the slab, foundation cracks, etc. Windows and doors should be easily opened and closed, if they get jammed and seem out of line it may indicate movement of the structural wall frames. Foundation cracks are a sign of movement.  Small hairline cracks occur from normal settlement, and are typically not considered a structural issue.  When a foundation crack shows displacement or signs of growth it should be assessed and repaired immediately. Typically, horizontal foundation cracks are worse than vertical cracks. 

5) Electrical Problems: Common electrical problems include undersized service amperage, outdated fuse boxes or panel, aluminum wiring, double-tapped and overcrowded electrical panel, non-GFCI outlets in bathroom/kitchen,  "permanent" extension cords, and signs of DIY electrical work. These issues can be a fire or safety hazard and should be further evaluated and repaired by a licensed electrician. 

These 5 common issues aren't necessarily deal breakers, they are all fixable, but they typically require the know-how of a skilled professional. Might I add that some repairs can be very expensive.

Recognizing these issues is the job of the Home Inspector. At HomePort we always take the extra time necessary to explain any observed defects found within the home.  At the conclusion of the home inspection, our clients have full understanding of the scope of these problems. The details of the home inspection are then published and itemized in a detailed Home Inspection Report. The client then uses the information within the report to make an educated home purchase decision. 

HomePort Inspections is proudly offering expert unbiased Home Inspection services to Long Island and the metro New York area.  We are based in the Stony Brook / Setauket / Three Village Area, no job is too big or too small, contact us today for a detailed quote.



Thomas O'Dwyer, PE

HomePort Inspections