WHAT DOES YOUR INVESTMENT LOOK LIKE
54 West St, Northport
“I’ll just find the cheapest inspector out there.”
What will your life look like a few years down the road if you decide that a home inspection is not worth the investment and decide to hire the lowest bidder, or worse, forgo the inspection altogether? Evidence suggests that a proper and thorough home inspection is an effective way to identify past, current, and future problems with a new home. Allow us to open and close brackets for a moment. A “new” home the majority of the time, especially on Long Island where there aren’t many plots of land left to construct on, is most of the time not new at all. In fact, it’s 10, 20, or 70 or more years old. Those homes have many moving parts and potential for systems to fail. Hiring a qualified and experienced inspector is essential during the home buying process.
Water damage is one of the most common issues in a home. From peeling paint to damaged structural supports, water can get into areas you can’t see and don’t know where to look for. This can lead to wood rot, insect infestation, mold growth, even dry rot.
It finds its way under roofing tiles on older or improperly installed roofs. It can get under step flashing along roof edges or rain through your skylight when you’re watching TV in the living room beneath it. Water can even flood your basement if the soil around your foundation walls is pitched in the wrong direction.
The bottom line is you need to know where to look to spot active leaks, failing or soon to fail flashing systems, and other potential sources of water damage like a water heater near the end of its service life.
Spending thousands or tens of thousands of dollars on home repairs shortly after moving in is something that every new home owner wants to avoid. Your inspector needs to know where to look and be able to understand what it is they are looking at.
Have you ever noticed that little picture frame looking cover in the corner of your basement wall? You know, the one you’ve glanced at but never gave more than a split seconds worth of thought? That’s most likely the access to your crawl space, and what’s behind it is often something straight out of a horror movie.
Crawl spaces are an inherently damp location that are all too often neglected in the building and insulation process as well as the home inspection process leading to a list of problems ranging from mold to energy loss.
Dirt floors underneath crawl spaces should be covered with a vapor barrier sealed around all edges and seems to slow the water and moisture in the ground from permeating upwards and leaching into your conditioned living space above. A water proofing system to remove water and vapor from the space should be used in combination with the vapor barrier. Insulation should also be hung in floor joist gaps and properly secured to resist drooping and sagging over time. Lastly, it’s always recommended to have adequate crawl space ventilation to further aid in reducing moisture in the space.
Does your inspector plan to open your crawl space access?
Carbon Monoxide claims the lives of roughly 400 people annually in the United States alone, with the highest percentages occurring during winter months when home heating systems are working their hardest. Proper HVAC installation and maintenance is essential in maintaining a properly operating home heating and cooling system. If not properly maintained, the sealing compound around the HVAC exhaust flue in your home will become brittle over time, eventually cracking and dislodging from the opening around the exhaust pipe. As this happens, the potential for back draft increases, leading to the possibility of CO laden exhaust fumes to be pulled back into the house creating a potentially life threatening situation.
CO alarms are a required by code to be installed in every home and are necessary piece of equipment to warn occupants of the potential dangers and presence of this silent exhaust fume.
Your inspector should ALWAYS thoroughly check the HVAC system, exhaust flue, and presence of CO alarms throughout the house.