residential real estate
Real Estate

How to Prepare Your Attic For a Home Inspection

You’ve repainted rooms a neutral color, handled small repairs, hired a good real estate agent, and kept your home clean for open houses. Now, you’re ready for the home inspection.

Home inspectors examine visible, accessible parts of a house and produce reports on their findings. Knowing what to expect can help ease the process and reduce surprises. Click to learn more.

residential real estate

Your attic plays a major role in heating and cooling your home. If it’s not insulated well, you can lose a lot of heat in the winter and cool air in the summer. Your attic can also harbor signs of a leak, such as water stains and rot around roof vents, leading to expensive repairs.

Home inspectors will examine your attic’s structural components, including the attic’s framing, sheathing, and rafters, as well as its insulation and ventilation. They will also look for any signs of moisture, mold, or pest infestations, which can affect the health and safety of a home’s inhabitants.

Before hiring a home inspector:

  1. Ask about their credentials and experience.
  2. Ensure they are licensed, insured, and certified by reputable associations and organizations like the American Society of Home Inspectors.
  3. Ask for samples of their reports to get an idea of what they can deliver.

They’re likely to be trustworthy and thorough if they have a positive track record and glowing client testimonials.

Homebuyers rarely think about what is under their feet when they stroll through a house, but they should. Having a crawl space inspected by a professional is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself and your investment when buying a new home.

Originally, crawl spaces were built to act as a buffer between the foundation of the house and the damp earth underneath it. They are also a good place to hide utility cables and the ductwork that circulates conditioned air throughout the home. Over time, though, they can become a breeding ground for molds and mildew, which can cause musty odors and damage the sills and framing of the house.

During a crawl space inspection, a home inspector will enter the area to examine the floor structure, wall structure, and ceiling or sub-floor structure. They will note any signs of insect infestation and moisture damage. They will check for ventilation and drainage and verify that any electrical wiring is in conduit or otherwise protected.

Home inspectors can tell you a lot about the condition of a home. They can point out issues that need to be addressed, such as a sagging roof or faulty electrical wiring. They also can give you some sense of how much routine maintenance will cost.

Home inspections don’t cover every little thing, though. For example, the inspector won’t comment on stains on walls or ceilings unless they betray a larger problem, like water damage or mold. They also won’t inspect for pests, toxins, or other dangers that aren’t easily visible. They also won’t go into crawl spaces or basements and can’t test for radon or other indoor air quality problems.

Buyers can use the information in a home inspection to request that the seller make repairs before closing. They can also ask for a price reduction or credit on the home, depending on how serious the problems are. ATI Training offers state-specific home inspection training to help inspectors understand the unique characteristics of their states’ HVAC systems.

In the modern home, electricity operates behind the scenes to keep our comforts running. But, like any system, it needs maintenance and inspections occasionally. The electrical system in a home can be dangerous, and wiring that is not up to code can lead to fires or electrocution. That’s why potential homeowners must get their electrical systems inspected by a professional.

Inspecting the electrical system usually takes a few hours, and the inspector will go through the home room by room. They will check all the outlets, light switches, and junction boxes to ensure they are functioning properly and safe to use.

The inspector will also test all of the GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) outlets and ensure they are installed correctly. GFCIs are required on outlets located outside, below grade, or within 6 feet of water (like in a bathroom or kitchen). Additionally, most newer homes need AFCI breakers; the inspector will check to see if these are installed correctly.

The plumbing system routes clean water from the local utility into the house with water pipes connecting to sinks, showers, toilets, and water-using appliances. It also carries away wastewater through drain lines leading to the sewer line. If these pipes are damaged or clogged, it could cause flooding, health issues, and structural damage.

The home inspector will examine the supply and drain lines for visible signs of leaks or corrosion. He will also test the drains and toilets to ensure they function properly. He may also conduct a water piping pressure test by turning on the building’s water supply and switching the water meter pressure from 75 to 100 psi.

The home inspector will also assess the materials that the pipes are made of. For example, the supply pipe might be copper, steel, or plastic tubing, while the drain pipes might be cast iron or PVC. Older homes may have lead piping that could pose a health risk. In these cases, the inspector will note this in the report.

Home inspectors must be able to inspect all parts of a house, even those that aren’t visible. This is why homeowners need to clear out any debris or clutter that could impede an inspector’s ability to access the equipment and systems in a home.

A heating and air conditioning inspection aims to determine whether the current system meets your home comfort needs. An efficient HVAC system uses less energy to operate, so you’ll spend fewer dollars on monthly cooling bills.

HVAC equipment can be dangerous to install if it needs to be done correctly. Furnaces can blow up, gas lines can leak, and carbon monoxide poisoning can occur. A home inspection will identify potential issues and let you know if purchasing the property is safe or if additional work is needed.

A complete HVAC inspection will examine the entire system, including the ductwork and vents. This higher level of inspection can cost $500 or more, depending on the size of the home and how extensive the repairs are.

Home inspectors check the roof for issues like leaks and structural damage. They also look for overhanging branches that could cause problems and examine the condition of chimneys, vent pipes, and skylights. They also discuss the flashing — strips of metal or other material that divert rainwater away from the joint between a wall and a roof — to ensure it’s up to code.

They don’t comment on cosmetic issues, like stains on the ceiling or walls, unless they point to a larger problem, such as water damage. And they don’t take risks during an inspection, like climbing a steep roof.

It’s important to find a reliable home inspector. Ask friends, family, and your real estate agent for recommendations, and do online research. Make sure the company is licensed and insured, and read customer reviews. Also, check whether the company offers specialized services like radon or termite inspections. A good home inspector will answer any questions about their services. A reputable company will provide a comprehensive report within 24 hours of the inspection.

Structural engineers usually conduct home foundation inspections, as they have the most expertise in evaluating a building’s structure. They are also unbiased and do not have an emotional attachment to the property in question, making them better equipped to assess whether or not it is safe for purchase.

During a foundation inspection, the inspector will walk around the property and look for any cracks in the slab or wall of the house. They may also check the basement or crawl space to see if any moisture is present, as that can indicate a foundation problem.

Specialists will also look at the floors to see if they are uneven, as this can indicate that the foundation is shifting. They will also test doors and windows to ensure they open and close easily. If there are any cracks or gaps, they will note them in the report.