The place where you sleep at night should be peaceful, comfortable, and most of all, safe. That’s not the reality that some home buyers inherit once they sign on the dotted line.
Mold might lurk, wiring might be outdated or the smoke detector may have seen better days. Bedrooms are not high-traffic areas, but they can still harbor a host of home defects. Here are 4 common ones that a certified home inspector may find.
#1: Missing AFCI Electrical Circuit Protection
Not every certified home inspector reports on code issues as if they’re automatic defects. But Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter or AFCI circuit protection is a safety issue, and without it, the homeowner is at risk of a fire starting and spreading while they sleep.
According to Structure Tech Home Inspections, electrical code requires new and replacement electrical work to include AFCI protection for every 15 and 20 amp branch circuit in bedrooms. Local code might have other requirements, but fire prevention, especially in sleeping areas, is always worth noting.
#2: Missing Smoke Detectors That Serve Sleeping Areas
Whether inside the bedroom or near the bedroom door in a hallway, smoke detectors are code requirements for a reason. Sleeping areas need extra measures to help protect against fires.
In older homes, it’s not uncommon for only one smoke detector to serve the whole house. For safety’s sake, every bedroom should have a smoke detector close enough to alert people who are sleeping in the event of a fire. Carbon monoxide protection is also important, but most modern smoke detectors have carbon monoxide detection built in.
#3: Mold or Mildew, Especially Around Windows
Condensation at windows can build up in winter. If the windows aren’t insulated or the gas seal is broken, cold outdoor air and warm indoor air make a perfect condensation partner. Where there’s water, mold might not be far behind. That’s why many bedroom windows have mold or mildew.
Mold and mildew can also creep in along bedroom ceilings if there’s an ice dam issue or a roof leak. You might also find it along the baseboards, especially if there’s a plumbing leak inside the wall.
#4: Bowed, Cracked, Crumbling or Popped Plaster
This is primarily a defect found in older homes. Plaster served the same purpose as drywall does today, but installation was more of a craft. Damp plaster materials were spread in layers over narrow strips of wood called lath. The first layer was partially forced between gaps in the lath, where it sunk down slightly on the back side to form keys. Once hardened, plaster on the front and back side of the lath held the rest of the layers in place against the wall.
Keys can crumble or break off over time, leaving small or large sections of plaster loose from the wall. Plaster might crack, bow out or crumble as a result. Since bedrooms aren’t active parts of a home, old plaster walls might survive for 100 years or more. But chances are, they also have a few defects, including evidence of years of ineffective attempts to repair it.
Bedrooms take less abuse than the rest of the house. They might also be less likely to get renovation, repair and upgrade attention since visitors are less likely to see them. With few appliances ever used in sleeping areas and fewer chances for physical damage, the most common problems are usually found in the electrical system as well as windows, walls and other surfaces.
Your work as a certified home inspector helps prospective home buyers protect themselves. Although buyers are more educated now about home systems, the majority don’t have experience in architecture, construction, HVAC or related industries.
If you’re ready to start a career that helps people in your community, you’re in the right place. ICA School has educated many students from all walks of life. Enroll now and let your future begin today.