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The Home Inspector’s Role in Safe Kitchens and Safer Holidays

Home inspector

With the holiday season upon us, kitchens across America will get a real workout. But with certain defects, an otherwise happy season could end badly. That’s where a great certified home inspector comes in.

Although this is traditionally a slow time for real estate, plenty of people buy this time of year and hope to get settled in time for the holidays. Here’s what could lurk in the kitchens that you inspect.

Kitchen Range Isn’t Anchored

Without anchors, a kitchen range can tip over. The oven door is heavy, which throws off the balance of the appliance. If an adult leans against it or an unsupervised child decides to climb, the whole unit could rock or topple over.

Slide-in or freestanding kitchen ranges have anchors for a reason, although not everyone uses them. If the appliance isn’t secure, it could rock or tip with a boiling pot on top.

Dishwasher Won’t Drain Properly 

What’s worse than spending all day cooking while everyone else relaxes in the living room? Cleaning up after dinner is over. The biggest lifesaver in most kitchens is the dishwasher. When it malfunctions, the homeowner could be left scrubbing every pot, casserole dish, coffee cup, and baking pan by hand.

Poor drainage is a common dishwasher complaint. Depending on the cause, such as a clog farther down the line, it might be an easy fix. But if the appliance’s cycle won’t advance or there’s an electrical problem, the homeowner might get a new dishwasher for the holidays instead of something a lot more fun.

Refrigerator Sits Off Balance

Large, built-in appliances usually have a leveling mechanism underneath. Oftentimes, they’re adjustable feet that twist to raise or lower one corner of the appliance. If the refrigerator has lost its level over time or was never leveled to begin with, the homeowner might face these and other problems until it’s corrected.

  • Door won’t stay open
  • Water from defrost cycle leaks onto the floor
  • Icemaker issues from improper filling

In a worst-case scenario, a wobbly refrigerator could tip over. A French door refrigerator with both doors open could shift a significant amount of weight to the front.

Kitchen Sink Faucets Drip

A leaky faucet is more of an annoyance until the first water bill arrives. Depending on how much it drips from the tap or leaks around the handles, the annoyance could turn into an expensive problem.

Fortunately, leaks at the kitchen faucet are some of the easiest defects of all defects to correct. Repair parts are readily available at hardware stores. If repairing the unit doesn’t work, replacement is usually a straightforward job that someone with a few basic hand tools can manage.

Home inspector

Every hazard is a defect that should make it into your home inspection report.

There’s No GFCI Protection

All wet areas in a home need Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter or GFCI protection. Without it, anyone using an electric device, such as a blender or toaster oven, is at risk of a hair-raising shock or even electrocution.

Older homes might not have GFCI protection in the kitchen. While the old wiring might be grandfathered in because it was installed before GFCI protection was required, it’s still a hazard and should be considered a defect worth noting.

Most American families celebrate some holiday this time of year. And where American families celebrate, food is sure to follow. Kitchen defects can do a lot more than ruin a great meal. Depending on the severity, they can pose an unnecessarily high risk to the health and safety of the homeowners. But with a thorough home inspection report from you, homeowners will know what they’re getting into and can take any necessary steps to make the home safer.

If you’re not yet a certified home inspector but want to be, here’s a holiday gift to give yourself. Enroll now in the ICA School program and learn at your own pace. Before you know it, you could have a brand new career.

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