Problems Frequently Found During Home Inspections (Infographic)

Problems Found During Home Inspections


Buying a house is the biggest investment most people make during their lifetimes. Whether it’s a newly built home or a fixer-upper, having a certified home inspector evaluate its condition is highly recommended before committing to a purchase. Here are some common causes of defects inspectors regularly come across during home inspections.

Water Damage

Moisture and drainage issues can lead to dry rot, foundation problems, structural damage and toxic mold in a home. Some common causes include:

  • Grading that slopes toward rather than away from the structure
  • Roof leaks from missing shingles, improperly installed flashing or failed sealant around penetrations
  • Leaks from connections to kitchen and bathroom fittings and fixtures
  • Tree roots invading and clogging lines, causing water to back up into the home through the drains
  • Gutters clogged with leaves or other debris that overflow and damage the stucco or siding

Faulty Wiring

Faulty electrical wiring is a common cause of house fires, especially in older homes. Home inspectors often find the following dangerous conditions:

  • Exposed wires or improperly spliced connections
  • Wrong size breakers in electrical panels that allow circuits to become overloaded
  • Overloaded circuits that cause wiring to heat and its insulation to melt away
  • Improperly wired receptacles where the black hot wire and neutral white wire are reversed, which can be a shock hazard


Surface mold in poorly ventilated bathrooms is common and usually not harmful. Black mold in basements or crawl spaces, however, is a serious problem. Here are some of the concerns associated with black mold:

  • Black mold can cause asthma and other serious health problems
  • Black mold can be expensive to remedy
  • Although it can be removed, ensuring it won’t return can be difficult
  • Black mold almost always indicates a serious underlying problem, such as cracks or leaks in the foundation

Water Heater Issues

Whether it’s heated by gas or electricity, water heaters are among the most neglected items in a home. Signs that a water heater needs replacing include the following:

  • Rust on the heater’s bottom surface and lower edge indicate the heater is on the brink of failing and replacement is overdue
  • A stuck or jammed TPR valve can cause the water temperature and pressure inside the tank to exceed safe levels, potentially causing serious personal injuries from scalding and property damage from an explosion
  • Blackened areas near a gas water heater’s burner usually result from improper combustion, which can be a sign of deadly carbon monoxide emissions
  • A water heater more than 10 years old is at risk of failing, and unless it’s situated in an area where flooding won’t cause serious damage, it should be replaced

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