Michigan for 20 years
Most Common HomeDefects
1. Defective Service Entrance Cables. This is the cable that the electric utility connects to on the outside of the house. The insulation on older cloth covered cables deteriorates and allows water to penetrate and usually ends up in the electric panel, which is a fire hazard.
2. Defective brick chimneys. Small mortar cracks or spalling bricks at the top a chimney may look innocent, however these repairs can be expensive. Loose mortar joints, loose bricks, and spalling bricks may require replacing the bricks and re building the chimney from the point where the deterioration initiates.
3. Negative foundation grading. This can normally be repaired simply by adding top soil around the foundation. Sunken driveway slabs can be more expensive to replace. Negative foundation grading is the most common cause of basement seepage. This can lead to expensive water proofing measures.
4. Sunken or cracked side walk and drive way concrete . Small cracks here are normal. [seal to prevent water from entering] Uneven cracked or sunken slabs are considered a trip hazard and a safety issue and should be corrected.
is astonishing to see the number of deteriorated
windows even on higher
homes that are not that old [5-10 years].
The most notorious for
problems are Avon and Weather Vane wood windows,
both now out of
business. The most common defects are rotted
sills and frames and
thermo seal failure. The worst cases are
usually coupled with a
lack of maintenance on the
part of the home owner. Older aluminum
windows are ineffecient
prone for seal failure and sash mechanism
failure. There is no
way around this one...It is a costly upgrade.
Basement seepage. Evidence
of seepage can be obvious or subtle, but sometimes
very difficult to
determine if seepage is ongoing or not. Rod
holes on poured walls
are common and easily repaired. [Yes, you
can do it
yourself!] Vertical cracks that leak can be
professionally for about $350 - $500.
Seepage that occurs between
the wall and floor usually means that the drain
tile is not functioning
properly and corrective measures may be
needed. This type of
water proofing can be done from inside or outside
and can be very
7. Faulty Furnaces . Although heat exchangers can be difficult to examine, finding faulty ones is one of the most common home inspection defects. Most commonly found on 10 - 20 year old furnaces that have not been cleaned or serviced on a regular basis.
and garage wiring. The
“weekend warrior” who wants additional lighting
and receptacles usually
this defect. There is a right way and a
wrong way to do
Symptoms include open splices, open junction
boxes, dangling wiring or
improper extension cords.
Lack of smoke
detectors. There should a minimum of one
on each level of the house. New construction now
must also have one in
every bedroom. They all must be hard wired
with battery backup.
insulation and ventilation .
For this region it is recommended to
have 12” [R-38] of attic insulation.
Ventilation should be in the
form of roof or ridge vents along with soffit
vents. Soffit vents
should not be blocked by insulation. Lack of
insulation/ventilation can lead to excessive mold
and mildew on roof
sheathing and premature
11.Premature roof shingle deterioration. I.K.O. shingles were a popular choice by builders in the mid-90s. They are notorious for premature deterioration. The life expectancy is app. 10 years. They should be removed before new roofing is installed.
Other Common Defects:
Basement rod hole leaks.
Worn roof shingles.
black mold on drywall from basement seepage.
Cracked sewer drain pipe.
Improperly notched floor joists
Grandma's 80 year old gravity furnace
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