April 23, 2024

Home Inspection

Home Inspection, Primary Monitoring for Your Home

9 Things That Fail a Home Inspection

2 min read


Electrician’s Hand Turning On Circuit Breakers

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Electrical Issues

Minor electrical issues are generally not a dealbreaker for most home buyers. But major ones, like ancient knob-and-tube wiring and aluminum wiring, can be expensive to remedy.

Lots of homes have aluminum wiring, which is not always a problem. But Saltzman says aluminum branch circuit wiring is a different story. “This includes aluminum wiring going to traditional outlets, switches and fixtures throughout the house,” he says. “That’s a major concern.”

Aluminum wires significantly expand and contract during use. These can cause wire connections to loosen over time, creating a fire risk. Your inspector will make note of this issue, but it may be wise to hire an electrician for a full assessment.

Fixing wiring issues is no picnic. “It [requires] either replacing the wiring or redoing all the connections where each wire begins and ends,” Saltzman says. The cost to rewire a 1,500-square-foot home runs $7,000 as a national average.

Knob-and-tube wiring will also require removal and rewiring of parts or all of the home.


Split drainage pipe

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Plumbing Issues

Major plumbing problems, like broken sewer drains or clogged pipes, can cost thousands to fix.

Saltzman identifies old galvanized water supply and distribution pipes as a big problem if found in a home inspection. Galvanized pipes are particularly prone to clogging over time, severely restricting a home’s water flow.

At that point, replacement is the only option. This can get pricey, especially for water supply pipes. “It involves replacing all the water piping all the way out to the street, and it’s typically the homeowner’s responsibility,” Saltzman says.

Just as concerning are problems with the home’s drains. “It can be the drains inside the building, or it could be the drain going all the way out to the city sewer,” Saltzman says.

To repair or replace a main sewer line can cost $20,000 to $30,000.


Mold-Infested Ceiling in a Bedroom – dangerous and health-damaging

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Mold develops in places with moisture, especially on porous surfaces like drywall, wood, ceiling tiles, insulation and carpet. Moisture can enter a home through roof leaks, broken plumbing or compromised siding, or from condensation build-up in places like attics and basements.

“A lot of times where I’ll see mold or mildew staining is in the attic, which is generally from bad ventilation,” Towne says. “That can get pretty pricey to remove and clean.”

Moisture problems in finished basements can also quickly spawn mold, requiring expensive removal and refinishing. “If there is mildew in a basement on wood, the wood can be cleaned,” Towne says. “If it’s on porous surfaces like drywall or insulation, that will need to be cut out, removed and replaced.”


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