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Home damage isn’t always easily visible to the untrained eye. When buying a new home, not seeing a problem doesn’t mean it’s not there.

That’s why professional home inspectors make a big difference in protecting home buyers from closing on a home with significant damage. From roofing issues to problems in attic or walls—unless you know what to look for, you could buy a money pit without realizing it.

What are the most prevalent types of home damage in Northeastern Ohio? Here are seven types of damage a home inspector could find.

1. Wind

If you’ve been in the area for very long, you know this part of Ohio deals with plenty of wind gusts. Homes in the area can sustain plenty of damage from windy conditions. Some types of damage can be obvious, including:

  • Missing shingles
  • Dented gutters
  • Broken windows
  • Holes
  • Damaged siding

Sometimes these visible signs of wind damage are only the beginning. A home inspector will look beyond the most obvious damage to find issues underneath shingles, within the walls, and inside your attic.

2. Hail

Along with wind, we often see hail damage when inspection homes. It’s one of the most common homeowners insurance claims. However, not every home seller fixes hail damage before a house on the market.

When buying a home, you don’t want to deal with hail damage before you move in. While some damage can be easy to see, sometimes damaged shingles and roofing components sustain damage that you won’t see without close inspection.

Home inspectors climb on the roof to inspect shingles, decking, gutter, and vents on the roof. We’ll let you know if we see hail damage that needs repair before you consider closing on a home.

3. Water

Northeastern Ohio gets plenty of water. If a house already has roof damage, there’s a good chance it has water damage, too. Aside from the rain, snowmelt creates soggy conditions that can seep into a home.

Water can seep in under shingles, around eaves, and through a home’s foundation. Without knowing where to look and what to look for, you might not recognize some of the subtle signs of water damage.

When water damage goes without a repair, a house can develop a severe mold problem. Repairing water damage usually involves more than finding and fixing the leak. A contractor needs to remove damp drywall, ceiling and attic materials, or flooring.

A home inspector can help you avoid purchasing a new home with significant water damage.

4. Ice

Ice isn’t a problem year-round, but the damage it causes can be a significant problem any time you inspect a house before purchase. Just because the ice thawed doesn’t mean a home made it safely through an Ohio winter.

Long winter months can cause ice and snow to accumulate on the roof. Adding this kind of weight can strain the roof and damage a home’s structure.

During an inspection, a home inspector takes a close look at the load-bearing aspect of a home. From the roof to the foundation, ice can leave lasting damage that the average buyer won’t recognize without a professional inspection.

5. Termites

Northeast Ohio is a Zone 2 area for termite infestation. These means homes in the area have a moderate to a heavy chance of having termites.

After heavy rainfall, termites swarm toward wet wood. These insects cause significant structural damage to a home. It’s more than a few nibbles here or there.

Over time, a termite infestation destroys the foundation and inner structure of a home—but the damage isn’t always easy to find. An inspector can recognize the start of a termite problem before it becomes a more significant issue that’s easy to see. However, even a small termite problem could be an excellent reason to walk away from purchasing a home.

6. Fire

Smelling smoke in a home could be the first indication to look for damage from a fire A house that suffers from fire damage could be a significant hazard. However, without an inspector to look for remaining damage or proper repairs, you might not realize your new home had a fire.

In most cases, fire damage requires removing all interior materials and starting over with a renovation. Without thorough cleaning and replacing all of the damaged materials, the home’s structure is unstable.

A rebuilt post-fire home isn’t necessarily a bad purchase. Make sure a professional home inspector takes a look and gives it a passing inspection before closing on the house.

7. Neglect

Old homes in the area often fall victim to neglect. Abandoned properties can suffer from wind, water, hail, and fire damage. Empty properties can also be the target of theft and vandalism.

Sometimes neglect goes beneath simple cosmetic issues. Peeling paint can be “charming” to homebuyers looking for fixer-upper opportunity. However, without updates or regular maintenance, a property can lose structural integrity.

When choosing an older home, never skip a professional home inspection. Even if the house isn’t abandoned or empty, established homes can hide a variety of unresolved issues that you should know about before finalizing a purchase.

Home Inspections Can Save You Money

It can be frustrating to get a failing inspection report back on a home you want. It seemed perfect until the inspector showed up!

However, the trained eye of a professional inspector can help save you from a home that requires expensive repairs immediately after closing. Falling in love with a house that’s falling apart will bring more frustrations than walking away from a home with more damage than its worth.

An Inspector Saves Buyers From Costly Home Damage

Walking away from a damaged home saves you the cost of significant repairs. However, you can also use the home damage report to negotiate a better deal on the house. Paying less for the home and putting the savings toward repairs can be a smart option!

CLASS Home Inspection has the Northeastern Ohio experience to provide an accurate inspection report. Let us protect you from buying an expensive problem. Schedule an inspection today!