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Purchasing a home is one of the biggest decisions in life — but how do you know that your new home is a solid investment?

Before buying a home, there are a few things you should always do, and one of the most important is booking a home inspection. This will help to ensure you know the full condition of the property, inside and out.

What does a home inspector look for outside the home? 

There are many key features a trained inspector looks for. Without an inspection, the home may have hidden problems that you would never have noticed on your own.

This can lead to huge repair bills later on, so make sure you know what you’re getting into before signing on the dotted line of what you think is the perfect home.

Read on to learn the most important exterior features of a home to inspect. 

Roof Damage

While home inspectors aren’t roof specialists, they can give you a helpful overview of the status of the roof.

An inspector is looking for things like broken or warped shingles or tiling, water damage, buckled surfaces, and the overall condition of the roof.

This is a good indication to know if you’ll need to replace the roof of the home in the near future. With roof replacement costs ranging between $4,000-$10,000, you need to know before purchasing the property if you’re likely to have a hefty roof replacement bill down the line.

HVAC System

The home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system is both inside and outside the property.

During an inspection of the exterior of the home, examine the HVAC unit to see if it’s in good working order at the time. Has it suffered any obvious damages or problems?

By looking at the serial number, an inspector should also be able to predict how long the system will last.

All of the details of the home inspection, including the status of the HVAC, are in a home report, given to the potential buyer.


If the property has a chimney, this will be included as part of the exterior inspection.

Inspectors check to see if the bricks have cracks or appear weak, along with the condition of the mortar. They also check for any blockages that could stop smoke from safely leaving the home.


Gutters are important for drainage and keeping your home protected in storms or heavy rain.

They are sometimes subject to water damage, especially mold, which needs removing. Gutters are also easily blocked by leaves and tree branches if they’re not regularly cleaned.

An inspector can check the overall health of the home’s gutters, making sure they are free from cracks and that they are draining effectively.

Overhead Debris

Are there many tall trees or power lines near the property? These can all be potential hazards, especially if the trees are old and likely to come down in high winds.

An inspector can note any overhead debris that you should be aware of as the homeowner.

Exterior Siding

A siding inspection is essential to examine the overall condition of the home’s siding or brick and its exterior walls.

An inspector will note any structural issues with the walls, any storm damage, and the condition of the paint or siding.

Siding can be subject to mold or water damage, often under decks or porches, where the homeowner isn’t likely to notice. As a potential buyer, you need to know if the siding is warped or damaged, which could mean a serious problem such as termites or serious storm damage.

The wood frame of the home can also start to rot away, which the inspector should look for.

If the home has a deck or front porch, this should also be included in the exterior inspection, ensuring it is structurally sound and safe to walk on. The inspector checks the deck for wood rot and mildew.


The home’s windows need to be checked to make sure the window frames are in good condition and free from damage. If any leaking or condensation is noticed on the glass, or if the glass has cracks, these are big issues that an inspector will note.

The caulking around the windows should also be checked to see if it is cracked or missing, as this can let in cold air and water.

The Grounds

If the home has a septic tank, examine the ground around the tank to make sure it’s not leaking. Replacing a septic tank is a big investment, so if your new home requires septic tank work, you need to know in advance so you can budget.

The inspector looks over the lawn and driveway to see if they are draining properly, avoiding water build-up on the grass or near the house.


An exterior inspection may also include the overall condition of the garage.

Is the garage door dented, damaged, or suffering from mold or water damage? Does the garage door open easily? Are the garage ceiling and windows in proper order?

Garages frequently suffer from leaks and water damage, which can cause mold, so be sure you’re happy with the condition of the garage before purchasing the property.

What Does a Home Inspector Look for? Now You Know!

As you can see, the answer to “What does a home inspector look for?” is quite varied — there are many aspects of the home that are part of an interior and exterior inspection.

If you’re about to purchase a home and need an inspection, contact us today to schedule an inspection.

CLASS Home Inspection covers the Northeast Ohio area and can offer a comprehensive inspection of any home, complete with a home report for your records.

Protect your investment or purchase a new home with the confidence of knowing that the home is in great shape.

We look forward to hearing from you.