After a home inspection, you know the house is in 100% perfect condition. Right?
Home inspectors focus their attention on major repairs and ensuring the home is safe and structurally sound. Despite common misconceptions, there are many things a home inspector won’t cover.
We’ve put together this guide to show you what isn’t part of home inspection services and what to do about it, so let’s get started!
Things That AREN’T Included in a Home Inspection
An inspector checks a LOT of things when they examine your house, but they simply don’t have time to go over everything. There are also features and tests that require specific licensing and training your inspector might not have. Because of this, if you have any concerns with the following things, you should hire a specialist to take a look instead.
Your inspector will take a look at your roof, but it’s just a quick, visual check. They will almost never actually climb onto the roof, which means they aren’t really getting an accurate representation of the roof’s condition.
They’ll make a note of things like:
- The material
- Missing shingles
- Worn flashing
- Number of skylights
But that’s about it. To catch hidden leaks, cracks in the shingles, any type of chimney damage, or other problems, you’ll need to hire a specialist.
Your inspector might let you know if they suspect there are pests in the house, but they won’t be able to diagnose the issue or tell you how to fix it on their own.
That said, they DO check for termites or other wood-destroying bugs, which helps them determine the structural integrity of the home. However, if they find these types of pests, it is still up to either the seller or the buyer (whatever they work out) to get rid of them.
Plumbing System (In Part)
During your home inspection, the inspector will take a peek at your plumbing, but this is similar to the roof. They’ll scan the pipes for any leaks, cracks, or signs of damage. They’ll also be able to recognize if they’re made out of outdated material, but they aren’t qualified to do much more than this.
If you’re moving into an older home, you may want to hire a plumber to take a closer look at things like the sewer lines/septic tank, swimming pool hookups, and other plumbing fixtures. They can do a more detailed inspection and let you know if there is anything you need to repair.
In most cases, sellers don’t sell the house along with appliances. Because of this, inspectors don’t look at any dishwashers, refrigerators, washers and dryers, stoves and ovens, etc. Even if you do happen to buy a home that includes appliances, the inspector will likely skip these things.
The one appliance they do check is the HVAC system. They’ll give the unit a once-over to make sure it works and doesn’t have any visible damage.
But again, the inspector won’t go into detail here. They aren’t a licensed HVAC technician, so they can’t dismantle the unit or figure out what’s happening on the inside of it.
Inspectors will give the insulation a look if it is visible, such as in the attic. Other than that, they won’t rip open your walls to see what’s behind them. If your insulation is old or in bad shape, you’ll have to find out in a different way.
An inspector won’t be able to tell you if the pool pumps are in safe, working order if the heater’s working, if the pool has the proper wiring, etc. If you’re buying a home with a pool, though, these are important things to know (especially if you’ve never owned a pool before). It’s worth spending the extra money on a pool inspector so you know what you’re getting yourself into or if the pool needs any attention.
The foundation is included in the home inspection, but for any landscaping that doesn’t touch the house, you’re on your own. If you aren’t sure whether or not things like outdoor lights or sprinkler systems work, you’ll need to test them yourself. Fortunately, this is often easy to do, and any repairs are simple and don’t impact the condition of the home.
Indoor Air Quality
If anyone in your family suffers from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory problems, it’s a good idea to test the air quality before you buy the home. However, this is a separate test.
Ask your inspector about this in advance. Some inspectors may be licensed for this test, but others won’t be able to perform it.
Homes can be full of dangerous materials that can put your health at risk, such as:
- Lead paint
- Radon gas
- Toxic mold
Many home inspectors won’t have the tools or licensing needed to test for these things. However, talk to them about these materials before the inspection. Some inspectors are able to perform radon tests and find mold growth.
How to Check What the Inspector Leaves Behind During Home Inspection Services
If you have concerns about things the inspector didn’t check, hire a specialist to examine them instead. In some cases, the inspector may contract out another company to do look at these things for them, but you’ll have to ask for it. You might also have to pay an extra fee to cover them.
Worried your inspector will miss something important during home inspection services? Take a look at this inspection checklist so you’re prepared when they show up at your door.