It makes sense to do a home inspection checklist yourself before the actual home inspector comes to do the official job. If your house fails an inspection, you will have to pay the entire price for each additional inspection until your house passes. If you are a potential homebuyer, a checklist is something to take to every house you are considering purchasing. If you are selling your home, put yourself in the buyer's position: An inspection can take care of problems that might obstruct the purchase.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Take a good look at the landscaping grading to make sure that it is properly sloping away from the house. If the slope of the surrounding yard takes water to the house rather than away, you can expect to deal with moisture problems in the house, if you are the prospective buyer.
Go down to the basement to breathe in the air and look for signs of leakage. A mildewy odour indicates previous problems with moisture seeping into the room. Feel the walls to see if they are damp.
Inspect the floor of the basement closely for signs of visible cracks. Smaller cracks are just a sign of normal settling, so you need to look for large cracks, especially if you noticed that the landscaping slopes toward the house.
Sniff the air some more as you move from the basement to the rest of the house. A noticeably unpleasant aroma could point to mould growing inside the house underneath wallpaper or behind walls or inside ductwork.
Check the walls carefully for discolouring. Discoloured spots on the wall could indicate a leak from the roof, pipes or walls. Be especially aware of recently painted areas that may be an attempt to hide mildew stains. Do the same for the ceiling.
Go up into the attic to look at the insulation. Make sure that the attic is properly insulated.
Look over masonry work including exterior bricks, walkways and steps. A patch job on an exterior brick wall could indicate a more serious and long-term problem like sub-par construction or low-quality mortar.
Take a close look at the roof to look for signs of serious problems ranging from loose shingles to a sagging portion of the roof. Try to get a good look at the metal flashing around vent points and chimneys. See if the flashing looks completely new; this could point to a problem that needed to be fixed and may need to be fixed again in the future.
Look for signs of rotting in a house constructed of wood. Test the joints in the windows and doors to make sure they are secure. Signs of gaps between frames and walls will have to be filled with mastic.
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