Doing home inspections in New Hampshire you tend to find the same issues with a lot of homes. In this post, I am going to go over the 5 most common defects that I find!
Yes, that dreaded word Mold. Mold is everywhere and we breathe it in all day long. But having mold growth in your home can be a serious health concern. If I find what looks like mold during a home inspection I recommend having it tested to confirm that it is. The two most common areas it is found is in the attic and basement.
Mold found in the attic usually is because the home is not being vented properly. So if you find mold in your attic and have it removed but you don’t fix the venting problem the mold will come back.
Mold found in the basement usually is found because of a moisture problem. A lot of the time it’s from humidity. I think 90% of homes in New Hampshire should be running a dehumidifier in their basement. Same goes for the basement if you don’t fix the problem the mold will come back.
Unsafe basement stairs
Stairs to the basement for some reason is an afterthought for safety. I really don’t understand this but most homes will have no railing. A lot of basements are frequently used for laundry or as a workshop.
Luckily people really don’t care what the railing will look like seeing it is going to the basement. Because of this you can add a railing pretty cheaply and build it out of 2×4 lumber.
Electrical cover plates missing
I am amazed how many homes have cover plates missing throughout the home. This can be more common in basements and garages where the areas tend to be unfinished. When I see this in living areas of a home usually it’s because painting was done and nobody put the plate back on.
Luckily this is a very easy fix and you can purchase plates at your local hardware store or Home Depot.
Most of the time the gutters I see the downspout terminated directly underneath the gutter. One of the most important reasons to have gutters is to move all the water that is coming off the roof away from the foundation. When you put this water pressure on the foundation you can get water in the basement and sometimes damage to the foundation wall.
All you need to do is add some downspout extensions to get the water away from the home. You can also add a drainage pipe underground that takes the water away. Fixing this issue might prevent you from experiencing the first issue we talked about “Mold.”
Attic access insulation
This issue I see all the time. The set of pull-down stairs or the access to a board above it has no insulation. This is a huge heat loss to a home and also can let moisture in the attic and cause mold.
It can be such an easy fix with adding some batts of insulation above or buy a kit that they sell at home depot. I wrote a post about Poorly insulated attic access that you can find more info on the subject.
In the end these simple defects that a home inspector will find have really easy fixes. I don’t know why more home sellers don’t fix these simple defects before a home inspection?