Chances are that you had your lovely home inspected before you bought it. But, that was years ago, and a lot has surely happened since then. You don’t want to let anything go, and you need to make sure you protect your investment. It can be a complex thing to know, though, when exactly it’s necessary to get a second eye on things. What are some of the common reasons that you might need, as a homeowner, to get your home inspected?
Look for Damage After a Storm
Whether your home is in danger from blizzards, tornados, earthquakes, hurricanes or floods (which list encompasses just about all of the United States), knowing that you didn’t have permanent damage occur after a large event is critical to protecting your home in the future. Even unseen damage can cause leaks or foundation issues, which can make it harder to sell your home later on, or make it unsafe for you to live in permanently. Inspectors help with insurance claims after a storm, so check with your agent on who they’d prefer you send.
You’re About to Sell
You already know that before purchasing any property, it’s best and in your interest to hire an inspector to look at the property for any issues. The same is true when considering a sale, of course! Why? You know your possible purchaser will be having an inspection done, and you want sales to be able to be finalized quickly and easily. Knowing in advance what issues an inspector will find, and then being able to take the time to do those repairs prior to bringing your property on the market, will make it much easier to have a sale go through quickly and easily.
Figure Out Future Repair Costs
You want to be able to protect your investment and build upon it, rather than have it dwindle away through lack of repair. All the investments tend to pile up, especially if you’ve not had an inspection in a while. It can be complicated to see everything, especially if it’s down in the crawlspace, on top of the roof, in the attic space, or in other places you generally aren’t seeing daily. Having an inspection means you have a list, both of immediate repair needs and future costs that need to be done as you go along. This can help both your peace of mind and to protect your home for the future.
It’s That Time of Year
When it comes to wintertime, some love the ice and cold, but your cement and asphalt do not! Small cracks which have naturally occurred during the year can fill with water, and then freeze and expand. Just like you learned in elementary school, frozen water takes up more space than when it’s in liquid form, and that water is super powerful! Those tiny cracks can become giant ones in no time. Asphalt paving should be sealcoated or it will sustain damage from temperature changes.
If you’ve not had one since before you moved in, or especially if you moved into a home prior to inspectors looking for such things, you might not know it’s important to look for radon. Along with testing older paint for lead levels, which can cause health problems if ingested, inspectors look for radon. Radon, a colorless, odorless gas, can seep into homes from the ground underneath. The EPA strongly recommends having radon tests performed, as radon can cause lung cancer and other cancers, which obviously you’d like to avoid. Don’t despair, there are barriers available to install which prevent damage to you and your loved ones!
Even if a tree didn’t come through your roof, for example, and you only lost a couple of shingles hidden from your view, water can still sneakily get into your home and wreak havoc. Likewise, if a hidden pipe has a slow leak in the wall, or under the kitchen, for example, you could wind up with surprise water damage that causes dry rot and mold that’s expensive to repair. Even if it wasn’t found before moving in, knowing this sort of thing is crucial to protecting both your home and your health. While many molds are benign, some can cause symptoms similar to flu or autoimmune disorders when inhaled. If you notice any small signs of water damage, getting your home inspected for a deeper underlying issue is a smart call.
Reveal Pest Problems
Most people have a few types of vermin attempting to get into their home, whether in that area this means mice, cockroaches, scorpions, racoons, snakes, or other complications. Your biggest issue, of course, is to make sure that termites are not now, nor have been, endangering the structure of your home and foundation. A qualified inspector can look for all of those things. There was a recent news story in which a home had an odd scent for a few years, and then the family found out it was built on a hibernaculum of snakes!
Keep Up With the Times
For those who have lived in their homes a decade or more, a lot of things can change in construction during that time frame. Making sure things are up to code, both for safety and for your own peace of mind, is important. If in the future you want to sell your home, you also don’t want any frustrating surprises! Small changes, such as an outlet with reversed polarity, a water heater having an older model “B-vent” or other changes in code over time can make it annoying and time consuming in the future to repair all the small details in case of future sale. When you’re assessing your house before putting it on the market, or just have lived in it for a decade or more, an inspection will help you stay updated.
Your home is your castle, so you want it to be a safe and protected one! Make sure that you get inspections after storms and other major events, as well as every five or six years, if possible. Knowing that you’re protecting your financial investment will go a long way towards giving you peace of mind.
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