12 Common Defects Found During a Home Inspection

A Dozen Most Common Problems Found During a Home Inspection

In my experience as a Charleston Area Home Inspector, I have compiled a list of the twelve most common defects I have included in my reports. These are all very inexpensive or no cost repairs, but can lead a potential buyer to scrutinize the rest of the home more closely.

1.      Furnace needs serviced and cleaned-filters need changed. Often times furnaces are in hard to reach places like a crawl space or attic, and therefore neglected by the homeowner.

2.      Landscape grading-the soil around the foundation should slope away from the structure, approximately 1 inch per foot for at least 6 feet.

3.      Gutters and downspouts not functioning properly. Gutters are often clogged with debris and downspouts do not carry water away from the foundation.

4.      Loose toilets at the floor-toilets should be tightened securely to the flange.

5.      Moisture or water in the crawl space or basement. This is usually caused by #2 or #3 or both. Ninety eight percent of water seepage is caused by roof and yard runoff, the other 2 percent is caused by springs or rising water tables.

6.      Windows with broken seals (dual pane) or binding, sticking, and/or painted shut.

7.      Electrical panels not labeled properly. Remember to label breakers as “north bedroom receptacles”, not “Tommy’s bedroom”.

8.    Receptacles not properly wired, either reversed polarity, or open grounds.

9.      Dryer vent terminates in crawlspace. Either the dryer vent simply terminates in the crawlspace, or the flexible plastic piping has been broken or detached, and is not detected by the homeowner.

10.   Fireplace needs cleaned/serviced.

11.   Chimney cap needs repaired. The concrete top (cap) of the chimney will crack and deteriorate over time. This will allow water to penetrate the chimney. Annual chimney and fireplace inspection is recommended.

12.   Trees, shrubs, and vines are too close or on the house. The mature size of shrubs and trees should be considered when landscaping. If they will touch or overhang the house, they are too close.


None of these problems are serious, but can become major defects if not addressed in a timely manner. If you are selling your home, addressing these issues now can save time and money and make your house more marketable to a prospective buyer. Also, they can be “red flag” issues for the Home Inspector. If these simple items have been neglected, chances are many other items have been neglected as well, and he will be on the lookout for them.


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Inspection Connection
6424 MacCorkle Ave
St Albans, WV 25177


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Ph(304) 610-4018 (Feel free to call until 10PM)