Top-Ten Fixable Home Inspection 'Deficiencies'

Maintenance Needed Solid State Home Inspections

No home is perfect under the lens of a professional home inspection. There are however some common fixable items that creep up in many home inspections which home owners would be wise to correct before they put their home up for sale.

Here is a  'Top 10' list of easily fixable deficiencies found by our home inspectors are: (in no particular order)

  1. Soil Level Too High at Foundation - Unless you live in a high-rise condo, nearly all our homes are made with wood products. When soil levels are against the house siding (or even close) rains and ground moisture will seep into the wood and create and environment for hidden rot. Ideally, property grading should allow 6-8" of visible concrete foundation between the siding and the ground. (see what happens when soil levels are too high)
  2. Vegetation Growing Against Structure - Vegetation and trees can cause considerable damage to homes by mechanical damage but also by preventing the structure from drying properly. Trimming back bushes and trees so they do not contact the home (or power lines) is an easy fix for home sellers. (see more information here on trees and landscaping)
  3. Garage Door Safety Features - Garage doors with mechanical openers typically have one or two safety features, an electronic 'eye' and an auto-reverse pressure sensor. Home Inspectors will check both these safety features for correct operation as they could save a life of an adult or child. (see our article on garage safety here)
  4. Weatherstripping on Doors - Doors are the weakest point in the 'envelope' of our home and when poory maintained can add a lot of costs in lost energy efficiency but can also allow in water and insects when poorly sealed. (see our article on doors here)
  5. Gutters Not Correctly Discharging Water - Water from our roofs needs to be safely discharged so that it does not cause erosion on the property or find its way back into our homes. It is common for our home inspectors to find crushed, missing, or disconnected downspouts during a home inspection. (see our article on gutters and downspouts here)
  6. Leaky Drains Under Sinks - Water drain pipes are not under pressure and only leak when water is running through them. As they are not under pressure and most drain pipe materials fit snuggly together, leaks are often very small. Leaks however can cause considerable damage over time to cabinets, floors, and ceilings if not repaired quickly. (see an example here)
  7. Rot at Wood Trim - When moisture levels approach 15% in wood products and the temperature is above 5 celcius, the conditions are present for rot. It is not uncommon for wood trim around windows, doors, and facia boards to begin to rot in the elements and they need regular paint and maintenance. (see our article on wood rot here)
  8. Missing Weatherproofing - The exterior cladding of our homes protects the structure from water damage. Any penetration in the siding like from windows, doors, hose faucets, or dryer vents needs to be well sealed with caulking to prevent water ingress. (see our article on exterior siding here)
  9. Broken Glass - Broken windows are always a potential safety hazard. Even if the window is still holding together with a crack, the crack creates a massive structural weakness that could fail suddenly in a temperature change, wind, or next time the kids bump into it. Replacing broken windows is an important safety precaution. (see our article on windows here)
  10. Missing or Incorrect Handrails - Handrails on stairs are a critical life safety mechanism but these are surprisingly common to find missing in home inspections. Home inspectors will always call out missing handrails or guardrails as a major safety failure in the home. (see our article on stairs and guardrails here)

When buying or selling a home, a professional home inspector can help you potentially save thousands of dollars in unexpected costs. Always call a licensed, professional home inspector so you know your home will be safe and solid.

By James Bell - Owner/Operator of Solid State Inspections Inc.