What a home inspection does not cover

home inspectionsAlthough a home inspection should be a considered a “must have” before purchasing a home, it does not mean that they will be able to turn over every stone.

To provide disclosure of all possible defects, inspectors would need to take air samples for mold, to place test canisters for radon gas, and to sample various materials for possible asbestos fiber and lead content.

But that’s not all.

Home inspections would not be complete without a structural analysis of the foundations, which would require that the inspectors be licensed structural engineers or that they subcontract with a structural engineer on every inspection. Inspectors would also need to take core samples of property sites to ensure geological stability and to evaluate subsurface water drainage characteristics based upon soil composition.

This, of course, would require credentials as a licensed geotechnical engineer. Homes would also need to be tested for electromagnetic fields, for soil contamination, and for off-gassing of synthetic compounds such as urea formaldehyde.

This list could be expanded almost indefinitely if the essential purpose of a home inspection was to disclose all possible property defects.

In truth, home inspections are preliminary visual inspections, not technically exhaustive evaluations. A home inspection is analogous to the routine annual physical that you receive from your doctor. Family physicians don’t do electrocardiograms (EKGs) or CT scans as part of an annual exam. Instead, they look for indications that such tests might be necessary. If so, they refer you to specialists.

In the same way, a competent home inspector is looking for conditions that might warrant further evaluation by specialists such as plumbers, electricians, geotechnical engineers, or registered environmental assessors.

It might surprise you to know how very thorough many home inspectors are in their forensic duties, and how able they are to find significant defects without the use of sophisticated testing devices.

~written by Barry Stone

About Richard Blake

After being ranked in the top 1% of Real Estate professionals in the Tampa Bay area for nearly a decade, Richard Blake now spends much of his time training other top Real Estate experts who want to grow their businesses by offering innovative and world class client services.

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