Whether you’re buying or selling a home, you have to get past the home inspection. Trained professional inspectors are very thorough, and their inspection reports will usually be fairly extensive, especially when an older house is involved. Many of the things noted in the report will be minor, maybe even purely cosmetic, but others will be major issues and problems. And these could stall or kill the deal. Read on, then, to find out about the top 5 red flags that will catch the attention of your home inspector in Kauai.
1. Roof Problems
One thing that will certainly catch the attention of your home inspector in Kauai is the condition of the roof and the roofing materials. The roof protects everything in a house, and if the roof is in poor shape everything inside the house is at risk of water damage.
Roofing materials age – sometimes rapidly in areas with radical weather swings – and as a roof ages, water intrusion becomes a possibility, which can mean expensive repairs. And sometimes even a new roof doesn’t do its job because it was improperly installed and premature aging is a common result. For these reasons, problems with the roof are a huge red flag for your home inspector.
Let’s consider, then, some common roofing materials and how and why they cause red flags to pop up . . .
Probably the most common and the most affordable of possible roofing materials, asphalt shingles have a life expectancy of 15 to 40 years, but typically about 20 years tops. As they age, the edges curl, and they tend to cup up or down. They also blister and lose the granular substance coating the upper surface of the asphalt, causing the underlying matrix to be exposed. When these things happen, as they inevitably do with age, water gets into a home causing water damage and mold/mildew problems.
Wood Shingles and Shakes
As they age, wood shingles and shakes display similar symptoms to those of asphalt shingles. They may cup and curl, but also lift and split, as well as being susceptible to insect damage – things that can result in water intrusions.
Terra Cotta, Concrete, and Slate Tiles
The longest-lived of all roofing materials, terra cotta, concrete, and slate tiles have a life expectancy of 20 to 100+ years. But the problem with these materials is that they are very brittle, and that means that seasonal expansion and contraction will cause them to crack and get loose allowing for water intrusion – a major red flag for your home inspector.
2. Window Problems
Window problems and issues constitute another red flag that will catch the attention of a home inspector (even though many home buyers/sellers tend to overlook them). The reason for this is that window problems very often indicate larger issues with a house, such as settling and foundation problems.
Window red flags include a draft around windows, condensation on the glass, and windows that stick making them difficult to open or close. Even if there are no major problems causing the window issues, replacing windows alone can be a pretty expensive proposition. The average cost of a good window is over $500, and that doesn’t include installation expenses.
3. Outdated Wiring and Electrical Issues
Almost on par with roof problems as a red flag for a home inspector are outdated wiring and electrical issues.
These are a grace concern because they present a definite fire hazard. They can also compromise other essential home functions. If electrical power is lost, you won’t have light, heat/AC, or cold food in the frig – all definite disruptions as well as potential dangers.
House fires due to faulty wiring are a common occurrence, and rewiring a home to avoid this risk is very costly undertaking. So if you suspect electrical problems, consult a Kauai agent before bringing in the home inspector. To discover more, just call 808-634-4518.
4. Grade Problems and Poor Drainage
Problems with grading are another red flag to be aware of. If the grade on the property isn’t right, there will inevitably be drainage problems.
Water draining toward the house leads to damp or wet crawl spaces at best and movement, cracking, and/or settling of the foundation at worst. (As we mentioned earlier, a sign of these foundation problems is sticking windows.) Poor or improper drainage can also result in water wicking up the foundation into walls leading to rot and mold/mildew.
5. Problems With Stucco Exteriors
This won’t apply everywhere, but in regions where stucco exterior finishes are common, stucco problems will definitely catch the attention of a home inspector.
Stucco is a fine finish in the right climate, and when applied correctly can last a lifetime. But applied incorrectly, it can lead to major problems. For example, if patios and walkways have been poured too high such that the weep screed is covered over, the drainage system can’t work properly. And in that case, can enter walls and living spaces.
Assistance to Avoid Red Flags
These are the major red flags that will catch an inspector’s attention, but there are still quite a few more. The best course to avoid having to deal with them is to work closely with an experienced Kauai agent. So if you’re concerned about what the home inspector will find, contact us today at 808-634-4518.