An inspector showing which home inspection issues to fix first

Which Home Inspection Issues to Fix First

By Published On: April 29th, 2024Categories: Home Inspection Career Guide0 Comments

The first question a homeowner asks after reading through their inspection report is “So, when do I really have to fix this?”. We know, we know. Repairing old roofs and fixing leaks isn’t at the top of anyone’s list. So, to make it easy for you, here are the home inspection issues to fix first, and some you can put off…but not for too long! 

#5 – Foundation Cracks: Fix Now 

Step on a crack, break your mother’s back. Or the bank, if you aren’t proactive! The longer foundation or structural issues go unfixed, the bigger the problem becomes. There are a hundred different ways foundations show signs of weakness, but a few are sneaky. Your inspector will point out the red flags they come across, but you should also be on the lookout for: 

  • Cracks, especially if they are larger than ¼ an inch 
  • Leaks in the basement 
  • Overgrown vegetation on or beside the house 
  • Sloping walls, doors, or surrounding land 

Foundation issues can cost you anywhere between $200 and $50,000, depending on how extensive the damage is. If that isn’t incentive to handle the issues when they’re small… we don’t know what is! 

#4 – Roof Issues: Fix Soon 

Raise the roof! Well, maybe after you get it fixed. Roof issues, like broken or missing shingles, hail damage, or damaged flashing, are easily missed and important to fix. We recommend handling roof issues as soon as possible, so that you don’t have to worry about leaks, ventilation issues, or worse! 

The older the roof, the more likely its material has begun to weather. If your home uses asphalt shingles, their life expectancy is between 15 and 30 years. Once they start to cup, it’s time to fix things up! 

Roof repairs can cost up to nearly $10,000, if they’re in bad enough condition. Like foundation issues, they can get much worse the longer you put them off (don’t get us started on a roof replacement…), so handle them when you can. 

#3 – Radon Leak: Fix Now 

One out of every 15 homes in the United States is exposed to radon above the recommended action level set by the EPA — contributing to 21,000 cancer deaths each year. However, not all home inspectors are licensed to test for radon, and it isn’t a required part of a standard home inspection. So what do you do? 

Radon is a natural gas, so it exists everywhere, and its levels can change over time. It’s a good idea to add this service on to your home inspection, or hire another specialist to test for you. If your levels are too high, radon is relatively easy to mitigate with a professional service, at an average cost of $1,000. Do yourself and your family a favor, and don’t let this invisible hazard remain…well, hazardous. 

#2 – Pest Infestation: Fix Soon 

Nobody likes a squatter. Though, like radon testing, pest inspections are not part of a standard inspection, they can cause massive damage to a home if left unchecked. Termites are the most common example of a wood-destroying pest whose damage can bring a home to the ground in no time. Other pests include: 

  • Rodents 
  • Bed bugs 
  • Cockroaches 
  • Ants 
  • Wasps 

Not only can these pests be structure-destroying, but they can also pose health risks, food contamination, and general discomfort. The average cost of repairing termite damage is $3,000, but can range up to $20,000 depending on the extent of damage. 

#1 – Electrical Issues: Fix Now 

One of the most serious issues you can run into in a home inspection is electrical. That includes faulty wiring, aluminum wiring, dated electrical panels, and more. All of these can cause shock hazards or even fires, so it’s crucial to repair these as soon as your inspector points them out! 

Some of these issues will prevent a home insurance company from offering you coverage. Some may result in losing your home. Don’t panic, this is what an inspector is for! Once you’ve been made aware of the issue at hand, don’t wait to get it resolved. Thankfully, most electrical repairs only cost around $500, so it’s a no-brainer to err on the safe side. 

Bonus – Mysterious Moisture: Keep An Eye Out 

Leaks, mold, water damage, an errant groaning pipe…these are just a few signs you might have water-related issues in your home. But they’re also some of the hardest to pin down because of how well concealed they can be. 

A home inspector can only report on what they see, so if they suggest that you may have damaged or outdated pipes, a leak coming in from somewhere, or even a musty scent in a dark corner, call in a plumber or other professionals to get to the root of things. 

Choose an Inspector Who’ll Catch It All 

From pests, to mold, to radon, and beyond, find yourself an inspector who can get all the jobs done. At AHIT, we offer a number of extra certifications and CE courses to keep our inspectors ready to tackle anything. Sound like something you can get behind? Getting started in a new career may be easier than you think… 

About the Author: Lizzie DesRosiers

Lizzie DesRosiers is a Content Specialist with AHIT and The CE Shop. She is an expert in home inspection, appraisal, and real estate. Along with bringing her knowledge of the field to each piece, she prides herself on sharing information that is thoroughly researched and easy to absorb.

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