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The Most Common Home Defects – What Your Clients Should Know

When hiring a home inspector, buyers typically believe that stability of the foundation is the main focus of the inspection when, in reality, serious foundation problems are among some of the least common building defects.

Below are the top ten most common defects found in residential real estate:

  1. Roofing defects: Aging Materials, Defects in Materials, Water Ponding, Flashings
  2. Ceiling stains, indicating past or current roof leaks: A Thorough inspection should be performed to determine the cause
  3. Water intrusion into basements or crawlspaces due to ground water conditions: Usually caused by faulty grading or drainage issues
  4. Electrical safety hazards, especially (but not always) in older homes: Ungrounded Outlets, Lack of GFCI Devices, Poor Workmanship, Altered Wiring
  5. Rotted wood at building exteriors and at various plumbing fixtures: Most commonly caused by improper grading and/or plumbing leaks
  6. Building violations where additions and alterations were constructed without permits: This is a red flag for most inspectors
  7. Unsafe fireplace and chimney conditions: Fireplaces and chimneys should be inspected and cleaned regularly
  8. Faulty installation of water heaters: Less than 5% of all water heaters are in full compliance with plumbing code requirements
  9. Hazardous conditions involving gas heaters: Lack of maintenance and regular inspections can create hazardous conditions
  10. Firewall violations in garages: Altered or improperly constructed garage firewalls create a hazard to home occupants in the event of a garage fire

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