10 MOST FREQUENT HOUSE PROBLEMS
In a recent survey by professional Home Inspectors, the following list was compiled of the most frequently found problems in the homes they inspected.
1. Improper Surface Grading/Drainage. This was by far the most frequently found problem, reported by 35.8% of the survey respondents. It is responsible for the most common of household maladies: water penetration of the basement or crawlspace.
2. Improper Electrical Wiring. A significant number (19.9%) chose this item as the most common home defect, such situations as insufficient electrical service to the house, inadequate overload protection, and amateur, often dangerous, wiring connections.
3. Roof Damage. Although reported by only 8.5% of the respondents as the most common problem, roof leakage, caused by old or damaged shingles or improper flashing, was considered to be a frequent problem.
4. Heating. Systems. Problems in this category include broken or malfunctioning operation controls, blocked chimneys, and unsafe exhaust disposal.
5. Poor Overall Maintenance. Even the novice home buyer is usually aware of this situation, demonstrated by such signs as cracked, peeling, or dirty painted surfaces, crumbling masonry, makeshift wiring or plumbing, and broken fixtures or appliances.
6. Structurally Related Problems. Many houses, as a result of problems in one or more of the other categories, sustain damage to such structural components as foundation walls, floor joists, rafters, and window and door headers.
7. Plumbing. Though never ranked by the respondents as a Number One problem, plumbing defects still rank high among the house problems encountered, and include the existence of old or incompatible piping materials, as well as faulty fixtures and waste lines.
8. Exteriors. Flaws in a home’s exterior, including windows, doors, and wall surfaces, are responsible for discomfort of water and air penetration, but rarely have structural significance. Inadequate caulking and/or weather-stripping are the most common culprits.
9. Poor Ventilation. Perhaps due to overly ambitious efforts to save energy, many home owners have “over-sealed” their homes, resulting in excessive interior moisture. This can cause rotting and premature failure of both structural and non-structural elements.
10. Miscellaneous. This category includes primarily interior components, often cosmetic in nature.