Few things can compare to the pride and joy of becoming a homeowner. However, no home is perfect. Every home has its flaws, but the tricky part is that some major issues can easily go undetected. A home that looks flawless can be full of hidden problems only a professional can see. Those barely noticeable problems can cost the owner thousands of dollars to fix, which is why performing a home inspection is crucial before buying/selling a home.
One of the most important reasons to have a residential home inspection is that it can lower the value of the property or impact the asking price. Certain issues are unique to states like Florida, due to their distinctive weather conditions. So, it is important to do your research, especially if you’re moving to Tampa from another state and haven’t considered these issues. Here are a few common problems revealed in Tampa home inspections you should pay special attention to.
Home Exterior Problems Revealed in Tampa Home Inspections
Many homeowners and potential homeowners are often unaware of the roof problems. It is important to have a roofer evaluate the roof and give you a quote for repairs or replacement.
Florida’s climate can be harsh on roofing materials, which is why damaged roofs are among the most common problems disclosed by Tampa home inspections. Therefore, roofing materials like metal panels and concrete tiles must be installed properly and meet the manufacturer’s requirements. The hot Florida sun is the main cause of damage, although winds and rains are part of the problem, too. Roof problems are likely to occur on the perimeters of the roof or around plumbing vents, attic vents or chimneys. Water, for instance, can penetrate through cracks and places where the material comes together or overlaps.
Shingle roofs are highly susceptible to damage. A shingle roof is expected to last only about 15 years, even if it has a much longer rating. Asphalt shingles can curl with age and expose the underlying matrix, letting the water in. Wood shingles can rot or blow off. Terracotta and slate shingles can crack and shatter.
Drainage problems can affect the foundation and other parts of the home. Therefore, water must be properly drained away from the home. Home inspectors should inspect roof gutters and downspouts directing the water away from the structure. Moreover, sprinklers should be installed at a safe distance from the home. Water marks, mold, and cracks may be signs of a drainage problem. Depending on the severity of the drainage problem, repairs can be more or less expensive.
Environmental Problems Revealed in Tampa Home Inspections – Mold
Tampa’s warm, moist climate can pose numerous threats to homeowners, including mold. Before you decide to take your belongings to your new Tampa home and call movers to make the process easier, make sure it is clean and mold-free.
Black mold causes various allergic reactions and other health problems. It is most likely to appear in areas of the home that are humid, damp, and warm, like basements or crawlspaces. If it spreads throughout the home, you need to remove and replace dry wall.
White mold is caused by moisture. While many of its species are safe, some can cause serious health problems, especially when growing inside your home. It is typically found in places like basements, attics, and crawlspaces. It causes “dry rot” in wood and problems with brick and mortar.
Home Utility Problems Revealed in Tampa Home Inspections
Plumbing discoveries can also be more or less severe. Some of them can be solved with inexpensive repairs. Problems that are common and relatively easy to fix include leaky faucets, shower stalls, water heaters, and toilets. On the other hand, replacing the whole system is a very costly project. For instance, water penetrating behind tiles, and shower/tub surrounds is considered a more serious issue. Whatever the problem is, the longer you wait, the worse it gets. It is important to determine if the plumbing system can be repaired or needs replacement before making an offer on a home with a plumbing problem.
If you’re buying/selling an older home, it may have an outdated plumbing system. Outdated plumbing is a common cause of leakage and other issues. Also, tree roots often damage pipes and septic systems. Simple measures such as sealing grout lines with grout or caulk and repeating the application if needed can save you a ton of money in repairs and prevent further complications.
Heating and cooling systems
Systems for heating and cooling cause some of the most common issues revealed in Tampa home inspections. Older heating and cooling systems are usually more problematic, but problems can be found in newer systems, too (usually when they aren’t properly installed and maintained). Simple measures like changing filters regularly and annual servicing can save you a lot of money.
Air conditioning problems may not be common in all states, but Florida relies on AC more than any other state. Surprisingly, irregular and poor maintenance is the number one cause of AC problems in Tampa, more common than mechanical failures. Tampa home inspections often uncover dirty air handling coils or filters, leaking ductwork, and low refrigerant levels.
Aging wiring systems are a common cause of electrical issues. However, the damage can be much worse when non-licensed electricians do the work. Electrical codes have changed drastically in the past few decades. Issues often occur when a homeowner doesn’t check current electrical code requirements before remodeling their home.
A home’s condition is even more important than its location, size, and price. Luckily, some of the most common problems revealed in Tampa home inspections can be solved easily. The most important step is to detect them before it’s too late. Remember that these types of issues affect not only the home’s value but also its residents’ quality of life. Therefore, make sure you find a Tampa home inspector you can trust to perform a detailed inspection before any transaction is finalized.