You’ve got your eye on that perfect home, and have your thorough, independent home inspection scheduled. You know you’re going to get a great inspection, but maybe you’re wondering if one inspection is enough. Home inspectors are like triage nurses: generalists, not experts. Our job is to identify whether issues need a Band-Aid or a trip to the Intensive Care Unit.
If the home you’re in the market to buy is high-end, or has special circumstances, we may recommend bringing in some other experts to check things out before you make that purchase.
Termites & Other Pests
While home inspectors can check for signs of infestation, only a Maryland-licensed and certified pest inspector can determine what type of pests are present and the best course of action for getting rid of the buggers. Whether or not you see signs of a pest problem, you’re probably going to want to bring in an exterminator to check things out. Many lenders also require a pest inspection as a condition of writing a mortgage.
Again, even though your home inspector may be able to spot visible mold (or, more likely, smell it) from a mile away, testing for it can only be done by someone with the proper training and credentials. If we suspect a problem with “microbial growths” we will typically recommend hiring a mold remediation company, rather than spending money on testing, And since the main contributor to mold growth is water infiltration, we will likely suggest bringing in a drainage contractor to discuss water management on the outside of the house.
Water is the main enemy of the home, and we are always looking for the pathways it may take to sneak inside, and looking for evidence of staining and flooding. While interior drainage systems and sump pumps are a popular way to deal with water penetration, they only deal with the symptom, not the cause. You need a drainage contractor to evaluate the exterior of the home, including the gutter system and grading, and recommend how the water management can be improved. Since this involves a good deal of specialized knowledge about the soil and landscaping, a specialist will be able to give you a thorough risk assessment. This is an especially important person to bring in if you’re buying a house on a flood plain or one that has had significant water damage in the past.
If your home is served by a septic system, you definitely want to bring in the experts. We can’t determine the health of a septic system during our visual inspection; we typically just report whether we were able to locate the lid or inspection port. Septic systems are costly to replace, and sometimes they can’t be replaced at all due to space or soil limitations. A septic company will open the tank and inspect the drainage field to determine the condition and give a report on the anticipated life.
For homes that have expensive or unusual roofs, such as slate roofs, bringing in an expert can be beneficial. Some roofs need specialized training or equipment to inspect without damage. We will recommend which type of roofer to contact, as bringing in someone who isn’t familiar with your particular roofing material can cause cause more problems than they fix.
Pool & Hot Tub
While we do look at areas around a pool, our inspections are typically limited to reporting on the access and whether the area is protected from unauthorized use. This is not the same as pool inspection. If the home you’re purchasing has a pool or hot tub, we recommend having it inspected by a specialist who is well-versed in their care and keeping. All too often, families purchase homes with attractive pools and hot tubs, only to find out soon after moving in that there was an expensive part that needed repair which could have been negotiated during the offer stage.
Thorough Home Inspections in Central Maryland
At Inspections by Bob, we work hard to give you as much information about the home you plan to purchase as possible. We know home-buying is a big investment, so we give you the information you need to make the most informed decision you can.