The kitchen is the hub of any home. It’s where we try a new recipe, gather to eat as a family, and do all our best entertaining.
When looking for a new home, you know exactly what you are looking for in your kitchen: Room for storage, easy flow of traffic, and a space large enough for your table. And while you may be willing to update a kitchen to your tastes, a whole renovation can get pricey.
Before you sign on the dotted line, you will want to hire a home inspector. An inspection done by a licensed professional from Inspections by Bob can save you a headache from any surprises later.
Here are some common kitchen defects our inspectors will look for:
Vents That Don’t Go Anywhere
The range hood and exhaust vent exists to extract steam and catch grease splatter, protecting you and surrounding cabinetry. It also removes smoke and odor from the house. However, many homes have range hoods that merely recirculate the air. While this is allowed, we don’t recommend it, as it does little to actually clear the air. We will test the fan for proper operation, and locate the termination to make sure that it vents to the outside, as it should.
If you’ve ever read a warning label on an electrical appliance, you know that water and electricity do not mix well! Kitchens should have Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protection for all receptacles serving a countertop, or within six feet of the sink. This includes any fixed islands. GFCIs help prevent electrocution by sensing any change in electrical output and shutting off power before you get injured.
The wrong electrical wiring can be a fire hazard. Your inspector will check to make sure that the wiring is suited for a kitchen, and is protected properly.
A leaky faucet or pipe can be an indication of a much larger issue. If you don’t find and fix the source, you could end up with microbial growths or, even worse, rotting framing that requires a renovation. When inspecting kitchen plumbing, our inspector will check for:
- Slow or clogged drains
- Leaking or rusted out pipes
- Leaky faucet, including leaking around the handles
- Proper configuration of the drain lines
- Working garbage disposal
These are all things you will want to know about while you are still in the contingency period, to avoid costly surprises later.
Poorly Maintained Appliances
Another thing your home inspector will check for is that any installed appliances (cooking appliances, refrigerator, dishwasher, and food waste grinder) are in good working order. Range burners and the oven should be turned on to make sure they all work and get up to temperature. The dishwasher should run a full cycle without leaks. Be aware that if the house has been vacant for a long period, seals can dry out and cause leaks, so be extra cautious.
The freezer and refrigerator should be cool, and not make any abnormal noises. If there is an ice maker, our inspector will check for proper operation. They will also check that the refrigerator interior is free of cracks, holes, and microbial growths, as well as checking that the door gaskets seal properly.
Even if pipes and faucets seem to be in working order, with no visible signs of leaking, our inspector will pay special attention to the floor of the sink base cabinet for damage. If the area is open, they will also check the condition of the framing and subfloor under the kitchen for signs of current or past leakage or damage.
It is always possible that a previous owner could have fixed an old leak without ever dealing with the damage. If water got into the subfloor in the past, it could have caused rot, meaning you could be facing extensive (and expensive) repairs.
Independent Home Inspections in Central Maryland
When buying a home, you don’t want to run into any costly surprises. At Inspections by Bob, we pride ourselves on providing thorough home inspections all throughout central Maryland by our highly qualified professionals. Already a homeowner? We believe in regular check-ups to maintain the value of your home. Contact us to schedule your appointment today!