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8 Scary Things A Home Inspector May Find

Home inspections can be SCARY. Just when you swear you’ve found the house of your dreams or just the one that you finally got a contract accepted on! The home inspector comes along and tells you everything that’s wrong with it—which might lead you to a few moments of cardiac arrest and make you rethink your decision.

But rest assured, most things turned up during a home inspection aren’t deal breakers and most are relatively inexpensive to fix. However, there are certain red flags that really should make you very, very afraid.

So how can you tell? For starters, you should try to meet with your home inspector on site. This allows the home inspector to give you an overview and point out any big SCARY red flags.

The good news is that just about any issue can be fixed! It is just up to you to decide how much you want to spend fixing them.

1. Bad electrical panels

There are three brands of electrical panels that an inspector will always recommend for replacement due to know safety issues. The three brands are Federal Pacific, Zinsco, and Bulldog Pushmatic. All of them have issues with not tripping properly when excess current goes through them. The Zinsco breakers also have issues with electrical arcing, leading to fires inside the panel.

2. Aluminum wiring

Most popular in homes built between 1965 to the mid 70's due to a copper shortage. Aluminum expands and contracts more than copper when it gets hot, which weakens the junctions, so there was a big increase in arcing and fires inside walls when connections loosened up. Some insurance companies won’t write policies on homes with aluminum wires, because of the risk of fire. There are fixes that can be made without rewiring the entire house.

3. Polybutylene pipes

This water pipe, typically gray in color, was widely used in the 1980s, and was subject to a class action settlement because the joints tended to fail, causing flooding. This piping will be called out by a home inspector for replacement anytime it is found.

4. R-22 refrigerant (freon)

This is the stuff that makes old air conditioners work—and since it’s no longer being manufactured, repairing systems that use it has become costly.

Home inspectors will always make a note about systems with R-22 no matter how efficiently they are working.

5. An old deck

Every year, people are injured or killed in deck collapses, because homeowners aren’t aware their decks aren’t safe. The average lifespan of a deck in only 12-15 years. At this ae, the bolts connecting the deck to the house and holding them together can start to corrode and lose their hold.

6. Broken or Cut Trusses

Altering roof trusses can seriously affect the structural integrity of the roof. Fixing these trusses requires a structural engineer’s input.

7. Foundation cracks

Almost all houses will show signs of movement over time from natural soil settlement. These cracks tend to be very small and should be monitored over time. However, there can also be situations where major foundation cracks appear. These are a structural issue that are expensive to fix.

8. Environmental hazards

Home inspectors may uncover other RED flags such as: asbestos insulation, asbestos floor tiles, termites, mold, lead paint. All are things that must be addressed by a professional and can be very expensive.

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