From rain and hail to wind and drought, we see all types of weather in Colorado. Your home takes the brunt of these weather extremes, so it’s vital to keep up with home maintenance to avoid large repair bills or even catastrophic failures.
One milestone in a home’s lifetime is when it changes ownership. That’s when it gets a thorough home inspection from the prospective buyer and a professional home inspector.
We’ve gathered the top home inspection findings here in Colorado as well as nationally. This should give you a good idea of where to spend your time and effort on home maintenance.
Top 10 Home Issues Found in Colorado
- 1. Gutters, downspouts, drainage problems. Gutters and downspouts are your first line of defense when it comes to water management. Water that doesn’t move off the roof and away from the foundation can leak into the basement or crawl space. This can cause cracking leading to structural issues and even resulting in flooding. We’re the experts in this area. Request a free inspection and we can advise you on next steps.
- 2. Water heater rusting and leaking. A leaking water heater can be a source of water damage. In older homes it also may not have the required drainage system to protect for leaks or overflows. Rusting can also be a big issue for older heaters.
- 3. Roofing problems. Asphalt shingles have a 15 to 40-year lifetime. Wind, hail, and rain can damage them, leading to early replacement. It’s best to keep up with maintenance by replacing loose or missing shingles and monitoring other areas. Damaged attic vents and rubber boots around pipes may also require replacement.
- 4. Concrete cracking. With clay soils and dry weather, concrete surfaces can shift and crack leading to trip hazards and water pooling. We offer concrete lifting services to address this problem.
- 5. Faulty electrical wiring. Older home wiring systems may not be up to current codes and may have a few issues. Loose wires and potential sparks can be a fire hazard. Faulty outlets can also be a shock hazard. Aluminum wiring will need to be replaced.
- 6. Sewer line root penetration. Tree roots can enter sewer lines, clogging them and causing cracks and leaks. Roots need to be cleared and major cracks and offsets need to be repaired.
- 7. Furnace filters and cleaning. Furnaces need to be serviced on a regular basis as well as more frequent filter replacement and cleaning. It may also be that the furnace or HVAC unit is at the end of its useful life, requiring replacement.
- 8. Crawl space ventilation. Many older homes have crawl space issues that cause excess moisture and the resulting rotting and mold. It’s best to work with experts to add drains, insulation, and vapor and moisture barriers.
- 9. Improper attic ventilation and insulation. Quite frequently, older homes do not have adequate attic ventilation nor sufficient insulation. These problems can be addressed by installing vents and adding insulation. This also helps with energy efficiency.
- 10. Missing GFCI outlets. One item on every home inspector’s list is to ensure that GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets are installed in areas with water, such as bathrooms and kitchens. That’s often not the case in older homes but can be easily remedied.
Top Home Issues Found Nationwide
The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors compiled information from several home inspectors across the nation to reveal the ten most common problems they find.
Note that the top three on this listing ranked very high, with percentages shown. Those ranked four to 10 were significantly lower than the top three.
- 1. Grading and drainage. As in Colorado inspections, this was top of the list reported by 36% of respondents. It’s absolutely essential that the home’s landscape grading moves water away from the foundation and avoids pooling of water that can enter the basement or crawl space.
- 2. Electrical wiring. This came in second at 20%. It primarily deals with the breaker box and home wiring to ensure compliance with current electrical codes.
- 3. Roof damage. This ranked third on their list, with 9% reporting it as the most common problem they encounter during inspections. Missing shingles that can cause leaks, sagging roof line due to structural damage, and rotting eaves are the big items on the list.
- 4. HVAC systems. As noted above, in older homes furnace issues include filter replacement and cleaning but also improper exhaust vents and malfunctioning controls. Air conditioning system problems include inadequate cooling, poor ventilation, and noisy fans and compressors.
- 5. Poor overall maintenance. You can tell this when you approach a home. It includes cracked and peeling paint, crumbling masonry, and makeshift wiring and plumbing. Broken fixtures and appliances also add to the deterioration.
- 6. Structural problems. This includes foundation walls, floor joists, and rafters, as well as windows and doors out of alignment. These are serious problems that can take considerable effort to fix.
- 7. Plumbing. At the top of the list are dripping faucets, clogged drains, and leaky pipes under sinks or in the basement or crawl space.
- 8. Home exterior. Home inspections find poor caulking and sealing around windows as well as broken or cracked window panes.
- 9. Poor ventilation. A few homeowners attempt to seal up their home to help save energy costs, whether that’s heating or air conditioning costs. That can lead to excess moisture buildup causing rotting and water damage.
- 10. Miscellaneous problems. This category bundled together interior problems that didn’t rank very high individually.
We Can Help with Foundation Issues
As foundation repair experts, we have a great deal of experience identifying and repairing home issues throughout Colorado.
Contact the professionals at Complete Basement Systems for a free inspection and repair estimate to identify any issues with your foundation, basement, or crawl space that need attention.