What Does a Home Inspection Cover?

Posted by Pekin Insurance on Apr 11, 2016

Planning on selling your home? It may be time to answer that lingering question: what does a home inspection cover? It's time to find out!


Maybe you're planning on selling your home. Maybe you're planning on buying a new home. Either way, if you haven't had much experience with the process, you might be wondering, "What does a home inspection cover?"

That's a valid question and a good place to start. You should know exactly what to expect from a home inspection and be sure that it covers the areas you're most concerned about.

The big question for homeowners: what does a home inspection cover? 

A home inspection is comprehensive and covers all major areas of the house. It's a "visual" inspection, meaning that the inspector is only concerned with the things he can readily see and access. The inner workings of piping, electrical, and septic systems are not included.

So, what does a home inspection cover? Let's get specific. Here are the essential components you will typically see.

1. Structural inspection 

The inspector will always inspect the structural integrity of the house. He'll go through and look for symptoms of deterioration, such as rot, insects, warping, sinking, or general wear of materials.

The visual inspection will search for things such as:

  • Cracks or holes in the foundation 
  • Sagging roofs or rotted side paneling
  • Porches that are uneven and pulling on the house 

2. Exterior inspection 

The exterior inspection seeks out obvious problems on the surface and around the house. Your inspector will look at the facade of every side, windows, paneling, roof trim, eaves, and gutters. He's mostly looking for problems regarding safety, so don't worry about a few chips of paint or one or two small areas of rotted wood.

Also covered in the exterior home inspection:

  • Decks and porches attached to or around the house 
  • Driveways and walkways 
  • Potential drainage issues

3. Interior inspection 

The inspector checks the interior for compliance with housing codes and visible damage. Much of the interior inspection deals with looking for the usual suspects: water damage, mold, or sagging or cracking of walls or ceilings. He'll also check the basement for similar issues, as well as the attic (if you have either). 

4. Plumbing and electrical inspection 

Remember that the home inspector will not dig deep into piping and electrical issues. He's looking for symptoms of problems—not diagnosing them. He will check all of the faucets for adequate water pressure, rust, and visible aging of equipment (such as the water heater).

For the electrical, he will check to see that the wiring is up to code and properly grounded in all areas. He'll also check for any apparent signs of broken outlets or switches.

5. Roofing inspection 

Although it's not always included, some inspectors will climb on the roof to check it out. They're looking for proper drainage flows and holes that might become hazardous over time. They can usually give you an estimate of when the roof should be replaced, too. If you have a working fireplace, they will inspect the chimney as well and look for any gaps in the roof tiling. 

6. Heating and air conditioning inspection

Checking the heating and cooling systems is an important part of the process. The inspector will test the functioning of the heating system and the thermostats and take temperatures. If you have an oil tank, he may take a look at the lines going in and out of it. If the tank is considerably old, he may run an efficiency test as well. 

7. Ventilation inspection 

Poor ventilation and insulation can lead to more serious problems than high energy costs. Moisture can build up in the ceiling and attic, allowing mold to grow and infect the air. The attic, basement, bathrooms, and kitchen will be inspected for mold and proper flows of ventilation. Lack of insulation between first and second floors (or third) can also cause issues, so the inspector will look for signs of mold build-up in these areas as well.

8. Appliances inspection 

Most people don't expect this last step when they ask, "What does a home inspection cover?" The inspector will check your appliances because they're often the main causes of safety hazards. Old equipment can lead to dangerous situations, accidents, or malfunction. Microwaves, dishwashers, dryers, washers, stovetop burners—all of these appliances have the potential to cause fires and other dangers. 

We know you care about your home and will take the steps necessary to keep everyone safe. Have you checked your home insurance recently? Make sure your home is protected and call your local Pekin Insurance agent today!

What tips can you add to this? Have you had a home inspection recently? Share your experience in the comments. 


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