Here are some eye-opening issues found on my home inspections:
Inspection Surprises! - Gallery 5
You never know what will turn up on an inspection:
Photo #1: Creosote buildup...big time!
You're looking at about 2.5"-3" of creosote buildup in a wood burning fireplace's clay-tile lined chimney. This is a fire waiting to happen. Creosote can burn upwards of 2,000 degree F and can engulf an entire home in minutes.
Photo #2: Cisterns
This active cistern was unusually deep at about 14'-15'. The thin metal lid on top could have been easily removed by any curious kid. These need to be filled with sand and capped off with concrete to ensure nobody falls into it and drowns.
Photo #3: Defective shingles
Back in 2002-2003, thousands of Omaha roofs were replaced due to the major hail storm. I've ran across numerous roofs where the shingles were replaced from the hail storm, but were so worn out they look to be 20-30 years old. The shingles cup and then large chunks of granules fall off leaving only the backing and underlying felt paper to protect the roof. The manufacturer's warranty that came with the shingles unfortunately usually only covers the materials...which is pro-rated. Labor, which makes up the bulk of the cost of a new roof, was not covered so the Seller usually ends up taking a huge blow in the wallet to cover this huge expense. This is my #1 reason for pleading for Sellers to have their homes pre-inspected. If they find out before listing the property, then they can correct the problem and adjust the listing price to help cover the cost.
Photo #4: Drywall mud...
...dumped down the toilet. Better than concrete I guess;-)
Photo #5: Gotta love the Federal Pacific Stab-Lok breaker panels
This is the 2nd one this year I've found where the service entrance cable was burnt at the main lug. Typically found in homes built in the 1970's to mid-'80's, these systems have been documented to have their breakers come loose on the buss bar, fail to trip, overheat, and lead to house fires. Regardless if you can see burnt wiring or not, these panels should simply be replaced. They're not worth risking someone's life.
Photo #6: Backed up sewer line
If the sewer line has collapsed or if there are tree root problems, then you might be looking at installing a new sewer line. Normal costs are around $3,000 from the house out to the street.
Photo #7: Driveway slopes to foundation
This is not a cheap fix either...usually in the $3,000-$6,000 range depending on the size of the driveway.
Photo #8: Major settlement sometimes isn't easy to spot
This house had the gable roof extend out over the front porch that wasn't properly resting on footers. The porch sunk a good 6" and pulled the walls, attic, and roof down with it!
Photo #9: Something missing?
Photo #10: Street creep haunts another Seller
Missing expansion joints and the normal movement from the street expanding and contracting can cause some major damage.
Photo #11: Deck failure
Notice how the deck is sinking and pulling off of the house.
Photo #12: Deck failure from the underside
This is what happens when you don't have the kick out flashing installed to protect the ledger board from water penetration. The ledger board and walls take on water and can rot pretty good. There's other problems here too, but we won't go into that here.
Photo #13: Hot wired A/C sub-box
I should have cleaned my camcorder's lens before I took this photo, but what you're looking at is the wiring bypassing the pull fuse disconnect on this sub-box. This could electrify a technician with 220 servicing the unit if they pulled the fuse and believed the power to be off.