Three Unique Challenges Of Inspecting An Old Home

HomeReal Estate

  • Author Parthenia Newhall
  • Published November 8, 2012
  • Word count 523

Home inspections for older houses pose challenges that property inspectors don't confront with newer properties. Although new homes have their share of issues, older properties are definitely more prone to be filled with concerns as a result of age, use and deterioration. Three of the more common areas of older properties to which home inspectors will need to pay particular attention are electrical wiring, plumbing and structural issues.

Electrical Wiring

The electrical wiring of an older property calls for meticulous inspection. It is quite possible to discover missing insulated tapes, damaged cross-sections of the wire or damaged electric sheath of the wires. Old residences were built with ungrounded electrical receptacles and fixtures, and a number of local building codes still don't require for these to be re-wired for grounding. Nevertheless, a property inspector will mention where grounding ought to be incorporated for safety. Grounding protects family members from electrocution by forwarding the flow of any leak into the earth rather than into a person who touches a faulty fixture, appliance or tool.


Old sewer pipelines are very vulnerable to damage over time, so these demand close inspection as well. Although recognizing a major leak is easy, minor leaks can be tough to find, because a lot of the time minor leaks are concealed behind cosmetic modifications. Home-owners often polish, repair and remodel their bathrooms, which might conceal leaks and improper fittings. Older homes may have other distinct plumbing challenges that are not exactly defective but rather troublesome for maintenance and repairs. Specifically, an older home can have copper plumbing and that is not optimal when it comes time for them to be serviced. The home inspector will need to look past the veneer for these minor issues with major potential.

Structure and Roof

The structural integrity of an older property needs to be validated to ascertain that the overall sturdiness of the structure is truly the same as what is being claimed. Taking a close look at the I-beam and other structural foundations is vital, because this will demonstrate the strength and life of the building for a property buyer. Fractures and other issues in the foundation may well need some repairs, so the property inspector of an older house may have to put in more time examining this area than a new home would call for. Also, the older residence may mean an older roof, and older roofs can be quite troublesome and expensive. Cracked shingles are common among older homes and require maintenance and/or repair. In regards to the roof, chimneys and ventilation points should also be meticulously checked.

Older houses have had a chance to develop problems not seen in newer properties, so inspectors must be aware of these challenges during property inspections for these properties. This is due to different building standards in the past, as well as, the fact that over time, any part of a home could give way. It is always crucial that an inspector is at the top of their game when examining any home, but as discussed above, it is particularly important when dealing with the special challenges of an older home.

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