Hope Home Inspections has completed thousands of home inspections in the Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and St. Petersburg area. After reviewing all of our inspection reports, one of our trusted inspectors compiled this list of items commonly found during the home inspection. Finding and repairing these minor issues before listing your home can save you, the seller, money at closing since these issues would not be negotiated into the cost of your home.
10 most common issues discovered by a home inspector:

  1. Broken or stuck window springs
  2. Missing or defective GFCI receptacles or plugs
  3. Typical satire cracks in stucco walls.
  4. Cracked and chipped floor tiles
  5. Sliding doors won’t open/lock
  6. Slow draining sink
  7. Leaking drain under sink
  8. Dirty or missing A/C filters
  9. Missing TPR extension pipe on water heater
  10. Rot on base of door leading to garage or side yard

Seeing this list of issues may be slightly overwhelming for any buyer or seller, but never fear many of these problems are easily repairable. Noted below is an inspector’s thoughts on repairing each one of these items. If you decide to DIY fix any of these issues think SAFETY FIRST, but we always recommend speaking with a licensed contractor about repairs.

  1. Broken or stuck window springs
    Most windows are designed to open and close easily. They have springs built in or some kind of counter weight to help lift the window when opening. These springs and lines holding the weight deteriorate and break over time indicating the need to have them replaced. For these repairs I suggest contacting a professional company to replace the springs and/or lines of your windows.
  2. Missing or Defective GFCI receptacles or plugs
    GFCI is the type of plug receptacle or breaker that has a built-in circuit designed to turn off the power if a grounding is detected. This fast disconnection is a great safety feature for your home. It is recommended that all plug receptacles within 6 feet of a water source, outside, in a garage, or next to pool equipment should be GFCI protected. On an older home this would be a recommended upgrade. If there is a GFCI plug installed, but not working, the plug needs to be replaced.  You can purchase a receptacle tester at most hardware stores for around $20. To test the outlet, press the test button on the plug itself. After switching to the test option if there is still power present at plug the receptacle is deficient and should be replaced. Generally, you can replace the outlet yourself, but we do suggest contacting a licensed electrician to replace the plug for you.
  3. Typical stair cracks in stucco walls
    Not all stucco cracks are created equal. If any crack is more the 1/16th of an inch wide contact a licensed contractor for repairs. Most cracks seen are less than this width and are simply settlement cracks which can be easily fixed. Fill the crack with a paintable exterior grade calk, NOT silicone. Apply a good coat of exterior grade paint over the area and you are finished.
  4. Cracked and/or chipped floor tiles
    Floor tiles glued directly to the slab are very susceptible to what are known as transfer cracks. This is when the slab below settles and cracks the non-flexible tile attached to it. This cracking is very common in Florida, but creates safety issues by producing sharp edges and/or tripping hazards. If you have a very thin hairline crack than you can potentially fill the crack with Epoxy putty and cover it with nail polish, but you must disclose the issue/repair to any buyer. You can also have a professional remove the entire tile and replace the piece.
  5. Sliding doors won’t open or lock
    We find that doors that never get used regularly tend to get stuck, remove from the track, and/or will not lock. If the door is off of the sliding track you can usually correct this issue yourself, but if the door will not open properly while on the track or will not lock correctly we suggest having the door replaced. There are many companies where you can purchase a new sliding door system with installation.
  6. Slow draining sink
    The most common reason for a single sink or shower drain to be slow is hair in the drain line or p-trap. This is typically easily corrected by snaking the drain line to remove debris and/or using chemicals like Draino. Slow drainage noted at all drains of the home can indicate a larger issue such as tree root intrusion on the drain line, inorganic material flushed down a toilet or blockage of the drain line at the main sewer cleanout. These issues are correctable as well they are just more labor intensive and therefore more expensive to correct. If you are experiencing such issues we suggest contacting a licensed plumber to evaluate the problem.
  7. Leaking drain under sink
    Leaks under sinks are typically caused by improper installation of the p-trap and drain line and sometimes even the water supply shutoff valves. Connections that have not been properly tightened/glued and do not have a proper seal will cause a leak or drip which could cause damage to the interior of the cabinetry. This is likely to be easily corrected by properly disconnecting and re-installing the already existing components.
  8. Dirty or missing A/C filters
    Dirty return air filters for HVAC units is likely the most common issue we see. While a minor and uncostly item to replace failure to keep a clean filter can cause an HVAC system to work harder than it needs to and  in turn shorten the service life of the appliance. Having s clean filter is essential to maintaining a properly functional, efficient unit. New filters can be found at most any hardware store.
  9. Missing TPR extension pipe on water heater
    This is a typical oversite we find on water heaters that were not installed originally to the home. When the new heater is installed the installer may have either not lined the valve up with the existing line or they have not installed a line that properly terminates in a safe area. The TPR valve prevents your water heater from exploding if it were to ever to have a defect and heat continuously. If this valve were to release while you walked past and the valve is at face level you would likely receive burns, so having a proper blow off line/pipe that terminates in a safe area within 6 inches of the ground it a essential safety feature.
  10. Rot found on base of door leading to garage or side yard
    Wood rot on exterior to interior doors is very common. Wood rot is actually a fungus that is causing decay, usually to the door and frame, but can be prevented by ensuring that all the wooden surfaces are maintained with a good layer of paint. If you have wood rot present, it is typically repaired by cutting out and removing the damaged wood and placing in filler pieces and then finishing with a layer of paint. Wood rot can leave can cause moisture and pest intrusion into your home and should always be monitored.

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