10 Tips For A Pittsburgh Home Inspection

Performing a home inspection is an efficient way to identify problems with your property, so you can make necessary repairs and boost your home’s property value. The following tips will help you inspect some of the most complex and major systems in your home, so you can keep your property in good repair.

1. Inspect Your Attic Joists for Rotten Wood

Wood that is rotten is generally soft, stained and cracked. Once you find a piece of wood that looks damaged, you can find out for sure if the wood is truly rotten by performing the screwdriver test. Poke the wood with the screw driver. If the screw driver penetrates the surface of the wood easily, the wood is rotten.

2. Perform a Visual Inspection of Roofing Shingles

Over many summers, the harsh Pittsburgh summers can destroy your roofing shingles. Walk around your house to look for signs of curling and missing shingles on your home’s roof. Next, climb up on a ladder and check your gutters for asphalt shingle granules, which will often collect in piles inside the gutters as the shingles deteriorate.

3. Perform the Plumbing Leak Test

Turn off all the faucets and appliances that use water, then take a water meter reading. Wait half an hour and take another meter reading. If the meter reading has changed, this means that your home has a plumbing leak.

4. Check for Basement Drainage Trouble

We get a lot of rain in Pittsburgh, and that can lead to basement moisture problems. To detect subtle moisture leaks tape a square piece of plastic wrap to the walls of your basement and leave it there for 24 hours. If your basement has a drainage or moisture problem, the plastic will become wet on the side facing the wall.

5. Look for Foundation Cracks

All that water in the basement can lead to a cracked foundation. Circle the perimeter of your home and look for large stair-stepping cracks in the concrete, bricks or cinder blocks.

6. Check the Wiring

Look inside your home’s panel box for spliced wires, corrosion and other signs of trouble. If you live in an older Pittsburgh residence, you may even have a fuse box, which should be checked by an electrician to ensure soundness.

7. Look for Peeling and Damaged House Paint

The paint on the exterior of your home protects the frame of your house from all that wonderful rain. When the paint starts to blister, peel and crack, your home becomes vulnerable. Walk around outside your house and look on all the painted fixtures for signs of deterioration.

8. Inspect the HVAC System

Turn on your air conditioner, then your heater. Listen for noises that indicate mechanical distress, then smell the air for a musty odor, which could indicate that there’s mold in your air ducts.

9. Look In On the Water Heater

Water heaters only last about a decade, so if you own an older water heater, it’s a good idea to inspect it for signs of corrosion. While you’re down there, look for a puddle or moisture damage beneath the heater. Signs of leaks should be addressed immediately.

10. Check the Windows

Stand at your windows to feel for breezes and signs that heat or cold from the outside air is leaking through the glass. If the areas near the windows feel colder or hotter than the rest of your house, this indicates that your home’s windows are no longer energy efficient.

At Terry’s Plumbing, we can’t help you if you discover dry rot or roofing problems during your inspection. However, we can definitely fix your plumbing and drainage problems. Call us for help discovering the source of your plumbing leak or basement moisture trouble.