Delaware Home Inspection Services
When you find the house of your dreams in the perfect location, and at a price you can afford, it is understandable that you will be excited. You want to move things along quickly and get moved in, but you should take a step back and consider having a home inspection performed on the property.
“I’m spending a fortune buying this house, why spend more on an inspection?”
At Mirkwood Home Inspection, LLC, we can understand your unwillingness to spend even more money on the purchase of your new home, but we recommend that every buyer and seller have at least a basic inspection before closing on, or selling a home.
If you are sure this is the house for you, you can always make an offer to the seller, contingent on a satisfactory report. Should significant defects be discovered by the inspection, having this contingency in your contract, allows you to cancel your offer, without incurring any penalty within a certain period of time.
A home inspection performed by a Certified Inspector, is an impartial, qualified opinion of the condition of the property. As your premier Delaware Home Inspector, we will provide you with an expert assessment and comprehensive report on the overall condition of the property.
The purpose of the inspection is to ascertain if there are any significant problems with the structure, and internal mechanisms such as plumbing, electrical, or HVAC systems. We examine various components of the home and then provide you with a report of our findings.
Our inspections usually last two to three hours but may last longer depending on the size and complexity of the home. If at all possible, we suggest that you attend the inspection so that we can explain to you any problems as we find them.
Mirkwood Home Inspection provides home inspection services throughout the State of Delaware and our goal is to help ease any fears you may have about one of the biggest purchases you are likely to make in your life. Our home inspection process if very thorough, and you will see the following list of items that are typically included on our home inspection report.
Our inspector will conduct of complete inspection of the exterior of the property, including any crawlspace under the home (for safety reasons, any space less than 24 inches of clearance will not be inspected), climbing onto the roof, if safe to do so, and inspect the roof and associated items.
Outside walls.We check the perimeter of the building, inspecting the following:
• Any wall coverings, trim, and flashings.
• looking for any cracks, missing or deteriorated caulking.
• external steps, decks, balconies, and any railings.
• the eaves, fascia boards, and soffits.
• check to see if any vegetation is too close to the structure which might result in damage.
• walkways, entrances, and driveway for cracks or surface damage.
RoofingOur inspector shall, if safe to do so, use a ladder to gain access to the roof and inspect and describe:
• Roofing material
• Any roof drainage
• Skylights, chimneys, and any pipework that penetrates the roof
If the roof is not accessible by using a ladder, our inspector is a certified drone operator and will use a drone to inspect the roof.
Windows and Doors
Each window and external door in the home will be inspected to make sure they all operate properly. If any is difficult to open or close, then this will be reported to you. Overpainting window frames are a common cause of them not being able to open. Any cracked or broken glass is also noted.
Internal Inspection Items.
We conduct a comprehensive inspection of the inside of the property, including the attic, looking for any issues that may be signs of current or future problems.
As part of the internal inspection, we check all faucets and showerheads for any leaks, dripping, and also test the water pressure. The inspector will identify the type of pipework used in the home, if visible. Should the pipework be of an age that might need replacing, then we might recommend a second inspection by a licensed plumber.
We identify the type of wiring used in the home, test every outlet to make sure they are wired correctly and any GFCI outlets are functional and installed in areas such as bathrooms, garage, kitchen, and any other areas where water could be present, like a laundry room. We also check the main electrical panel for any safety violations.
We look at the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system estimating the age of the air handler and compressor, whether the system is functioning correctly, and if necessary, recommend any further investigation or repairs.
During our inspection, we may also use thermal imaging technology to let us know if there are any major energy leaks from duct work, windows, doors, and the roof.
Water Heater Inspection.
The age of the water heater will be determined and whether or not it has been installed properly, paying attention to the pressure relief valve and drain line.
The above list is some of the items included in our inspection process and is by no means complete. We would like to point out that during any inspection, we can only report on readily visible items, and we do not move furniture or appliances, nor do we operate any systems that have been shut down before our arrival.
After the inspection is complete we will provide you with a comprehensive report, complete with photographs, showing our findings and whether they are cosmetic, minor, major, or in need of immediate attention.
Our priority is to give you peace of mind in your upcoming home purchase. Knowing the overall condition of the property will help in your decision-making, and we are always available to answer any questions you may have.
Contact a Mirkwood Home Inspector today to schedule your inspection and have confidence in knowing your next home is in good condition.
Interior Home Inspection Process
An inspector can tell whether the home owner maintained their house and yard. Some issues that send up red flags include worn carpets, wall stains from previous leaks, mold, or mildew, loose or missing caulking, peeled paint, cracked pavement or rutted driveway, and holes in the walls or flooring.
While one or two issues might seem like a minor problem, when accounting for them as a whole, it paints a different picture of the house. Do your best to take care of issues as they arise, and remember that minor issues can quickly become large ones.
Utilizing a home inspection is the best method to ensure both parties know their house is healthy without hidden issues. Sellers can quickly address problems or adjust their price to reflect the house's health. Buyers generally want to invest in a house that is structurally sound and without large surprises that will burden them financially at a later date. A home inspection offers both parties a win-win solution and peace of mind.
Electrical Wiring Your inspector will test and assess the outlets throughout your house. They’ll asses the breaker box, including fuses. Other issues they might find are reversed polarity, double taps, and damaged wiring.
If your neutral and hot wires have been attached incorrectly, you will have a reverse polarity. Simply switching the wires to the correct position fixes this common issue.
A double tap is two feeds going into one breaker. Installing a twin breaker remedies this.
Damaged and faulty wiring is a major concern. This can lead to house fires and property damage, which includes neighboring homes. You will need to redo hazardous wiring or account for it in the asking price or bid.
Home Heating Problems Did you know you should maintain your heating system annually? Most homeowners forgo the crucial inspection that keeps their system in good working order. Your home inspector will thoroughly check your heating system unit for signs of maintenance that generally include blower, blower belt if applicable, ductwork, and presence of soot. These issues can cause your heating system to fail, and the easiest remedy is to schedule a certified HVAC specialist to clean and inspect your system prior to selling your house. If you’re purchasing, consider hiring a service to perform yearly checks.
Plumbing Problems Small plumbing leaks can occur without the homeowner being aware. Common areas are around toilets and sinks, but hidden water damage can be elsewhere. Broken seals, incorrect materials, and corrosion can lead to leaks.
If your inspector discovers signs of active leaks, you should consult with a plumber. They can locate and fix issues quickly. If the water damage is old, you will need to address that too; ensure mold isn’t present in the areas and that structural damage hasn’t occurred.
Radon Testing & Termite Inspections
Most Americans know very little about radon and why it’s important to have their home—or prospective home—tested for elevated radon levels.
Nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the U.S. is estimated to have elevated radon levels. Elevated levels of radon gas have been found in homes across the U.S., and especially in Maryland. While radon problems may be more common in some areas, any home may have a problem. The only way to know about your home is to test. Metro Capitol Home Inspection Services has certified radon testers who can help you.
Radon Testing Breathing radon in your home can cause lung cancer. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas released from rocks, soil and water and it can build up to dangerous levels inside your home. Every home is susceptible to Radon gas. Radon is a colorless and odorless gas and the only way to know if your home has a radon problem is to have your home tested.
Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among people who do not smoke and the second leading cause of lung cancer for people that so smoke. EPA estimates radon causes more than 20,000 deaths from lung cancer each year in the U.S. If you smoke and your home has a high radon level, your risk of lung cancer can increase even more.
Homes with high levels of radon have been found in every state. In fact, radon levels can vary greatly from home to home.
Radon is measured in picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L), a measurement of radioactivity. In the United States, the average indoor radon level is about 1.3 pCi/L. The average outdoor level is about 0.4 pCi/L. The U.S. Surgeon General and EPA recommend fixing homes with radon levels at or above 4 pCi/L. EPA also recommends that people think about addressing these issues in their homes for radon levels between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L.
Testing your house for radon is easy. If your house has a radon problem, it can be fixed. Fixing a radon problem reduces the risk of lung cancer for you and your family.
For more information visit at http://www.epa.gov/radon/index.html or call 1 (800) 23-RADON for a free information packet.
This might surprise you to know, but Termite damage far exceeds damage caused to homes by tornadoes, hurricanes and flooding and it is rarely covered by homeowner insurance policies. Traditional home inspectors often are not thoroughly trained to recognize existing or potential termite damage. Early detection can save homeowners major repair costs.
Buying a New Home? A qualified Home Inspector can provide potential home buyers with peace of mind because the inspector will outline any existing damage or termite infestations and areas that are liable to incur future infestations. Areas of concern include open access points in the foundation or lower levels of a home and significant moisture deposits.
The results of these reports should not necessarily deter a home buyer from purchasing the home in question. Negotiations may be entered into between buyers and sellers to arrange for further prevention and repairs to be made by the seller prior to sale. Sellers may also negotiate on price if termite damage is found.