Things to watchout for/Red flags

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Roof

  • Inside
  1. Places where the roof deck is sagging
  2. Signs of water damage or leaking
  3. Dark spots and trails
  4. Outside light showing through the roof.


  • Outside
  1. Visually inspect your roof for cracked, torn, bald or missing shingles.
  2. Scan the roof for loose material or wear around chimneys, vents, pipes or other penetrations.
  3. Watch out for an excessive amount of shingle granules (they look like large grains of sand) in the gutters -- this is a sign of advanced wear.
  4. Check for signs of moisture, rot or mold. Note that wet spots may not be directly under your faulty shingle; water can travel down to its lowest spot before it drips. Mold, fungi and bacteria can grow quickly -- within 24 to 48 hours of a water-related problem.
  5. Examine the drainage, and make sure gutters and downspouts are securely attached. Also ensure all drains are open and allow water to exit, and all gutters and downspouts are free of debris.
  6. Check that all bath, kitchen and dryer vents go entirely outside of your home, not just into the attic space.


Windows

  1. You feel drafts in your home -
  2. You have difficulty shutting or opening your windows -
  3. There's condensation inside the glass (of double- or triple-paned windows) -
  4. Single pane windows -
  5. Noisy inside the house -
  6. Faded carpet, furniture, drapes, etc
  7. Rotting window frames


Appliances

  1. Improper maintenance - Extend the life of appliances and other equipment by taking the simple, smart action of performing regular maintenance. This includes cleaning out the lint trap and exhaust hose in the clothes dryer and cleaning filters in the HVAC unit and range hoods.


Land

Foundation and structure

  1. Rotting wood - Wood that’s exposed to moisture rots over time. Inspect wood in the kitchen and the bathroom, including the tub surround, toilet seat, countertop, and flooring. These spots are especially vulnerable to moisture and should be protected with a special paint or finish. Don’t forget to check the exterior of the home, including the deck, eaves, and trim, for signs of rotting.


Smell

  1. Rotten egg smell - Carbon monoxide or CO is an odorless, tasteless, invisible gas that is sometimes called the silent killer because it poisons and kills many people each year, without them ever being aware of the danger. Get a Carbon monoxide detector immediately.


Temperature

Paint

  1. Lead Paint - Lead paint can be very dangerous to you and your families health. Ensure the house has no lead paint in it with a test kit that you can get from your local hardware store for under $5.

Plumbing

  1. Non-professional repairs - Often these repairs—most commonly seen in the areas of plumbing and electrical—don’t follow building codes and are likely to fail or cause more damage down the road.
  2. Poor drainage - Inadequate drainage around the exterior of a home leads to water intrusion in basements, garages, and crawl spaces. This can compromise the foundation of a home and create mold problems.
  3. Plumbing done wrong - The pipes under a sink can be made of incompatible materials that lead to dripping faucets, leaking fixtures, and slow drains. Address all plumbing problems before you buy a home to save yourself from costly repairs in the future.
  4. Water intrusion - Water intrusion can be one of the most destructive and expensive problems. Check for well-maintained gutters, downspouts, and proper grading around the foundation to direct water away from the home.


Electrical

  1. Non-professional repairs - Often these repairs—most commonly seen in the areas of plumbing and electrical—don’t follow building codes and are likely to fail or cause more damage down the road.
  2. Electrical issues - Dated or insufficient electrical systems can cause breaker tripping or, worse, a fire. Examples of electrical safety hazards to watch out for are ungrounded outlets, lack of ground-fault circuit interrupters, aluminum wiring, and faulty wiring in electrical panels or elsewhere in the house. These potentially hazardous defects must be taken seriously.


Heating and/or Air conditioning

  1. Failing system - A failing or aging heating and cooling system in an older home will likely require costly maintenance. These systems could also emit carbon monoxide fumes, which are harmful to your family. These old systems are less efficient than modern choices and consequently have higher heating and cooling costs.


Bugs and pests

  1. Termites There are a few distinctive warning signs that termites are in or near your home. If you see any of them, call a termite expert immediately. An established termite colony can eat a pound of wood a day -- every day -- so it pays to call in a pro soon after you discover you may have an infestation.
  • The swarm - You experience a reproductive swarm inside your home. A reproductive swarm happens when large numbers of winged insects emerge from the ground, typically on a warm day in the spring or early summer.
  • Floor damage - Termites can damage laminate flooring and even skirting boards. Affected flooring may blister and sag in certain areas and checking underneath the flooring may help to uncover termite activity. You can also check if your floor feels more spongy and perhaps springs more than usual.
  • Wall damage - Look for unexplained cracks on internal walls. As termites consume cellulose found in timber within walls, the visible cracks could be a sign of termite activity inside.
  • Ceiling damage - Wooden ceilings, beams, architraves and rafters in attics are just as much at risk of termite damage as wooden structures located nearer ground level. Look for cracks on ceilings and cornices.
  • Sticking windows/ doors - Windows and doors, which are infested with termites, may become difficult to open, as their tunneling and eating may make the frames irregular and misshapen.


The neighborhood

Attic

  1. Inadequate Ventilation - If a home doesn’t have proper ventilation, moisture cannot evaporate and will inevitably cause problems. Make sure the attic is properly ventilated to ensure that the roof has a long and functional life. Proper attic ventilation allows the intense heat of the sun to escape from the attic space, and promotes evaporation of moisture that would otherwise damage interior walls and structural elements.