Are you considering getting a home inspection for an older home? A general home inspector could very well do the job. But there might be instances or cases when there is a need to hire specialists to make sure inspections of specific areas would be accurate. You could also hire an experienced home inspector like Veteran Home Inspections to take care of most of the issues.
The home inspector is a certified and experienced professional in carrying out home inspections. However, they might not be able to cover all aspects and parts of the home. A regular inspector might be able to tell if there is something wrong with an air conditioning and heating system, for example, but he could not exactly identify malfunctions and faulty linings. Therefore, when you are looking for a home inspector for an older home, look for an experienced home inspector that understands the systems and materials used in older construction, and knows how to inspect them.
Inspections Veteran Home Inspections can perform:
Mold – You know molds are fungi, microorganisms that might trigger several health problems to inhabitants. However, there are many types of molds. A mold inspection should be conducted to ensure good and healthy air quality inside the house.
Formaldehyde – Old homes could have been constructed using building materials that may contain chemicals like formaldehyde, a flammable gas that has also been proven to cause specific cancers in rats.
Well water quality– If the home has a well, you should have a water quality analysis done to ensure the water is healthy to drink.
Plumbing systems – Older plumbing systems can include materials like lead, galvanized, and cast iron pipes. All of these materials are well past their expected service life, so a thorough inspection is essential to help prevent problems after you move in. We also recommend having Veteran Home Inspections perform a sewer camera inspection to examine the integrity of the main sewer line.
Lead-based paint – It was only in 1978 that lead-based paint was banned in the United States. Thus, old homes constructed before 1978 should be tested for presence of lead-based paint. Veteran Home Inspections has the equipment to quickly and accurately test the painted surfaces in your home for lead based paint. The testing is non-destructive, and results are instant. If lead-based paint is found, lead abatement contractors should be hired to remove such paint.
Septic Systems - If you are buying a home with a septic system, you should definitely have that system inspected. Unfortunately, many home owners neglect their septic systems, and we frequently find systems that have not been pumped or maintained in decades. This neglect can lead to the entire system needing to be replaced.
Roof – Home inspectors generally inspect roofs. However, for old homes, there are sometimes specialized roofing systems that an inexperienced home inspector may not be familiar with. While we can inspect any roofing type, some roofs that are especially steep or high may still require a specialist.
Electrical System - When we inspect older homes, the electrical system can sometimes be like walking through a museum showing all the various types of wiring that were used through the ages. From fuse panels to knob-and-tube wiring, some of these systems may not have aged as well as the rest of the house, and it takes extra experience to find the issues associated with older electrical systems. Make sure your inspector is well educated on them, so you don't get an unwelcome surprise down the road.
Wood Destroying Insects - Termites, carpenter ants, powder post beetles, and more love to infest older homes. While a wood destroying insect inspection is recommended on all homes, it's essential on an older home. Most home inspectors are not licensed to inspect for these insects, in fact the home inspection laws specifically exclude them from the home inspection process. Veteran Home Inspections is licensed to inspect for them, so we can do this inspection at the same time as your home inspection.
Inspections where you will need a specialist:
Trees around the house – An arborist is a specialist in trees. Home inspections should not miss trees and plants in the surroundings, which might affect the structure and security of the home.
Easements and encroachments – Title policies basically disclose easements. However, before buying any home, especially old ones, you may have to hire a surveyor. You may ask the title company about actual easement records and documents from public records.
Square footage – You may hire an appraiser instead if you aim to verify square footage of the house. Public records are basically input by people, making them susceptible to human error.
Well Equipment - While we can inspect the above-ground components of the well, if you are concerned about the water supply and underground equipment, a well specialist would need to be hired.
As you consider hiring a home inspector, first look at the age of the house. Newer homes may not require tedious and specialized inspections. Older houses certainly do.