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5 Things a Home Inspector Looks For on the Exterior

by | Mar 1, 2022 | Atlantic Building Inspections

House shopping can be a real task as you need to consider so many factors. Half of the issues come afloat during the home inspections, as it is the last opportunity to discover the problems before the final purchase. You might decide to do it on your own or with the help of a home inspector, but you should always have an understanding of what to check. Firstly, let’s talk about the house exterior, where the issues are easily covered up with good paint and decorations.

Here are a few things you need to check for on the exterior of a house.

1. Roof Issues

It is mandatory to look at all sides of the roof. Though you can spot several issues only by walking on the roof or leaning a ladder up, you can easily spot some from the ground too. It would be best if you looked out for –

  • Any irregularities on the roof. Some shingles may look curled, which is a significant indication that the roof has aged. This kind of curling mostly happens on the south side first so remember to look there first.
  • You can easily spot the cracks in shingles on single-story roofs. It can be challenging to check on second-story roofs.
  • Patched, missing, or mismatched shingles might indicate improper installation. If not installed properly, there are chances of the shingles blowing off the roof, or it could mean that they are sliding down. Remember to check for loose shingles in valleys.

2. Decks

Decks can be painted nicely to cover severe rotting, so it becomes necessary to check underneath them. To check for sagging, you need to step back and check the middle part for a noticeable sag. If there are guardrails, push a little on top of them to ensure they aren’t wobbly. If the railings have aluminum balusters going into wood bottom rails, be wary about advanced rot.

3. Siding Issues

Issues in hardboard siding can be elementary to identify and spot. For example, it can swell and fall apart when it rots. Remember to check the overhangs, areas closest to the ground, and the north sides, which might be the first areas to rust. A simple way to check is by pushing slightly with your finger and checking if it is mushy. Rotten siding will be mushy.

It can be challenging to identify problems from the exterior of the newer stucco siding, but you may check if there are stains below the windows. These are warning signs that there might be hidden damage inside. Of course, you can always get stucco testing performed to check for water intrusion problems and others.

4. Window Issues

Rotten wood windows may look fine from a distance but can give away damaged areas when you’re close. The trick is to poke slightly (don’t poke too hard as the patchwork can be fragile) with your finger.

Try cranking each window open and looking underneath them to check if there is water damage. Also, check the underside of each wood window frame to avoid any risks.

5. Water Management Issues

It is essential to check how water is directed away from the house with the help of gutters or downspouts. A critical thing to check here is if the ground slopes away from home as water accumulation towards the house can invite problems. Not only on the ground, check if the water gets accumulated against the rooflines too.

The above mentioned are the main things to check. But, you also may check garages, exterior doors, wall coverings, driveways, walkways, patios, balconies, crawl space, etc. We know that all this can be too overwhelming; hence Atlantic Building Inspections to your rescue! 

With 20+ years in the home inspection business, we ensure you get the right report about the house. So, connect with us today to get started!