Home inspections have one simple purpose: to provide buyers and sellers with information about the state of a home. That way, they can make an informed decision.
However, you might be surprised to learn that there are quite a lot of things a home inspection doesn’t cover. The scope outlined above is a lot narrower than it sounds, which means there are plenty of things a home inspector does not address. More to the point, they’re not qualified to address them, and you shouldn’t expect your inspector to do so.
Here are three major things that are not included in a home inspection.
The Sewer Line and Septic System
While a home inspector will always examine interior plumbing, structural elements, and safety issues, they usually will not look at your sewer line. There are two types of sewer lines: those that connect to a public sewer system (used for most homes in developed areas, towns, and cities) and those connected to a septic system (for rural, out-of-the-way homes).
Your home inspector will not examine either one. They will run the faucets and flush the toilets to listen for any unusual sounds, but they won’t check the underground plumbing.
A home inspector will note the following for septic systems:
- Whether the tank is an appropriate size for the house
- The sludge level
- The distance from wells or streams
- When the tank was last pumped
To go any further, you would need a specialist to insert a camera in the pipes. These repairs can be quite expensive, so it may be worth hiring a specialist, especially for homes with older plumbing.
Mold and Pests
As a rule (literally a rule set by the American Society of Home Inspectors), home inspectors are not required to identify, “the presence of plants, animals, and other life forms and substances that may be hazardous or harmful to humans including, but not limited to, wood destroying organisms, molds and mold-like substances.”
In plain English? It’s not the inspector’s job to spot pests. Or growth. Or any other form of rent-free tenant.
If a home inspector finds something that might be mold, they will note it in the report. However, for an actual mold test, you’ll need to hire a specialist. If this is a concern for you, hire a specialist–this can significantly affect buying and selling negotiations since active mold spores must be removed.
Building Code Violations
Many homebuyers would be surprised to learn that a home inspector is not responsible for spotting building code violations. Remember, they’re a home inspector, not a building inspector.
Because of this, a home inspector is not required to determine compliance with building code (nor are they qualified to do so). That’s good news for historic home sellers–any updates to the home become the buyer’s problem.
Ready for Your Home Inspection?
Keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive list–there are quite a lot of things a home inspection does not cover. Even so, a home inspection is still pretty comprehensive, and it gives you an excellent idea of what you’re dealing with.
Are you preparing to buy or sell a home? Our job is to help you do it with peace of mind. Get in touch today to learn how we can make the whole process easier.