What goes into a home inspection?
Take a tour of this home and click each of our 5 orange markers to find out! Whether it's the home's foundation, air conditioning, roof, electrical, or plumbing, you can rest assured that InspectRx is going to take their time to thoroughly vet each of these important components.
This is literally what your home is built on.
Click for more about this important component.1 of 5
Staying warm, cool, and dry is the first step
to being comfortable in your home.
Click to take a look.2 of 5
How do we keep the rain off of our
heads and protect our homes?
Click to find out!3 of 5
We use it for heating, cooling, cooking, light,
and a host of other items that we will look into.
Click for more on the electrical system of your home.4 of 5
Delivering water to the home and then taking
it away makes the plumbing system critical.
Click to take a look.5 of 5
Know Your Home - Foundation 101
One of the first and most important parts of your home to be constructed is your foundation. Foundations are only as stable as the ground they stand on, and just saying the word "foundation" strikes fear into the hearts of many home buyers. Let’s shed some light on the subject.
Why does my foundation move?
Here in Texas, particularly in the DFW metroplex, we have expansive soils. The soil swells when it gets wet and then contracts when it dries out. Your foundation rests on this soil and moves with the soil as it expands and contracts. Unfortunately, sometimes different parts of the foundation move differently, which can cause some negative side effects. The truth of the matter is, most homes in our area experience some foundation movement to one degree or another, and many professionals feel it is unreasonable to expect a home to be completely free of the signs of foundation movement.
What are signs that my foundation has moved/settled?
Telltale signs that a home's foundation has moved are doors that bind in the frames, windows that stick, wall cracks, cracks at the corners of your windows and doors, or sloping floors. There are other signs as well such as frieze board separations. The tricky part is, you can’t simply see one of these signs and jump to the conclusion that your foundation is in trouble. Your inspector must evaluate how many of these symptoms are present and to what degree.
What can I do to minimize the movement of my foundation and/or damage to my foundation?
The ground moisture surrounding the home should be as stable as possible. Our goal here is to avoid extremes of very dry soil or very wet soil.
Proper drainage - The ground should slope down away from your home so that rain water drains away from your foundation. If this isn’t possible, then sub-surface drainage should be installed to take the water away from the foundation. Rain gutters are also beneficial.
Water your foundation – The soil next to the foundation should be watered during dry spells to prevent it from drying out and contracting.
Control foliage – Large trees and shrubs with extensive root systems should be kept at a safe distance from the home because these root systems can damage the foundation.
Before you buy a home, put InspectRx to work for you. Rest assured, your prospective home will receive a thorough inspection of all systems, including the foundation and the performance thereof. We even offer foundation elevation maps with a tool called a Zip Level to go the extra mile in the evaluation of the foundation. This is a great tool to give the home buyer a more complete picture of the foundation performance. The foundation elevation map can also serve as a benchmark to which the foundation can be compared at a later date to determine how much movement, if any, has occurred. Click the button below to find out more about our Zip Level service.
The HVAC system, or "Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning" system is a very important component of your home and it works hard to make the indoor environment comfortable year round. The system provides heat, cooling, and also dehumidifies the air. 3 common heating systems are Furnaces, Electric heat, and Heat pumps. A furnace or electric heat can be tested year round by your inspector but manufacturer's advise that most electric heat pumps not be operated in heat mode if the outdoor temperature is above 70 degrees to avoid damaging the unit. As such, it is important to keep in mind that the inspector will not test your electric heat pump for heat production in some cases. Cooling is accomplished by the somewhat technical cooling cycle of an evaporator coil inside the home and a compressor and condensor coil outside. Testing an air conditioner in cooling mode when the temperature is below 65 degrees can possibly damage the unit, so the system will not be tested on cooler days. Eric is a trained HVAC technician and will inspect accessible components of your condenser outside and your HVAC unit inside the home. Temperatures are measured with an infrared thermometer and filters and ducting are visually inspected.
The roof covering of the home is critical to keeping out moisture and the elements as well as maintaining the internal environment. In our opinion, the best way to evaluate the roof is from the roof surface. Your inspector will "walk" your roof where possible to get an up close view and to be able to touch and feel the roof surface and covering, as well as visually inspect the underside of the roof from the attic where possible. Typical associated components evaluated while on the roof are the shingles or other coverings, flashing, chimney, skylights, plumbing vents, attic vents, appliance vents, and electrical lines. We look for dips or sags in the roof, valley terminations, and moisture damage. Buyers should expect to see some normal wear and required maintenance as the roof ages. While different kinds of roofs are generally called "15 year roofs" or "30 year roofs", it is not uncommon for the roofs in the north Texas area to require repair or replacement before then. Harsh conditions such as temperature, hail, and high winds can shorten the lifespan of the roof. While we prefer to walk the roof, some roofs are simply too high or too steep to access. In this situation, the inspector is not responsible for viewing the roof from the surface and some inspectors will not be able to provide the client with any information about it. Eric, however, is an FAA licensed drone pilot. Weather and regulations permitting, we are able to view even very high or very steep roofs in high definition so that our clients have access to as much information as possible about their prospective home.
The electrical system of the home will consist of such components as incoming electrical lines, the electrical panel, and branch circuits and fixtures. Plugs and fixtures are tested for function and most electrial panels are removed for inspection. As the home ages, it is common to find, among other things, damaged electrical outlets and faceplates, light bulbs in some fixtures that may not light up, and possibly some components that may not be up to current standards but were fine when the home was built. Typically the older the home is, the more electrical issues that are likely to be discovered.
The plumbing system of the home consists of the water meter, incoming water lines, plumbing fixtures and appliances, and drains and vents. During the inspection, incoming water pressure is determined, plumbing fixtures are examined and vigorously run with copious amounts of water, drain performance is evaluated, and appliances such as water heaters are operated and inspected. We use an infrared thermal imaging camera on every inspection, including around plumbing areas to help identify any issues.