Home Inspection FAQ
Concise answers to the questions we get asked the most about our home inspections.
(click a question from the FAQ’s below to jump to the answer)
1. What does your home inspection include?
Our inspections include the major systems and components of the home: the roof, exterior, foundation and structural components, interior, plumbing, electrical systems, HVAC systems, and insulation and ventilation are all inspected. We do a visual non-invasive inspection. This means we don’t look inside walls, pipes, ducts, or anything else that would need to be taken apart. For more details, read our Whole House Inspection description.
At the end of the inspection, we will go over everything, and answer any questions you have. Afterward, you’ll receive a written report full of photos, diagrams, observations, and recommendations.
Our mission is to empower you to make an informed decision. Whether you decide to buy the home or walk away, we want you to feel confident.
2. What do you look for?
Our inspectors are looking for material defects. Simply, a material defect is a serious problem with a major system or component of the home that significantly affects its value or safety. For example, a leaking roof is a material defect, but a loose door knob is not. We don’t use the terms major repairs or major problems, because they’re subjective. Something you think is major might be minor to another home buyer.
3. Do you walk the roof/How do you inspect the roof?
Our goal is to walk the roof for your inspection. However, it is not possible to walk on every roof. For example, it’s not safe to walk on a very steep roof. Plus, it’s usually not necessary since a steep roof is readily seen from a ladder. Weather conditions also play a role. Sometimes it’s too windy or rainy to walk on a roof.
4. Do you go in the crawlspace?
Yes, your inspection fee includes the crawlspace and we’re going to inspect it. The only exceptions are if it’s too small or unsafe. For example, if it’s flooded, we will have to come back when it’s clear and safe for inspection.
Rest assured that we want to inspect your roof as thoroughly as possible and will do the most thorough inspection that is safe and practical.
5. How long will the home inspection take?
There are so many types of homes in Virginia that it’s hard to estimate an exact time. For the most part, a typical inspection takes 2-3 hours. However, larger homes take longer, and homes in good shape are quicker. We know you’re nervous and/or busy and we will get it done as quickly as we can, without compromising the inspection.
6. Do I Have to Be There?
In Virginia, your real estate agent has to be present, but you do not. As far as we are concerned, its up to you. Either way, you’re going to get a great inspection and your report will be full of details and photos that give you a clear picture of the condition of the home.
7. Can the House Fail the inspection?
No, a house can not fail our inspections. We are private inspectors who inform homeowners and buyers about the condition of the property. The home inspection report is only for our clients. We do not send it to anyone or enforce the correction of anything in the report.
8. Will you let me know if it’s a good investment?
No. Our expertise is limited to the systems of a home and we will provide valuable information in that area. We won’t know the price of the home, its market value, or what concessions the seller made in the purchase agreement.
9. What happens if you find problems?
First, we are going to find problems. Every house, even brand new houses, has defects. Second, what you do with our findings is up to you. The home inspection process isn’t about compelling anyone to do anything. Rather, it’s designed to give you enough information to be confident with whatever decision you choose.
10. Do the sellers have to fix the stuff you find?
No. Home sellers do not have to fix anything we find. You and your real estate agent may choose to negotiate repairs, but the report is not compulsory.
11. Do I need a home inspection for a brand-new home?
We’re biased, but a home inspection is always a good idea regardless of the home’s age. Older homes do tend to have more issues, but one major issue in a new home is enough. Even if no major issues get found, you’ll have additional peace of mind with your home purchase. Check some of the issues we have found on brand-new homes.
12. Do I need to bring anything to the inspection?
No, you do not need to bring anything to do the inspection. Some of our clients bring their flashlights, measuring tapes, and crawlspace gear, but that’s just personal preference.
13. Do you test for Radon?
We do offer Radon testing for an additional fee.
14. Do you check for mold?
Sort of. Here in Virginia, mold in crawlspaces and attics is very common due to our climate. We are very familiar with this, and the issues that cause it. Likewise, if we see mold in the attic, crawlspace, or anywhere else, we are going to report it.
However, mold is everywhere and most of it is invisible to the naked eye. We are going to do our best to inspect areas we know are hot spots for mold. But hidden mold problems are always a possibility.
15. Do you check for termites?
Yes, just keep in mind that there are many limitations to a home inspection that would conceal the presence of termites. We are not looking inside walls, foundation blocks, under insulation, or behind furniture. So while we inspect for and report on the presence of termites, we can’t guarantee that there are no termites.
16. Do you test for asbestos?
No, we do not test for asbestos. We know of many building materials that may contain asbestos such as popcorn ceilings and vermiculite insulation. However, there are millions of products that contain asbestos, and we don’t do any asbestos testing. So, as a courtesy, we will do our best to identify possible asbestos-containing material, but we will not attempt to mitigate your risk of asbestos exposure.
17. How soon will we get the home inspection report?
99% of the time, you will get your report in under an hour. Your inspector takes notes and photos on an app during the inspection making generating the report a breeze.
18. Are you making sure the house is up to code?
No, local code compliance is out of the scope of a standard home inspection. Plus, in Virginia, a home inspector can lose their license for implying a code violation exists. Only a municipal inspection by a government employee can issue code violations.
19. Are you licensed?
Yes, your inspector will be licensed by the state of Virginia, and certified by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. Plus, they will inspect to the Virginia and InterNACHI standards of practice and adhere to their code of ethics.
We Hope This Home Inspection FAQ Was Helpful
If you have any other questions don’t hesitate to call!