Home inspection can be a perilous affair for home inspectors sometimes. How, you ask? Well the services we offer involve more than just going around looking at stuff and writing more stuff on paper to prepare the report for the prospecting home buyer (or sometimes seller) right? Wrong!
There are quite a number of situations that leave a home inspector feeling like they are sitting in the front row of a theater watching a bloody horror movie. I remember as a young inspector I did a condominium inspection that was nothing short of a horror show, but that is a different topic for a different time.
For a start, a home inspector is always in danger of coming across trapped animals like raccoons, rats or even worse… snakes and hornets! And in all the weirdest places you can imagine. Another home inspector’s nightmare is of course poor construction work or DIY repairs that end up posing more risk than the purported “first aid” value they add.
Ever gone through a house with so many naked electric wires (some near wet plumbing pipes) that your skin literally cringed? It happens… and some cases are just plain stupid (sorry…) on the part of homeowners who let their houses fall to such state or like in one case (which represents quite a big number by the way…) where tools were stored in an electrical panel! Now how smart is that? That’s you committing suicide and forcing the home inspector to become a witness.
Having a flimsy support structure for an extending deck is no better than the poor workmanship and sense of judgement shown on the above photo. Timothy Dahl has collected about 23 individual cases that he terms “cringe-worthy ” for any inspector worth his salt, let alone an ASHI or InterNACHI certified home inspector. Why would anyone think that duct tape can hold a house together? Check out some of these dangerous situations that home inspectors come across as they carry out their duties from day to day. Here’s an extract from Dahl’s informative piece:
23 Totally Cringeworthy Home Inspection Nightmares
Home inspectors have the eye and experience to catch code violations and household damage before you, the home buyer, get stuck with them. Some problems, such as dirty filters and termites, need to be addressed but are really just mundane problems that any old house can suffer.
These code violations, on the other hand, are disasters waiting to happen. Some are idiotic oversights or corner-cuttings that will accelerate the wear and tear on a home, while others are downright dangerous for anyone living inside… wanna see the “deck of death”? It’s a doozy!
Now, speaking of poor construction or repair judgement (sometimes by paid contractors… sadly), there are situations where a home inspector wishes they were never called! You go up into an attic and realize that the roof could cave on you any second, wet crawlspaces, raw sewerage or failed renovations. Dale Trach has a list of 10 terrifying things that an average home inspector comes across every now and then:
The 10 Scariest Things a Home Inspector Can Find
Every time the toilet flushed, sewage entered the crawlspace through the missing clean-out cap.
Nasty for the poor home inspector, never mind the new buyer. Multiple issues for the home owner: health, sanitation, odour and moisture… here are 9 more
There’s a very interesting video starring Joe Terceira as the host (also a real estate agent) in the “The Home Buying & Selling Show” where Greg McHale shares a few frightening encounters he’s faced during his long career as a home inspector. Seems like home inspection nightmares run across borders!