What Issues Require a Specialized Home Inspection?

Home inspectors are trained to check for any issues that might cause trouble for a homeowner in the main systems, of a home. That said, an inspection doesn’t go beyond the visible surface of the home. Unless they hold extra certifications, they do not check other issues like signs of pests, mold, and septic problems.

In most cases, this is a good thing because you don’t want your home inspector tearing down walls just to prove that nothing is This is because discovering those issues often means tearing down walls or opening the septic tank. Still, your inspector might suspect a problem in an area they can’t access. This may mean they recommend a specialty inspection. They’ll work with you to book another inspection to go behind the scenes in your home. This article will review what that process looks like and what you should know about it.

Issues that indicate you may need a specialized inspection 

Home inspectors report what they can see on the surface. Most of the time, their reports are very thorough and cover everything that you, as the homeowner, or potential homeowner, need to know. Sometimes, however, inspectors see signs that there might be a deeper-rooted cause for concern, and they’ll recommend that another professional come in for additional testing. Here are a few issues that might prompt your home inspector to suggest an even more thorough investigation.

Older chimneys 

Chimney stacks are susceptible to the wear and tear of the years and shifting earth and foundations. For these reasons, if your home inspector sees any signs of your chimney being compromised, it’s vital to have them inspected by a qualified chimney inspector. 

Wood framed homes

Wood-framed homes, no matter their location, are susceptible to pest damage and moisture. Your home inspector may be able to rule out these problems based on their visual inspection, in which case, you’re home free. However, they may spot areas behind walls that look like they might be affected by pests or moisture, so they’ll recommend bringing in an expert in that area to confirm.

Homes that have had flooding or moisture issues

If your home, or one you’re thinking of buying, has undergone a flood, whether internal or overland, chances are, your home inspector will recommend additional testing. This inspection will ensure that there aren’t lingering mold or mildew problems and you correctly did that remediation.

Homes used for illegal drug operations

Homes that were (or were suspected of being) used for illegal drug operations come with a whole other host of issues regarding testing. Depending on what the home was suspected of, or known to be, used for, you’ll need to make sure it’s free of toxins before you buy, or at least factor that into the asking price. 

You can bring many homes used for illegal operations back to safe standards — it just takes some additional testing and careful monitoring to ensure that they are once again safe to live in.

Common specialized home inspections

There are a few specialized home tests that are the most common, depending on what area you live in. If a specialized test is a norm in your location, chances are that you can find a home inspector with that certification so that you don’t have to deal with a third party. If they don’t have, for example, a radon testing certificate, they will likely be able to refer you to someone trusted that they’ve worked with in the past. 

Mold and mildew testing

Mold and mildew testing are done by a professional who is licensed to do precisely that. Since mold and mildew tend to lurk in hidden places with low lighting and airflow, they are frequently found in areas like basements, behind walls, under flooring, and other places that home inspectors won’t rip up in the course of their assessment. 

Experts testing for mold and mildew will come with equipment and tools to better understand where these invaders might be and what type you’re dealing with. 

Well inspections

Home inspectors will look at specific parts of your well system, mainly as it relates to your home’s plumbing. They do not test for water quality or flow rate, but if they see signs of issues with any of these, they’ll strongly recommend that you bring in a well inspector.

Pest inspections

Unfortunately, many pest infestations occur in closed-off places inside homes that home inspectors can’t access. If your inspector sees signs of pest infestations or damage caused by pests, it’s in your best interest to bring in a pest inspection expert to get to the bottom of it. 

Radon testing

Radon is an odorless, colorless gas that leaks into homes through cracks in foundations and gaps around ground-level windows. It can build up in homes, especially older homes, and is known to cause health issues over extended periods. A professional trained in radon-level testing will come with specialized gear they’re qualified to operate and interpret to tell you if radon is at a level that could be harmful to those living within the home. 

Especially if you’re purchasing an older character home, it can benefit you to have some additional testing done on top of the routine home inspection. The reports from inspection professionals can help you negotiate the sale and ensure that if you purchase the home, you’ll live in a safe and well-constructed building. It’s a worthy investment for your future peace of mind!