Home inspectors are trained to check for any issues that might cause trouble for a homeowner in the main systems of a home. Several types of specialized home inspections may be necessary for certain situations.
If your home inspector suspects a problem, they may recommend a specialty inspection. They’ll work with you to book a specialized home inspection to go behind the surface of your home.
Issues that indicate you may need a specialized home 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 a specialized inspection.
- Signs of structural damage: If visible cracks in the walls or other structural issues, it may be necessary to have a specialized home inspection to assess the condition of the foundation and framing of the home.
- Visible roof damage: Missing shingles, leaks, or other visible signs of damage to the roof, it may be necessary to have a roof inspection to assess the roof’s condition.
- Visible signs of plumbing issues: Leaking pipes, faulty water heaters, or other signs of plumbing issues, it may be necessary to have a plumbing inspection to assess the condition of the home’s plumbing system.
- Electrical issues: Outdated wiring, overloaded circuits, or other visible signs of electrical issues, it may be necessary to have a specialized electrical inspection to assess the condition of the home’s electrical system.
- Signs of HVAC issues: Insufficient heating or cooling, malfunctioning thermostats, or other visible signs of HVAC issues, it may be necessary to have an HVAC inspection to assess the condition of the home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.
- Environmental issues: Mold, asbestos, or other visible signs of environmental issues, it may be necessary to have an environmental inspection to assess the presence of environmental hazards.
- The home is not connected to a municipal sewage system: If the home is not connected to a municipal sewage system, it may be necessary to have a septic inspection to assess the condition of the home’s septic system.
Most common specialized home inspections
There are a few specialized home tests that are common. 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.
A roofing contractor is a professional who specializes in repairing, maintaining, and installing roofs. If you have a specialized home inspection for the roof, they are trained to identify and assess the condition of a roof and can use various tools and techniques to do so. Some of the tasks that a roofing contractor may perform include:
- Examining the roof and ceilings for signs of leaks or damage
- Identifying trouble spots such as mold growth, which may indicate rotting wood underneath
- Using a handheld infrared scanner or drone inspection to look for spots where heat is escaping
- Repairing or replacing damaged roofing materials, such as shingles or flashing
- Installing new roofs or re-roofing existing homes
It is important to hire a reputable and experienced roofing contractor to ensure that your roof is properly maintained and any repairs are done correctly. They should also be licensed and insured to protect you from any accidents or injuries during the inspection or repair process.
Specialized electrical inspection
An electrical inspection is an important part of maintaining the safety of your home. The electrical system is a vital component of any home, and it is essential to ensure that it is in good working order to protect your family from the risk of electrical fires.
During an electrical inspection, a trained professional will examine your home’s electrical system to identify potential issues or hazards. This may include checking for ungrounded outlets, exposed wiring, spliced wires, improperly modified electrical panels, and other issues that could pose a risk.
It is important to have an electrical inspection performed by a licensed and experienced electrician. They will have the necessary knowledge and expertise to identify potential issues and recommend any necessary repairs or upgrades. This can help to ensure that your home’s electrical system is safe and up to code and can also help to prevent costly repairs or accidents in the future.
Mold and mildew testing
Mold and mildew testing is typically done by a professional who is licensed and trained to identify and assess the presence of these substances in a home. Mold and mildew can be harmful to human health and can also cause damage to a home, so it is important to have them properly identified and addressed.
Mold and mildew grow in areas with low lighting and airflow, such as basements, behind walls, and under flooring. As a result, they may not be detected during a standard home inspection. A professional who is trained in testing for mold and mildew will have the necessary equipment and tools to identify their presence and determine the type of mold or mildew that is present.
It is important to hire a reputable and experienced professional to conduct mold and mildew testing, as they will have the necessary knowledge and expertise to identify potential issues and recommend any necessary repairs or remediation. This can help to ensure that your home is safe and healthy for you and your family.
A specialized inspection of your plumbing is a thorough examination of a building’s plumbing system conducted by a professional plumber. This type of inspection typically includes a review of all connections under sinks and shutoff supplies, verification that fixtures and appliances are installed to code, checking the water pressure and water heater, and confirming that everything is draining properly.
During a visual inspection, the plumber will also look for any signs of damage or wear and tear on the plumbing system. This may include checking for leaks, corrosion, or other issues that could potentially cause problems in the future.
In addition to a visual inspection, a plumber may also use diagnostic cameras to inspect the inside of pipes and other hidden parts of the plumbing system. This can be especially helpful in identifying problems that are not visible to the naked eye, such as blockages or leaks within the pipes.
Overall, a professional plumbing inspection is an important step in maintaining the health and efficiency of a building’s plumbing system. It helps to identify any issues that need to be addressed and can help prevent costly repairs in the future.
An HVAC inspection is a thorough specialized examination of a home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system to assess its condition and identify potential issues. HVAC systems are a vital component of any home, and it is important to ensure that they are in good working order to maintain the comfort and safety of the home.
During an HVAC inspection, a trained professional will examine the system to check for a variety of issues, including:
- Thermostat calibration: The thermostat controls the temperature of the home, and it is important to ensure that it is properly calibrated to ensure that the HVAC system is functioning correctly.
- Heat pumps: Heat pumps are used to heat and cool a home, and it is important to ensure they are in good working order.
- Electrical connections: The electrical connections of the HVAC system should be examined to ensure that they are secure and functioning properly.
- Air filters: Air filters help to remove contaminants from the air, and it is important to ensure that they are clean and in good condition.
- Safety controls: Safety controls, such as carbon monoxide detectors, help ensure the home is safe from potential hazards.
- Quality of installation: The quality of the installation of the HVAC system should be examined to ensure that it was done properly and meets all relevant safety standards.
An HVAC inspection is an important part of maintaining the safety and efficiency of a home’s HVAC system. A trained professional will be able to identify any potential issues and recommend any necessary repairs or upgrades. This can help to ensure that the system is operating at peak efficiency and can help to prevent costly repairs or accidents in the future.
Home inspectors will look at specific parts of your well system, mainly concerning 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.
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 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!