When most new home buyers think about home inspection services, they focus on glaring structural issues and cosmetic fixes that can be identified either on the surface or during a walk-through. Tending to plumbing, electrical or foundational concerns can be a time-consuming priority. But that doesn't mean a thorough inspection won't also focus on more peripheral or perceived secondary areas of concern.
Buyers are best equipped for the negotiation table when they've attained a clear understanding of a home's condition, and that process isn't complete if an inspection hasn't touched on places like the attic, chimney, storage areas and any insulation that surround them. In the event that imperfections or damage are detected in any of these parts of a home, an assessment will have to be made. The inspection process can help the buying party gain a firm grasp on what it will cost to repair any of these issues - information that may provide leverage if the seller is willing to meet in the middle on such points.
What inspectors are looking for in attics and insulation
The most serious of these issues would be any indicating possible structural damage, such as weaknesses detected in the trusses or rafters that might cause cracking or, in worst-case scenarios, the home to actually shift. This may be the result of substandard wood used in the original construction or during an addition project. Either way, exploring the attic to identify things such as evidence of fire or water damage is essential. Inspectors will be on the lookout for evidence of termites, rodents and other pests, as well, whose nibbling may have compromised the integrity of an attic or storage space over the years.
Meanwhile, if an attic is not outfitted with the proper insulation called for a given climate, the home inspector may determine it is not up to par. In that case, it might even be necessary to replace the insulation.
Especially in older homes, requesting an inspection of the chimney and fireplace can bring peace of mind for the buyer, as well. A thorough consultation will sniff out any issues associated with the firebox, damper, flue, stovepipe and passageways, ensuring that there are no blockages. Any prospective buyer taking even minimal part in the inspection process should be sure to wear a mask and goggles and remember to install a carbon monoxide detector that will protect against future issues.