It often doesn’t take a professional home inspector to point out issues with the walls, ceilings, and floors. Truth be told, sitting in one’s living room and spotting a large settling crack along the wall is just about as difficult as identifying the Grand Canyon from a few yards away. Even a teenager, perhaps attempting to sneak back up to his room after a late-night date, knows which creaky parts of the floor to avoid.
Nonetheless, it’s important for a homeowner to know and understand every aspect of the home inspection process. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of areas that our professional inspection team includes when inspecting the interior and observing the status of your walls, ceilings, and floors.
Walls & Ceilings
Leaning Walls: We are diligent about determining the condition of the structure by inspecting walls and ceilings carefully. Leaning, cracked, bowed walls can be evidence of major foundation or structural defects which we will identify for you during the inspection process.
Cracks: One of the most common issues we run into while inspecting your home are drywall and plaster cracks. Sometimes, these are normal signs of the house naturally settling. Other times, the situation may be more severe, and might call for a structural engineer to take a better look to determine if truss uplift has occurred.
Nail Pops and Cracking Drywall Tape: Another relatively common issue, nail pops can create unattractive mounds and bumps along the wall. In most cases, the problem and the solution are both cosmetic. However, if the location of the nail pops are near a partition, that may indicate a larger structural issue. Peeling drywall tape may not seem to be a major issue but hiring a drywall contractor to repair them does add up financially. We want you to be aware of all expenses including drywall repairs.
Moisture: For drywall – or any part of your home that isn’t a pipe, faucet, or tub – moisture is the enemy. In older homes, it’s not uncommon to find water spots here and there along the ceiling. Bear in mind that it takes a professional to adequately diagnose the problem, as water can run along roof panels or lumber in the attic before finding its way down to the ceiling.
Unlevel/ Sloping: Our first goal is to determine the condition and integrity of the flooring within the home. We use a typical bubble level to determine if they are level or sloping. Many older homes contain sloping floors which some home buyers are attracted to. Often times the sloping floors are signs of foundation settlement or even Termite damage.
Type: Nowadays, there are more kinds of flooring than you can imagine. From ceramic and porcelain tile, to hardwood and bamboo, to laminate, carpet, vinyl, and linoleum, the possibilities seem truly endless. It’s never been easier to find the exact kind of flooring that best suits each room’s individual needs. That said, it’s important to know what kind of flooring you currently have (or will have in your new home), so that it can be properly maintained for years to come – and our Inspectors will help you do just that.
Moisture: Again, water is not your friend, and is certainly not the friend of most flooring materials. Buckling and crowning are usually sure signs that moisture has worked it’s way into the floors. The presence of gaps is also a consequences of moisture damage, though the issue has more to deal with improper acclimatization before the flooring was installed. Most moisture damaged floors are located near dishwashers, bathroom sinks and tubs, and other areas near water sources.
Squeaking: Though there are not very many quick-and-easy fixes that can silence loud floorboards, the good news is that squeaks and creaks aren’t usually a cause for concern. The result of the natural and constant expansion/contraction of flooring eventually loosening the nails, squeaky floors won’t hurt your home’s structural soundness – but they might make it more difficult for your kids to sneak in and out of the house.