As we’ve mentioned in other blogs, your home inspector is not concerned about whether the house under review is filled with outdated orange shag carpet or if the paint covering the downstairs bathroom is shocking pink. Judgments about the aesthetics of a home are left to the potential buyer, who must make the determination if the wallpaper pattern or color of exterior stain meets their tastes. But that doesn’t mean the inspector ignores these aspects of a home. Here’s why:
Defects in a home’s exterior and interior paint job, wallpaper, and floor coverings can reveal problems that extend beyond cosmetic concerns. The certified inspectors at A-Pro Home Inspection are experts at uncovering telltale signs that hint at larger issues within a home. Here are just a few:
Wallpaper: Poorly installed, ripped, or blistering wallpaper will not be reported on by the home inspector, but certain conditions, particularly safety issues, will be noted. These include mold growth that may appear as stains or splotches. Moisture between the wall and paper can make these surfaces prime spots for unsightly and often harmful mold spores to take hold and flourish—a serious problem for homeowners who are sensitive to mold, which can cause mild to severe respiratory problems. For a deeper assessment of mold in a home, A-Pro can perform separate mold inspections in which samples are taken to a lab for analysis.
Further, the presence of mold may signal humidity issues in the home or a possible leak causing framing damage. Wallpaper that’s wet to the touch or registers high on a moisture reader may indicate an active leak. Among other concerns, the home inspector will point out electronic conductors hidden behind wallpaper, which pose a fire hazard.
Paint: While the poor condition of paint or stain on the exterior of a home may be the result of UV ray exposure, amateurish application, or age, moisture is of much greater concern. The inspector will pay close attention to areas where the paint’s condition is particularly shoddy, showing excessive cracking, peeling, and/or blistering. The home inspector may recommend painting over wood cladding that is showing signs of rotting. In addition, painted surfaces may display discoloration due to mold growth or water damage caused by a clogged or broken gutter system. Mold growth on painted interior walls often takes the form of green, orange, brown, or black spots. Excessively peeling paint on interior walls—especially in bathrooms or around windows—is a common indicator of wet wood.
A-Pro will also alert clients about the possible use of toxic lead paint, which was halted in 1978 but may still be present in older homes. Ask your local A-Pro inspector about a lead paint inspection, which is performed as a separate service from the main 500-point foundation-to-roof inspection.
Carpeting and Other Floor Coverings: While reporting on the life span of carpeting is not considered part of a standard home inspection, your inspector will note floor covering issues that highlight greater potential problems. These include mold found on carpeting—a sign of moisture penetration—and damp carpeting that may lead the inspector to uncover or confirm serious plumbing, roof, or foundational issues. It is not uncommon for carpeting to hide defects, such as a foundation crack or moisture. Staining and damage to other floor coverings, such as linoleum, may provide evidence of water intrusion from below.
While linoleum flooring is considered safe, old asbestos tile flooring poses grave safety risks. A-Pro asbestos inspections, which are performed separately from the regular whole-house evaluation, look at a number of areas of concern, including vinyl tiles and carpet underlay. Samples are carefully collected and sent to a certified laboratory for analysis. A report will detail the extent of the problem and outline a course of action.