A home inspector has advanced knowledge of a home’s infrastructure, which is why they’re hired to identify flaws. However, a home inspection is often described as a “visible examination” of a structure. It’s important to understand that a home inspector is limited to what they can see. Since an inspection is essentially a visual evaluation of the home, let’s review what’s not included in a home inspection.
Not Readily Accessible Areas
While a home inspector comes equipped with tools to help them evaluate primary home functions, some areas may be off-limits to them due to inaccessibility. As a rule of thumb, home inspectors aren’t allowed to move personal items due to liability. However, a home inspector may remove some screws to inspect a panel’s interior, such as a pool pump. What constitutes “not readily accessible” varies by inspector, but it can include anything from snow and ice blocking access to exterior windows to overgrown vegetation blocking an outdoor electrical panel.
Risky Areas of the Home
Home inspectors are no strangers to getting their hands dirty, but you’re unlikely to find one willing to risk their safety to inspect a portion of your home. Examples of unsafe situations include exposed wiring in the attic or basement, stagnant water in a crawlspace, and wild animals in the attic. In these situations, you can have the unsafe areas addressed by the appropriate professional and reschedule your home inspection.
A home inspection is typically exhaustive, but if a home’s system is not currently operational, such as a pool heater or HVAC unit, an inspector cannot take it apart to uncover why it’s not working. The best option is to hire a technician to inspect and repair the system before bringing in a home inspector.
Operating or Touching Certain Items
While some components, such as an electrical panel, require the home inspector to be a little more hands-on, generally, they will not touch or operate some items. For instance, a home inspector may not toggle shut-off valves under sinks or next to toilets. Operating shut-off valves might trigger breakage which results in a leak. They also won’t remove outlet covers to inspect the wiring in the walls.
Knowing what’s not included in a home inspection allows you to prepare ahead of time in case you’re a seller with inoperable home systems or dangerous areas in your house. It also reassures you that a home inspector will not damage any of your belongings while on the premises. At Homeinex Corporation, our home inspectors will perform a comprehensive inspection of your home while avoiding liability risks. If you need a responsible and observant home inspector, contact us today.