Home Inspection Tests You Likely Need

The ultimate list of home inspections tests for your new place

BY JASON STEVENS

MARCH 7, 2022

Top-test-for-new-home desktop

You found your dream home, put down an offer, and the sellers accepted. While that house is under contract, you call in the pros to inspect the home inside and out, checking for everything from faulty electrical and HVAC issues to roof leaks and plumbing woes.

While a standard home inspection is a thorough investigation of everything from roof condition to plumbing, it may not tell the whole story. Think of your general home inspector as a family medicine doctor. They can give you a good overview of the whole picture of your prospective new home, but they’ll likely refer you to a specialist should they suspect anything else amiss.

Here’s what you need to know about that general home inspection test — and other top tests you might need for your new place.

Basic home inspection test

According to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), a typical home inspection examines visible elements of the following:

  • Heating system

  • Central AC

  • Indoor plumbing

  • Electrical

  • Roof

  • Attic and any visible insulation and fans

  • Structural components, including walls, ceiling, floors, windows, doors, and foundation

  • Basement

  • Roof

  • Ventilation

  • Major appliances

  • Fireplace

Upon completion of a home inspection test, the home inspector will issue a report making recommendations for repairs and pointing out the general condition of appliances, systems, and structures.

Radon test

A naturally occurring radioactive soil gas that’s odorless, radon is more commonly found in basements or the lowest level of a home. Anyone can hire a radon inspector — or overall home inspector with radon-testing capabilities — but it might be especially useful if you live in an area with elevated radon levels.

Wondering how to test air quality in your home for radon? Visit the EPA Map of Radon Zones to determine your new home’s risk and find state and local resources for radon testing and inspection in your area. You can also purchase an inexpensive long-term radon test kit at your local big-box store to monitor your home over a longer period, and many state programs offer free household test kits.

Mold inspection test

Sometimes homes flood. It may have been 2 inches of water in the laundry room from a leaky washer connection. Perhaps an upstairs toilet overflow seeped beneath wooden floors. Or that home’s basement could have incurred moisture from heavy spring rains.

Mold and mildew love high humidity, moist basements, and leaky roofs. Before you sign all those papers, you may want a mold inspection to make sure mold isn’t lurking inside the walls or under floors. Visit the American Council for Accredited Certification’s Council-certified residential mold inspector database to find qualified home inspection mold testing companies.

Structural or foundation inspection test

Cracks in walls, uneven floors, and water damage can signify potential structural or foundation issues. Start with the National Council of Structural Engineers Association to find a licensed residential structural engineer in your area. Hiring a structural engineer will set you back a few hundred dollars, but the average cost to repair a foundation is around $4,600.

Asbestos and lead tests

Homes built before 1980 should be tested for lead paint and asbestos. Signs of asbestos construction materials in a home include vermiculite insulation in the attic, pre-1980 vinyl floors, and cement sheet walls. You can purchase at-home asbestos air test kits, but an asbestos inspector will collect samples and analyze home materials, making recommendations on how to remedy the situation.

A good first step for determining whether you have lead paint throughout your pre-1980s home is to call your local health department or visit the National Lead Laboratory Accreditation Program for resources. You can also buy at-home lead test kits to check everything from the paint on your window sills to the finish on a piece of antique furniture.

Pest inspection test

Enlist a licensed pest control expert to look for signs of bugs and rodents throughout the interior and exterior of the home. They’ll check for evidence of damage from pests like cockroaches, carpenter bees, or termites, and they’ll look for signs of mice, rats, bats, or other animal droppings.

Specialized home tests

If your home inspector notes the air conditioner isn’t cooling to its full potential, enlist a licensed HVAC specialist to examine the components of the unit. Dimming lights when you plug a cord into an outlet may signify electrical issues and warrant an electrician.

Suspect there may be an issue down the road, particularly with one of your major systems such as plumbing or electrical? Spend the money on the front end for an expert inspection. If, for instance, that HVAC is on its last legs, you may be able to negotiate down the price of the home or get a repairs allowance.

Preventive measures to keep your home safe

Congratulations, you’re satisfied with your home inspections, and you’re finally closing on your home. Here are a few ways to monitor the air quality, check for leaks, and protect your new investment:

Contact Brinks Home™ to get started with a comprehensive security system to safeguard your family and your new home.

Jason Stevens is a senior writer for Brinks Home. He is a "tech guy" who enjoys sharing home security and automation tips with others.

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Home Inspection Tests You Likely Need

The ultimate list of home inspections tests for your new place

BY JASON STEVENS

MARCH 7, 2022

You found your dream home, put down an offer, and the sellers accepted. While that house is under contract, you call in the pros to inspect the home inside and out, checking for everything from faulty electrical and HVAC issues to roof leaks and plumbing woes.

While a standard home inspection is a thorough investigation of everything from roof condition to plumbing, it may not tell the whole story. Think of your general home inspector as a family medicine doctor. They can give you a good overview of the whole picture of your prospective new home, but they’ll likely refer you to a specialist should they suspect anything else amiss.

Here’s what you need to know about that general home inspection test — and other top tests you might need for your new place.

Basic home inspection test

According to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), a typical home inspection examines visible elements of the following:

  • Heating system

  • Central AC

  • Indoor plumbing

  • Electrical

  • Roof

  • Attic and any visible insulation and fans

  • Structural components, including walls, ceiling, floors, windows, doors, and foundation

  • Basement

  • Roof

  • Ventilation

  • Major appliances

  • Fireplace

Upon completion of a home inspection test, the home inspector will issue a report making recommendations for repairs and pointing out the general condition of appliances, systems, and structures.

Radon test

A naturally occurring radioactive soil gas that’s odorless, radon is more commonly found in basements or the lowest level of a home. Anyone can hire a radon inspector — or overall home inspector with radon-testing capabilities — but it might be especially useful if you live in an area with elevated radon levels.

Wondering how to test air quality in your home for radon? Visit the EPA Map of Radon Zones to determine your new home’s risk and find state and local resources for radon testing and inspection in your area. You can also purchase an inexpensive long-term radon test kit at your local big-box store to monitor your home over a longer period, and many state programs offer free household test kits.

Mold inspection test

Sometimes homes flood. It may have been 2 inches of water in the laundry room from a leaky washer connection. Perhaps an upstairs toilet overflow seeped beneath wooden floors. Or that home’s basement could have incurred moisture from heavy spring rains.

Mold and mildew love high humidity, moist basements, and leaky roofs. Before you sign all those papers, you may want a mold inspection to make sure mold isn’t lurking inside the walls or under floors. Visit the American Council for Accredited Certification’s Council-certified residential mold inspector database to find qualified home inspection mold testing companies.

Structural or foundation inspection test

Cracks in walls, uneven floors, and water damage can signify potential structural or foundation issues. Start with the National Council of Structural Engineers Association to find a licensed residential structural engineer in your area. Hiring a structural engineer will set you back a few hundred dollars, but the average cost to repair a foundation is around $4,600.

Asbestos and lead tests

Homes built before 1980 should be tested for lead paint and asbestos. Signs of asbestos construction materials in a home include vermiculite insulation in the attic, pre-1980 vinyl floors, and cement sheet walls. You can purchase at-home asbestos air test kits, but an asbestos inspector will collect samples and analyze home materials, making recommendations on how to remedy the situation.

A good first step for determining whether you have lead paint throughout your pre-1980s home is to call your local health department or visit the National Lead Laboratory Accreditation Program for resources. You can also buy at-home lead test kits to check everything from the paint on your window sills to the finish on a piece of antique furniture.

Pest inspection test

Enlist a licensed pest control expert to look for signs of bugs and rodents throughout the interior and exterior of the home. They’ll check for evidence of damage from pests like cockroaches, carpenter bees, or termites, and they’ll look for signs of mice, rats, bats, or other animal droppings.

Specialized home tests

If your home inspector notes the air conditioner isn’t cooling to its full potential, enlist a licensed HVAC specialist to examine the components of the unit. Dimming lights when you plug a cord into an outlet may signify electrical issues and warrant an electrician.

Suspect there may be an issue down the road, particularly with one of your major systems such as plumbing or electrical? Spend the money on the front end for an expert inspection. If, for instance, that HVAC is on its last legs, you may be able to negotiate down the price of the home or get a repairs allowance.

Preventive measures to keep your home safe

Congratulations, you’re satisfied with your home inspections, and you’re finally closing on your home. Here are a few ways to monitor the air quality, check for leaks, and protect your new investment:

Contact Brinks Home™ to get started with a comprehensive security system to safeguard your family and your new home.

Jason Stevens is a senior writer for Brinks Home. He is a "tech guy" who enjoys sharing home security and automation tips with others.


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