A home inspection is a step in the home buying process that should not be left out. Sometimes people will skip the home inspection in an effort to save money. By doing this these home buyers run the risk of not realizing issues on the exterior of the home that can cause headaches later on.
The siding that a home has installed is designed to protect the structure from water. When the siding is damaged or has maintenance issues the water may get behind the siding and then problems if not discovered can cause larger issues.
Vinyl siding is the most common siding installed on homes. It is relatively easy to install and long lasting. An issue that is regularly seen is that at penetrations there are gaps that will allow water penetration. These gaps exist where, for example, a gas pipe or the lines for the air conditioner enters the home. The gaps will allow water to get behind the siding and can lead to other issues such as rot and air leakage which will increase your heating and cooling bills.
Siding can also be installed too close to the soil surrounding the home. When siding is close to the soil or against it this closeness makes it easier for wood destroying insects to enter the home. The presence of wood destroying insects such as termites can cause lots of damage. The gap between the soil and the siding should be at least six to eight inches. Not only does this gap make it more difficult for insects to enter the home, the gap makes visual inspection of the foundation possible.
Other exterior issues that are discovered during a home inspection are trip hazards on walkways, guardrails that have too wide of gaps, guard rails that are wobbly, deck or porch posts that are rotted or are deteriorated and therefore not adequate. Decks
Decks are often constructed by home owners who may not have the knowledge and background to do an adequate job of building the deck. Poor connection of the ledger board to the house is a common issue. There are specific ways in which the ledger is to be attached to the house and protected from the weather. If not constructed correctly the ledger can rot or pull away form the house, the deck can then eventually fail and collapse, injuring or possible killing a person.
There are many other details and concerns a home inspector can find on the exterior of a home such as flashing, electrical, grading, gutters, downspouts, rake ends, soffits, etc. If you are buying a home, have it inspected by a certified home inspector.