Grading: Improper grading is the most common deficiency we see. The land or ground slopes towards the home and directs water towards the basement and possibly into the basement. The ground should not cover the siding or brickwork, typically a minimum of 6 inches or 150mm is recommended.
Eavestroughs: Plugged or dirty eavestroughs or the lacks of proper extensions to downspouts are very common problems.
Roof: How old is the roof? If no information provided then the roofs are often outdated. Roofs will typically last between 10 and 20 years. Flashing and caulking deficiencies are very common.
Foundations: Water and water related problems: Does the foundation leak? Look for signs of infiltration around the perimeter of basements. Are there any foundation cracks? Most foundations have cracks, this is very common and expected and most are not considered to be a major problem. The size and frequency and location of cracks can indicate a more serious problem. Typically the older the home the prone they are to water infiltrations, most old homes don’t have weeping tiles or water proofing and in consequence usually leak to various degrees in the basement. Efflorescence, stains mold and mildew are all common signs of water problems to various degrees.
Framing: Older pre 1950’ home typically have central sagging in the middle of the home and sagging around the stairs due to weakness in footings and framing.
Electrical: Service should be 100amp or more. Some older homes still have a 60, 80 or 90 amp service. Improper electrical wiring or outlets is the most common deficiency. Oversized fuses or breakers and the lack of distribution are more common with the pre 1970’s home. Knob and tube wiring for old homes is usually a major deficiency and usually requires upgrading.
Heating systems: The lack of maintenance or a dirty filter is the most common deficiency. Heating systems will typically last between 10 and 20 years.
Plumbing systems: Water stains under bathrooms, at joints on the waste line. Older homes will have old cast iron or galvanized steel plumbing lines. This may impact pressure to upper levels of the home. Pre 1950’s homes may have lead water supply lines that service the home, unless it has been more recently upgraded. Lead lines are no longer recommended for water supply lines.
Insulation: Most old homes do not have any insulation in the walls unless retrofitted at a later date. Check to see the heating bills is possible. An old type of insulation called Vermiculite can contain asbestos and must be tested by a specialist. Remove costs are very expensive for this type of asbestos insulation.
Fireplaces: Old wood fireplaces without a liner are a problem. This will need to be inspected by a specialist.
Interior: Water stains and damage in various locations.