In the most recent survey of its members, the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) compiled the following list of the most frequently found problems in the homes they inspected.

1. Improper Surface Grading/Drainage

This is by far the most frequently found problem reported by home inspectors at 35.8%. It is responsible for the most common household maladies: water penetration of the basement or crawl space.

2. Improper Electrical Wiring

A significant number  (19.9%) chose this item as the most common home defect, which includes such situations as insufficient electrical service to the house, inadequate overload protection, and amateur, often dangerous, wiring connections.

3. Roof Damage

Although reported by only 8.5% of home inspectors as the most common problems, roof leakage, caused by old damaged shingles or improper flashing, was considered to be a frequent problem.

4. Heating Systems

Problems in this category include broken or malfunctioning operations controls, blocked chimneys, and unsafe exhaust disposal.

5. Poor Overall Maintenance

Even the novice home buyer is usually aware of this situation, demonstrated by such signs as cracked, peeling, or dirty painted surfaces, crumbling masonry, makeshift wiring or plumbing, broken fixtures or appliances,

6. Structural Problems

As a result of problems in 1 or more of the other categories, many houses sustain damage to such structural components as foundation walls, floor joists, rafters, and window and door headers.

7. Plumbing

Though not ranked by any inspectors as the most significant problem, plumbing defects still rank high among the house problems encountered, and include the existence of old or incompatible piping materials, as well as faulty fixtures and waste lines.

8. Exteriors

Flaws in a home's exterior, including windows, doors, and wall surfaces, are responsible for the discomfort of water and air penetration, but rarely have strcutural significance. Inadequate caulking or weather stripping are the most common culprits.

9. Poor Ventilation

Perhaps due to overly ambitious efforts to save energy, many homeowners have "over sealed" their homes, resulting in excessive interior moisture. This can cause rotting and premature failure of bothe structural and non-structural elements.

10. Miscellaneous

This category includes primarily interior components, often cosmetic in nature, which were not found frequently enough to rank individually.


Jon DePoe, ABR
KW Referral Company
724-222-5500 Ext 112
PA RS191534L