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Common Defects

Even well built and maintained homes have items in less than perfect condition.  We do a thorough inspections, and while some items may be minor, they will be best corrected prior to the close of escrow.
 
For Single Family homes, Townhouses, and Multi-Unit Buildings:
Condominiums - See below
 
Roofing:  Any number of items can be discovered - Usually it doesn't mean the roof needs replacment, but simply maintenance or repair.  Routine issues in Chicago arise with the placement and clearances of service conductors, clogged gutters, and rusty roof flashings.
 
Electrical hazards:  Found frequently even in new construction. Electrical hazards come in many forms, from ungrounded outlets to wiring done incorrectly by the homeowner.  Double taps and hot taps are seen frequently, as are inoperative GFCI outlets are in exterior locations (we electrically trip them).  Garbage disposal wiring also seems to be a recurring problem (missing or inadequate grounding).
 
Ceiling stains Caused by past or present leaks.  It can be difficult to tell whether the stains are from leaks still present, or were caused by leaks which have since been repaired.

Water heaters Many water heaters are not installed in full compliance with local plumbing code.  The gas companies are very strict about proper installations, and could go as far as shutting off the gas service to the residence without proper TPR relief and drain lines attached.

HVAC Systems:  Most gas furnaces seem to be in need of routine maintenance such as new filters and cleaning.  Other common issues such as improper furnace location, and inadequate clearance to combustible materials are seen.  One new construction home Steve inspected had newly installed drywall blocking access to the furnace air filter.  (odd...) Many have other issues such as faulty operation or inadequate fire clearance that need immediate corrections.
With high efficiency furnaces - we're seeing nearly 1/3 of the units installed incorrectly (the source of combustion air comming from the exterior).  Correcting this installation will increase the efficientcy rating to the manufacturer's specifications, and lower your heating costs.
 
With Air Conditioning, we find condenstate drain lines clogged, improperly installed - or worse.  Insulation on the suction line at exterior locations is commonly deteriorated and needing replacement.
 
 
Plumbing defects Plumbing issues commonly found include dripping faucets, leaking fixtures, and slow drains.  Issues arise too with water supply piping including corrosion and missing dielectric unions.  Correction early on saves considerable expense later. Even with new homes, it is common to identify minor plumbing defects.
 
For:  Condominiums - Highrise and Walkup units:
 
Electrical hazards:  Found frequently even in new construction. Electrical hazards come in many forms, from ungrounded outlets to wiring done incorrectly by the homeowner.  Double taps and hot taps are seen frequently, as are inoperative GFCI outlets are in exterior locations (we electrically trip them).  Garbage disposal wiring also seems to be a recurring problem (missing or inadequate grounding).  A uniquely dangerous type of electrical panel (manufacured by Federal Pacific) is commmon in various high-rise structures built in the 1970's and '80s.  Your inspector will discuss this with you.
Plumbing defects Plumbing issues commonly found include dripping faucets, leaking fixtures, and slow drains.  Issues arise too with water supply piping including corrosion and missing dielectric unions.  Correction early on saves considerable expense later. Even with new construction, it's common to identify minor plumbing defects.
 
Heating and Cooling:  Installations vary widely depending on the condominium association and specific unit.  Typically Most gas furnaces seem to be in need of routine maintenance such as new filters and cleaning.  Other common issues such as improper furnace location, and inadequate clearance to combustible materials are seen. Many have other issues such as faulty operation or inadequate fire clearance that need immediate corrections.
 
With common hotwater/building chiller operations, we find inoperative fans or fans in need of cleaning.  Leaking valves are also common.
 
Air Conditioning systems are found with condenstate drain lines clogged, improperly installed - or worse.  Insulation on the suction line at exterior locations is commonly deteriorated and needing replacement.  In highrise condominiums, some thermostats are commonly out of working order.
 
Of course, these are just the most common defects we find.  Other items usually come up.  Your inspection report will include a 'summary page' with items specifically drawn out of the text of the report.  With new construction, you can commonly use this as a basis for your final 'punch-list'.