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illustration home issues to expect in tennessee

Top 10 Home Issues to Expect in Tennessee

We’ve compiled a listing of the top issues identified during pre-sale home inspections. This is a superb starting point to guide your home maintenance activities.

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We get some challenging weather. Our article Top 20 Rainiest Cities and Towns in Tennessee helps prove the point. 

Severe weather can be a problem, but it’s the day-to-day weather that grinds down your home over the months and years. All that requires regular ongoing maintenance to keep minor problems from becoming major issues.

Regular home maintenance also pays off when you’re selling your home. At that point, your home will require a detailed inspection conducted by a professional home inspector. 

In this article, we’ve gathered a listing of top issues you can expect from a home inspection. This is a good starting point for guiding your home maintenance efforts.

illustration home issues to expect in tennessee

Top 10 Home Inspection Issues in Tennessee

A home inspection helps the buyer determine exactly what they are buying, making sure there are no major issues with the home. Here are the top listed items to expect.

1. Faulty Electrical Wiring

This critical inspection element identifies whether the breaker box and wiring are compliant with current electrical codes. It will also point out missing ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets that are required in areas with water, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoor outlets. It will examine wiring at over capacity due to increased demands from computers, television screens, and appliances. There could even be insufficient service to the house. All this can result in electrocution and fire hazards.

2. Poor Grading and Drainage

This was top of the list of problems compiled by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, reported by 36% of respondents. The home’s landscape grading must move the water away from the foundation and avoid pooling of water. Any water around the foundation can cause cracking along with leaks into the basement or crawl space. 

3. Clogged Gutters and Downspouts

Gutters and downspouts must be in good repair and clear of obstructions so that rainwater flows off the roof through the downspouts. Downspout extensions can also help guide water away from the foundation.

4. Damp Basement

As noted above, poor landscape grading and clogged or missing gutters can pool up water around the foundation. This builds up hydrostatic pressure on the basement or crawl space walls, leading to cracks, leaks, and even flooding. It’s best to install a basement drainage system and a sump pump or in the case of crawl spaces a vapor barrier, insulation, and dehumidifier.

5. Roof Problems

Things to watch for here include missing shingles that can cause leaks, sagging roof line due to structural damage, and rotting eaves. The age of the shingles is an important factor as well. Rubber boots around pipes and damaged attic vents or flashing may also require periodic replacement. Finally, even though asphalt shingles normally have a 15 to 40-year lifetime, they do need to be replaced at some point.

6. Foundation Issues

This shows up as windows and doors out of alignment as well as damaged floor joists, rafters, and foundation walls. You’ll also see cracks in basement or crawl space walls. These can be very serious problems. We’re experts at foundation repair and can help with a free inspection and repair estimate. 

7. Poor Overall Maintenance

This often shows up as poor caulking and sealing around windows, missing weather stripping around doors as well as broken or cracked window panes. Cracked and peeling paint, makeshift wiring, poor do-it-yourself plumbing, broken fixtures, and appliances in need of repair are all on the list of poor overall maintenance. Even though many of these items might be relatively minor in nature, a long list can add up to serious time and money.

8. Faulty Plumbing

This area includes inadequate water pressure, dripping faucets, slow drains, and leaky pipes under sinks or in the basement or crawl space. Small leaks can cause rotting as well as mold or mildew buildup. As just one example, if a toilet has a leak, it could cause rotting in the floor. That requires flooring replacement. As you can see, small problems mount up causing serious damage over time. 

9. Ventilation Challenges

Older homes often do not have adequate attic ventilation nor sufficient insulation. Extreme heat in the attic can lead to vapor condensation and brittle asphalt shingles, leading to still more damage. This can be addressed by ensuring that roof soffits are not blocked and installing attic vents. There can also be challenges with crawl space ventilation issues that cause excess moisture and the resulting rotting and mold. 

10. Defective Heating

In older homes furnace issues appear from malfunctioning controls to improper exhaust pipes and vents. This can lead to serious carbon monoxide leaks. Furnaces need to be serviced on a regular basis including filter replacement and cleaning. Air conditioning systems can also demonstrate problems from inadequate cooling to noisy compressors and fans. It may also be that the furnace or HVAC unit is at the end of its useful life, requiring replacement.

A survey of home buyers conducted by Porch found that 86% of home inspections identified at least one item that needed to be fixed. Ranked at the top were roof, electrical, and window problems. Gutters, downspouts, landscape grading, and foundation issues were also big items on their list. 

We Can Help with Foundation Issues

As foundation repair experts, we have a great deal of experience identifying and repairing home issues throughout Tennessee from our offices in Nashville, Chattanooga, and Knoxville

As you review home maintenance challenges, we suggest consulting the professionals at AFS Foundation and Waterproofing Specialists for a free inspection and repair estimate.     

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