Attention Phoenix Area Home Buyers: These top 10 issues uncovered during routine home inspections can affect YOU! You need us to be your home inspector.

January 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured Home Inspection

You should be very concerned if you’re thinking about buying a home without getting the home inspected.  The top issues we uncover during routine home inspections in the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale area could work to your advantage if you know about them prior to purchasing the home.

Having a home inspector disclose any issues discovered during a home inspection prior to your purchasing, puts you in a position to better negotiate the repair of documented issues, or better negotiate the price of the home itself. 

Take a look at the top 10 issues we uncover each week during routine home inspections in the Phoenix – Mesa – Scottsdale areas:

1.  Plumbing – The water supply shutoff valves for the plumbing fixtures (i.e. under the kitchen or bathroom sinks) will over time develop minor corrosion around the valve and its connection indicating that there are possibly several minor pinhole size leaks.  The problem is not serious but consideration should be made to have the valves cleaned of the corrosion and resealed with plumbers’ putty/tape.  This is a preventative maintenance action to help catching possible leaks and save on replacing the shutoff valves.

The water plumbing fixtures drainline connections have areas of minor corrosion (i.e. under the kitchen or bathroom sinks) that develop over time indicating that there are possibly minor leaks.

Plastic drainlines, recommend cleaning all parts of corrosion and replacing plumbers tape before reinstalling.  Recommend further evaluation and repairs by a competent plumber.

Metal drainlines with areas of corrosion on the outside of its piping.  The metal piping corrodes from the inside out.  Therefore, the condition of the metal drain piping may be more severely corroded than it visibly appears. 

 The supply line plumbing in the home consists of polybutylene piping.  Polybutylene supply line plumbing pipes are a flexible plastic material typically gray or blue in color, and are subject to a higher degree of risk of bursting or leaking than other types of piping that was used extensively in the manufacture of water supply piping from 1978 until 1995.  The problem with polybutylene plumbing is that the chlorine and chemicals in most drinking water cause gradual changes in the fittings and the pipe itself. The plastic fittings harden, and leaks develop first at the fittings, but the pipe itself also hardens and becomes brittle. The use of copper fittings delays the onset of leaks, since the pipe ages much more slowly than the plastic fittings do.  There was no visible evidence of damaged piping or fittings at the time of the inspection.  Recommend contacting a certified licensed plumber for a thorough evaluation of the entire plumbing system. 

The supply line plumbing in the home consists of galvanized piping.  Galvanized pipes are subjected to the build-up of minerals that bond to the inside of the pipes and gradually reduce their inner diameter, restrict the volume of water and possibly lead to a water leak. A water softener will remove most of these minerals, but not once they are bonded within the pipes, for which there would be no remedy other than a re-pipe.



2.  Electrical – Electrical outlets that are not securely mounted (moves freely) to the wall.  The outlet needs to be properly mounted to prevent damaged to the outlet and possible electrical shock.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets that do not respond to the ground fault electrical test or that are not installed in the required locations.

These are the locations in and around the home when GFCI’s were first required:

1968 – Swimming Pool Underwater Lighting

1971 – Receptacles Near Swimming Pools

1973 – Outdoor Receptacles

1975 – Bathroom Receptacles

1978 – Garage Receptacles

1981 – Whirlpools and Tubs

1987 – Receptacles Near Kitchen Sinks

1990 – Receptacles in Unfinished Basements and Crawl Spaces

1993 – Receptacles Near Wet Bar Sinks

1996 – All Kitchen Counter-Top Receptacles

2005 – Receptacles Near Laundry and Utility Sinks

 Undersized (insufficient capacity) and outdated main electrical panel and wiring

Undersized sub panel electrical feed gauge wire with evidence of over heating.

The electrical connector with braided wiring that has several strands of wirers not inside the connector.  This decreases the gauge size of the wire and increases the amount of current through the remaining wires.   

The electrical panel circuit breakers that are oversize for the gauge wire connected to it.  The circuit breakers need to be replaced with the correct amperage circuit breakers or replacement of the wiring is needed to supply the correct amperage needed to prevent the possibility of fire or damage to the electrical system.

 Circuit breakers in the electrical panel that are corroded.  Corrosion on circuit breakers could cause them to bond together (rust together), preventing the breakers from tripping at times of over current situations. 



3.  Heating System – Neglect of annual maintenance

 The heating unit burners have abnormal flame patterns and or color.  This is an indication that the air to fuel ratio is off.   Burner adjustment needed.

The gasline entry point into the heating unit’s housing is a flex line and it needs to be a ridged gas line.  The entry point/hole should have a ridged gasline to protect it line from chaffing caused by vibration during the start up and running of the fan motor (air handler).  The ridged gasline should be adjusted/moved so that it does not come in contact with the entry point/hole of the heating unit housing.


4.  Attic – The attic is insufficiently insulated.  The attic has missing and or unevenly spread insulation. 


In older homes, the insulation may settle or compress over time decreasing its resistance value.


Broken factory-built roof trust members in the attic.  Truss repairs must be stipulated and supervised by a state licensed truss engineer. 


Portions of the factory-built truss system that have been damaged, are missing their gussets, or are improperly installed. 

 Cut roof trusses at the air handler/heater area of the attic those are incorrectly braced.  The cut truss needs to be properly braced to prevent further structural damage. Truss repairs must be stipulated and supervised by a state licensed engineer.



5.  Roof – Improperly installed, worn, missing, damaged or broken roof covering materials.


The roof is improperly flashed.  There is only a “Z” flashing installed at the wall contact points and no base flashing to prevent water entry. 


There is only a base flashing installed which is caulked at the wall contact points to prevent water entry.  The caulking does not produce a good long-term seal.  The base flashing should have a counter flashing installed above it to prevent water entry.



6.  Drainage – Added walkways, boarders and landscaping prevent proper yard drainage and will allow for water retention/ponding. 


The grade around the property drains towards the house (negative drainage).  This could cause undesirable settling in the foundation. 


Low spots/holes in the ground next to the foundation will retain water.  This condition makes the foundation of the house susceptible to undesired settling. 


Proper grading is needed to protect the foundation.  The low spots need to be filled with same/like soil as the surrounding area, firmly pack the soil, and then grade the soil to slope away from foundation for proper drainage.  The grade needs to slope uninterrupted away from the house foundation and towards the street.


7.  Structural Issues – As a result of issues in 1 or more of the categories, many houses sustain damage to such structural components as floating slab foundation, foundation walls, floor joists, rafters, and window and door headers.


8.  Exteriors – Flaws in the home’s exterior, including windows, doors, and wall surfaces, are responsible for the condition of water and air penetration, but rarely have structural significance. Inadequate caulking or weather stripping is the most common culprits.


9.  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.


10.Miscellaneous – This category includes primarily interior components, often cosmetic in nature, which were not found frequent enough to rank individually, nor do they typically qualify to be reported on during the home inspection.


While most homes sold in Arizona are inspected, many of the inspectors appear to be blind when it comes to knowing what to look for during an inspection.  By simply taking a few classes, following a licensed home inspector around on a few jobs and passing an inspection exam, ANYONE can obtain an license to inspect home in Arizona.

With easy requirements like those,  you’re probably more qualified to inspect your own home versus the good old boy inspector with cheap inspection prices and immediate availability.


You are not buying an inspection, you’re investing in an inspector. You are purchasing individual knowledge, experience, communication and technical skills.

I have over 20 years of knowledge in the remodeling business, which enables me to understand the cause and effects of home building practices.


Canyon State Property Inspections will provide you…the buyer, an impartial evaluation of the overall condition of the home and the items that need to be repaired or replaced. The inspection report we provide you with will give you the required information you need to make an informed decision about the property by providing you with a comprehensive, fully-narrative report detailing all the specifics of the home. We also include digital photos of defects where appropriate and encourage you to be on-site during the inspection so we can fully explain and show our findings to you first hand.


A home buyer should be an informed buyerCanyon State Property Inspections provides a valuable service to our clients based on honesty and integrity and we want to maintain a long term relationship. That is why we provide you with the highest level of service possible and are always available to answer questions regarding your home inspection. We encourage you to review our site in detail and hope that you will give Canyon State Property Inspections the opportunity to provide you with a complete and detailed inspection of your home.

Why choose Canyon State Property Inspections?

1.  We will give you a complete, unbiased, detailed, hold no punches, in depth evaluation of the entire home.

2.  We have conducted thousands of home and commercial property inspections.

3.  Our inspectors are Members of American Society of Home Inspector.

4.  Whenever you need us, we’ll be there to answer questions about the home pertaining to the inspection.

5.  We will save you money by making you an informed home buyer.

o    Allowing you to renegotiate the price

o    Get the repairs done at the seller’s or builder’s expense

o    Have the comfort of knowing the condition of the home 


Offering: Single Family Home Inspections, Multi Family Building Inspection, Mobile Home Inspections, Buyers Inspection, Seller Inspection, One Year Warranty Inspections, Home Inspector and related services


Apache Junction, AZ | Chandler Heights, AZ | Queen Creek, AZ | San Tan Valley, AZ | Phoenix AZ | Glendale, AZ | Avondale, AZ | Buckeye, AZ | Cave Creek, AZ | Goodyear, AZ | Laveen, AZ | Litchfield Park, AZ | Peoria, AZ | Tolleson, AZ | Surprise, AZ | Anthem, AZ | Mesa, AZ | Chandler, AZ | Gilbert, AZ | Scottsdale, AZ | Paradise Valley, AZ | Fountain Hills, AZ | Tempe, AZ |


Feel free to leave a comment...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!