St. Louis Home InspectionSafety Tips for a Thorough St. Louis Home Inspection

When shopping for a home in St. Louis, it’s easy to get swept up in curb appeal, renovated kitchens, and luxury bathrooms. But before you make an offer, it’s critical to objectively assess the property for hidden issues that could affect your family’s health and safety. A thorough home inspection conducted by a licensed professional inspector helps uncover defects and hazards you’d never notice on your own.

Don’t skip this step, even if the home looks flawless. Here are tips for using the home inspection process to reveal potential safety concerns in a St. Louis property:

Check the Foundation

Inspectors will evaluate the foundation and look for signs of cracks, shifting, moisture damage, or improper structural supports. Issues here can lead to collapsing walls, floors, and ceilings down the road. This presents major safety hazards in addition to being extremely expensive to repair.

Scan for Lead Paint

Many older St. Louis homes contain lead paint, especially in windows, doors, railings, and trims. While intact lead paint is not an immediate hazard, when it chips or turns to dust it can be inhaled and cause lead poisoning, especially in children. Inspectors test paint with special meters and highlight any areas containing dangerous levels of lead.

Evaluate the Roof

A compromised roof can lead to mold growth and water leakage, which undermine safety. Inspectors will get up on the roof and check for damaged shingles, insufficient flashing, pooling water, and obvious holes or repairs needed. They can also tell if the roof is nearing the end of its lifespan based on roofing material and age.

Check Water Pressure

Inadequate water pressure can reduce the effectiveness of plumbing fixtures. Low pressure often makes it difficult to run a shower and use another water source at the same time. More importantly, it can prevent fire sprinkler systems from functioning properly in an emergency. Inspectors will test water pressure at several points.

Assess the Electrical System

From power outlets to the main circuit breaker, a home’s electrical system presents major fire and shock hazards if not properly maintained. Inspectors check for exposed wiring, overloaded circuits, improper installations, lack of GFCI outlets near water sources, and insufficient amperage for large appliances.

Scan for Mold

In addition to being hazardous for respiratory health, mold can compromise the physical structure of a home. Inspectors use moisture meters and look in attics, basements, and under sinks for any visible mold or conditions conducive to growth like water leaks or poor ventilation.

Check the HVAC System

Faulty heating and air units can lead to carbon monoxide leaks, which are highly toxic. Proper HVAC functioning also prevents excess moisture that allows mold growth. Inspectors will ensure the system is operating safely and efficiently.

Evaluate Insulation

Insufficient insulation allows exterior air and moisture into the home, leading to potential mold and mildew growth. It also puts undue strain on heating and cooling systems. Inspectors examine insulation levels in walls, attics, basements, and crawlspaces.

Look for Pest Infestations

Rodents, termites, carpenter ants, and other pests are not just a nuisance – they can cause structural damage and health hazards. Inspectors look for telltale signs like chew marks, droppings, insect nests, and wood rot. They may recommend getting a professional pest inspection.

Check Railings and Decks

Loose or damaged railings and unstable decks present a major falling hazard. Inspectors will carefully examine all railings, grasp them firmly, and assess attachment points. They also check under decks for structural damage and inadequate support.

Review Security Features

Items like outdoor lighting, alarm systems, secure doors and windows, and fence conditions relate to safety. Inspectors will note any repairs needed to keep your family secure. Make sure to also change all locks after moving in.

Watch Out for Trip Hazards

Like loose handrails, uneven floors, cracks in sidewalks, and steps without railings are trip hazards. Inspectors will flag these issues to prevent injuries, especially for elderly residents and small children. They’ll also note slippery tub and shower conditions.

Don’t let small defects lead to preventable injuries or costs down the road. During a St. Louis home inspection, discuss all health and safety concerns with your inspector. They have an eye for hidden hazards that even the most diligent homeowner could overlook. Putting safety first ensures your home won’t compromise your family’s well-being.

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