Getting an inspection is standard operating procedure in the home-buying process. The inspector will go over the property with a fine-toothed comb looking for potential problems. However, depending on the location, age, and condition of the home, there are instances where you may need a separate, more specific inspection.
"A typical home inspection will provide the buyer a very detailed report about the condition of the home, but sometimes a little more digging is needed," said Kazantzis Real Estate Owner and Agent Andrea Kazantzis. "This can include radon testing, termite inspection, and sewer line inspection. While there's an extra expense, the buyer needs to know the true condition of a home"
Radon is a cancer-causing gas that you can't see, smell, or taste. However, at high levels, it can be very dangerous. According to the US Surgeon General, radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the country.
That said, the EPA suggests sellers have the home tested before it's put on the market. The EPA also says buyers should request a radon testing report.
According to CT Pro Inspection, a radon test can take anywhere from 48 hours to a few days. All doors and windows should be kept closed for 12 hours before the start of the test and throughout the test itself. Doors can be used to enter and exit the home, but should not be kept open for more than a minute. HVAC units can be used as normal. However, air conditioning units should only use recirculated air and not bring in outside air.
Radon testing can cost anywhere from $150 to $350.
Sewer Line Inspection
The sewer line connects a home to the main sewer line. If something goes wrong, it's the homeowner's responsibility to fix, not the municipality.
According to CT Pro Inspection, sewer line failures can be very destructive and costly. If the home is 30+ years old, they said it's probably a good idea to get a sewer line inspection.
The inspector will use a special camera called a sewer scope to check for blockages, leaks, sagging pipes, and pipe offsets.
Buyers will want to ask the inspector if they offer SewerGard with their inspection, which provides 90 days of protection should something go wrong.
The cost of a sewer line inspection is around $300.
A Wood Destroying Organism (WDO) inspection, costing about $100, will not only inspect the home for damaging insects, like termites but also look for dry rot caused by fungi.
During a WDO inspection, the inspector will look for signs of active infestation (shed termite wings), signs of a past infestation, and potential trouble spots - such as crevices or gaps that could let in pests. The inspector will provide you with a report with detailed findings, as well as suggestions for addressing any issues that come up.
Elevated levels of mold in a home can cause health problems.
If a home inspector determines mold may be an issue in the home, he or she may suggest an additional inspection.
A mold inspector will use a moisture meter to detect dampness in drywall, insulation, and other building material. They may also take air samples from inside and outside the home.
As part of a routine inspection, the inspector will look at the condition of a home's foundation. If there are potential problems, an additional foundation inspection may be suggested.
As part of this inspection, a structural engineer will inspect the foundation, tell you what may be causing the problem and how to fix it.
This inspection can cost about $500. Before hiring an engineer, check their credentials with your state's licensing board.
In many cases, a routine inspection will suffice, but as you can see there are times when a more detailed inspection is in your best interest. If you're not sure what inspections you need, your agent, along with your home inspector, can help guide you through the process.