Most Common Home Inspection Problems in Houston
Houston, Texas, one of the largest cities in America, boasts warm weather, a pleasant southern atmosphere, and vibrant city life. It should come as no surprise that at least 80,0000 homes are sold annually in this sprawling city. Inspections as a part of these sales have allowed home inspectors to determine common issues with Houston homes. Some of the most common home inspection findings in Houston are below.
1. HVAC SYSTEM
The typical HVAC system in the Houston area lasts about 15-20 years if proper installation and maintenance procedures are followed. That said, inspectors typically find several issues that can greatly shorten the life of an HVAC system. These issues include:
- Oversized HVAC systems. Inspectors find many homes with oversized units even though modern energy-efficient construction techniques allow homes to be built with smaller HVAC systems. Oversized units short-cycle (run for short periods of time), placing additional strain on the equipment. Another downside to short-cycling is that the HVAC does not have a chance to reduce the humidity level in the home resulting in general discomfort and clamminess.
- Poor maintenance. Homeowners typically don’t pay much attention to their HVAC system so long as it cools in the summer and heats in the winter. Over time, unseen problems can develop (e.g. gaps in the ductwork), reducing the efficiency of the unit and leading to higher energy usage. Other visible problems, such as water damage to the ceiling and wall, can be caused by poor maintenance.
2. ROOF DAMAGE
Although climate in Houston is generally warm, the weather can be extreme at times. High winds, heavy rain, and unrelenting heat and humidity throughout the year may shorten the life of roof coverings.
One of the first places inspectors see this wear is through the loss of the granular covering on composition shingles. Once this protective layer starts to wear away, the roof coverings will rapidly deteriorate due to the loss of UV protection. This can result in leaks, both seen and unseen.
3. FOUNDATION ISSUES
In our area we have expansive clay soil which is particularly hard on foundations. This type of soil expands and contracts more than your standard soil types. One of the ways you will start to see foundation problems manifest is through cracks in brick veneer. Here’s an image of what that looks like. If these issues aren’t addressed early on, it can lead to more severe structural damage and costly repairs.
Houston is a great city, and there are many reasons to move here. If the Bayou City is on your radar, we hope that this information helps to prepare you for what to expect. Most importantly, we hope that the home inspection process will give you the information necessary to make the right decision when deciding on your new home.