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Common Defects Found During Home Inspections: An Interview with Bob Hintze of Waypoint Inspection

By Bob Hintze

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Waypoint Property Inspection is a family-owned, full-service and specialty inspection company serving the Greater Tampa area. We are based in Riverview. We have been in business since early 2005 and have completed over 7000 inspections. Our inspectors are licensed with the state of Florida, fully insured to protect clients and realtors, and certified members with the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI). We offer inspections to clients buying and selling their homes or businesses. We are committed to ensuring our clients have a firm understanding of the condition of the property, thus, providing them with peace of mind that their home or business is healthy, safe and secure.

Each full home inspection includes: 1. A 1-year membership in the Home Owners Network; 2. A 90-day warranty: limited structural/mechanical warranty w/no deductible; 3. Free RecallChek: systems and appliances will be monitored for current and future recalls for as long as you live in the house; and 4. Lateral line sewer and water line protection from house to utility.

In addition to full home inspections, we also complete

  • Pre-listing inspections for sellers
  • Warranty inspections
  • New construction inspections
  • Pool and spa inspections
  • Commercial inspections (up to 10,000 sq ft)
  • Manufactured home inspections
  • Wind mitigation inspections
  • Four point inspections
  • Roof certifications
  • What is the most common defect you find when you're inspecting Florida homes?

    The most common defect we find is moisture intrusion/damage, whether its source is external or internal. Examples include active roof leafs, window leaks and damaged siding/trim for the exterior. Leaky faucets, drains or inadequate sealing around tubs and showers for the interior.

    Is there something that most people don't know about roofing problems that they should know?

    Most people don't know that roofing issues begin well before symptoms appear. For example, flashing on a ridge vent or vent pipe can be leaking for years before any symptoms appear on the inside of the house, mainly stains on the ceiling. It can take a long time for a small leak to penetrate the roof sheathing, attic fiberglass or interior drywall before stains become apparent. Often, by that time, the damage is significant and repairs can be expensive. We recommend completing a comprehensive roof inspection by a licensed roofer or home inspector at least once a year.

    How common are electrical hazards in older homes? What about in newer homes?

    Older homes may have several electrical hazards:

  • Outdated wiring that lacks proper insulation and is missing ground wires. An ungrounded system can affect the continuity of the service, including over-voltage.
  • Hazardous electrical panels may be present such as Federal Pacific, Zinsco and Zinsco-Sylvania. These panels, often found in older homes that have not been upgraded, have a documented history of failure. The breakers can overheat and not trip as intended, causing fires.
  • Aluminum branch wiring is found in homes dated from the late '60s to the late '70s. Aluminum does not conduct electricity as well as copper, causing overheating and expansion. The issue is with the connections at the panels and end-source (outlets, switches, fixtures.) Over time, these connections can loosen, causing arcing and potentially fires.
  • In newer homes the issues are fewer:

  • DIY fixes where the homeowner doesn't know what they are doing. This often leads to improper wiring, exposed wiring or missing covers such as junction box covers in the attic.
  • Newer construction issues include ground wires not properly secured to outlets or reverse wiring at fixtures (the neutral and ground wires are switched). These are usually caused by having too many hands touch the electrical system when it's installed and not having a final check when the system is activated.
  • What are some of the most expensive defects that are commonly found during a home inspection?

    For older homes, rewiring the electrical system to either remove aluminum branch wiring or install proper grounding can be expensive. Replacing a hazardous panel is costly as well. Replacing the roofing materials due to deterioration and defects can also be expensive. Replacing the HVAC system (on a split system both the interior and exterior units) can also be expensive. Finally, dealing with moisture intrusion and damage, can be expensive. This may also include mold testing and remediation.

    What are the basic steps that people should take after they've received an inspection report for a house with several defects?

    Review the material defects, including causes and solutions while on-site at the inspection with the inspector. Thoroughly review the inspection report when received and highlight areas that are unclear or raise questions. Contact the inspector to discuss the findings in detail and to gain clarity over unclear areas and answers to questions. (Make sure your home inspector is accessible to you after the inspection.) Work with your realtor to resolve any issues based on the contract terms. If the contract is As-Is the buyer may want to contact a contractor or trade specialist to get a quote on repairs. And always involve the inspector as needed to obtain details and answers to questions.

    What's the best way for people to get in contact with you and your company?

    Contact our office at 813-486-8551 (M-F 8AM-7PM, Sat 10AM-3PM.)

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