4 Things Not Covered by Home Inspections in Florida
Home inspections are an important part of the Florida home buying process. Most buyers assume that it will unveil every possible issue with a house, but unfortunately, there are limitations to what inspectors can see and evaluate. By understanding these limitations, buyers can proceed with a better understanding of what to expect as home buyers. Here are 5 things not covered by home inspections.
Electrical Wiring in Walls
Inspectors will evaluate circuit breaker panels, outlets, switches, and other electrical components that are accessible. However, they can't possibly see or know the condition of wiring within the walls. Sometimes there are signs of hidden electrical issues (such as flickering lights), but in most cases, there's no way to really tell. Unfortunately, this is a limitation of all inspections. Furthermore, even if an electrical system is in perfect condition now, this doesn't prohibit future issues. Dealing with potential electrical issues is simply a part of home ownership.
Hidden Plumbing Issues
Plumbing is a tricky thing to inspect. Home inspectors will run the water in a home and check for leaks and other issues, but this doesn't always detect problems with pipes inside walls or underground. Some problems are noticeable only when living in a home or when renovating and exposing hidden pipes. It may not even be possible to tell if a problem began during your ownership of a home or with the previous owners. All homes will experience plumbing issues at one time or another, so the best we can do is be aware and prepared when signs do present themselves.
Home inspectors will often point out potential structural issues with a home. However, it's important to note that they are not structural engineers. If an issue is not obvious, they may not detect it. Additionally, they do not have the background or training to advise you on poorly designed buildings or components. If you suspect that a home contains structural problems, it may be best to hire a structural engineer to further evaluate it.
System Lifespan Predictions
Among the things not covered by home inspections are predictions on when appliances or major systems may fail. Inspectors may tell you whether a system appears to be functioning correctly, but they can't possibly predict when it might fail. This is because product lifespans are helpful but not exact. A 30-year heating system could last for 35 years, or conversely, a 15-year hot water tank could fail after just 12 years. The most that homebuyers can work from is an evaluation of how a system or appliance is working now. If it's nearing the end of its lifespan, it's best to budget for future service or replacement.
More Things Not Covered by Home Inspections
The above are just four examples of things not covered by home inspections in Florida. Home inspectors will often provide you with a disclosure form listing other items not covered. Although every possible issue may not be detected in an inspection, they still give you the best possible assessment of a home's condition. It's helpful to budget for future issues and repairs because even if there are no pre-existing problems, there is always the potential for new ones to arise during your ownership.