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Home Inspection Blog Posts & Tips

Why Should I Have A Home Inspection?


One of the most commonly asked questions that prospective home buyers and sellers ask is “Why should I have a home inspection?” If you are buying a home in the Columbia, SC and surrounding areas,  you absolutely should have a home inspection. 


This is because building practices and recommended materials are constantly changing. Materials that are in one minute, can be determined as longer safe and effective. Despite the ever changing standards and procedures, home inspectors are trained to recognize materials and practices that are no longer acceptable. This is one of many scenarios that justifies having the home inspection. Over time there will be construction materials that are considered perfectly acceptable and cost effective turn out to be hazardous and unreliable later down the line.


In this short article, we are going to outline three serious issues that are difficult to spot by home owners and sellers. The three cases covered in this article are determined by the home insurance industry to be great risks and more that they are willing to take on. However, this doesn’t mean that a home is a lost cause and uninsurable. Like the saying goes “ you can insure anything, but at what cost?




Polybutylene Piping



When Polybutylene piping first hit the market, it was thought to be a game-changer to the home construction industry. For good reason, it was flexible, easy to install, cost effective, it was thought to be a miraculous  creation of modern plastics. Due to its inexpensive production cost and ability to withstand high water pressure, it was seen as a better, cheaper alternative to copper plumbing. 



Eventually it was discovered that this type of plastic negatively impacted water-soluble oxidants ( like chlorine) and over time will deteriorate, flake, and become damaged.The industry gradually improved the product over time. Despite the improvements made to this product, class action lawsuits soon followed from earlier versions of this material. This turned out to be a headache for the insurance industry and was determined to be not worth the risk. Polybutylene piping is no longer acceptable by U.S. building codes.



According to the National Association of Home Inspectors, polybutylene pipes are typically identifiable by a specific code. Your home inspector may bring this to your attention. It’s important to be aware that polybutylene piping systems may use copper fittings. This means, just because you see copper, that doesn’t mean that the entire system is made from copper. A licensed plumber can determine whether or not the entire system is made from polybutylene piping. This is because any deterioration of polybutylene pipes happens from within and cannot be detected without turning off the water and dismantling the pipe, which is far beyond the standards of practice of home inspection.





Chinese Drywall


During the early 2000s when the housing boom in the United States hit, our domestic producers of drywall could not
keep up with the demand. Therefore the construction industry searched for other viable sources. A solution was found,
the chinese were producers and the construction industry were eager to take advantage of this new alternative.


Over time it became apparent that the chinese drywall contained a caustic sulfur chemical that seeped into areas of the home wherever it was placed. This caused an onset of irritating corrosive gas that created an unpleasant experience for homeowners. The challenge with Chinese drywall is that it is extremely difficult to identify, by the labels alone.
However, the visual results that indicate the presence of Chinese drywall are readily visible. An experienced home inspector will be able identify the results from the caustic gas. Having a home inspection will address issues
concerning Chinese Drywall.





Aluminum Wire


There was a time when the price and the demand for copper skyrocketed. The construction industry used aluminum wire as a replacement for Copper. This was an acceptable replacement at the time, because aluminum is a good conductor of electricity. There are a few disadvantages that made this alternative less ideal than copper. However, at the time the obvious flaws were put on the back burner and the cost became the motivating factor for using Aluminum wiring instead
of Copper. 


It was discovered that aluminum wire has the potential  to cause fires. The insurance industry decided that this was a risk not worth taking. At the time of writing this, Aluminum is considered hazardous and should be corrected before getting coverage on the home.





"There are more reasons for having a home
inspection than not having one."



These are just a few of many scenarios that justifies not skipping the home inspection.
Your inspector is trained to identify issues with the home, unacceptable materials and construction practices.
Having a home inspection gives you the opportunity to get the facts and learn as much as possible about the current state of the home before making a purchasing decision. For all your home inspection needs contact S&J Home Inspections LLC. We offer same-day home and termite inspections. This means you can get the
home inspection and CL-100 letter in just one visit. Give us a call today to book your home & termite inspections.






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