What to Look For When Doing a Home Inspection

What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection examines the condition of your home, including its foundation, structure, HVAC, plumbing, and electric. Home inspections can be used to help you make informed decisions when purchasing a home. However, they are also helpful when we write your home insurance policy.

Home Inspection in Cambridge, ON, for insurance usually includes:

  • Siding
  • Roof
  • Other structures
  • Gutters
  • HVAC
  • Plumbing
  • Elec.
  • Doors and windows
  • Surrounding grounds (including swimming pools)

Why are home insurance companies requiring inspections?

Many home insurance providers, particularly those in disaster-prone states such as Florida require a home inspection prior to issuing a policy. This inspection is necessary to ensure that the home meets all underwriting requirements. The inspection also records the condition of the home before the policy goes into effect. This helps to limit fraudulent claims for damage that may already have occurred. An inspection could also uncover any repairs that are needed to make your home eligible for insurance.

We recently adopted home inspections – they are free for customers and an easy way to have inspections done without the need to call someone.

If you live in your home, self inspections must be done within 7 day of the policy’s date of effective for new home purchases. You will need a smartphone or tablet, and it takes about 20 minutes.

These are the things to watch out for when you do a home inspection.

Self-inspection checklist for home inspection

Home inspections are a fast and simple alternative to having an inspector come to your home. Self inspections usually take less than 20 minutes and require only a smartphone.

Once you have started, eSurvey will walk you through the entire process with simple multiple-choice questions. Then, you’ll be asked to take photos of your home and exterior with your smartphone. We will receive the images immediately (and securely).

Tips for self-inspection

  • Take exterior photos in daylight.
  • Take clear photos of the label that is on the panel.
  • To get a shot of the roof, don’t climb any objects! To ensure the roof is visible from the ground, you should take a few steps back.
  • You can take a blank photo if you are unable to access certain parts of the property (e.g. the attic).
  • If you are not able to inspect the property at the moment, please forward the inspection link and the link to a friend, family member or tenant.

You will need to take photographs of the following items in order to complete your inspection.

To see the ground and roof, all four sides of your home

This document documents the exterior of your home, including its roof, gutters and foundation. A picture speaks louder than words. We can see if the porch steps are leaning or gaps are around door and window frames.

We’ll be watching for missing tiles, discoloration, granular loss, lifting or curling of shingles and other roof issues.

Take a picture of the inspection from the roof, but never climb on it!

HVAC furnace

The average furnace’s lifespan is 16 to 20 years. To ensure safety in your home, you might consider replacing your furnace if it is beyond its useful life.

If applicable, the pool and every gate/latch that secures it

Pools can increase the likelihood of an injury occurring on your property. We want to make sure that they are secured properly and are not left empty. It might be a smart idea to increase your personal responsibility coverage if you have a pool.

HVAC condenser outside of the home

Air conditioning units typically last 12-15 years. The serial number of the unit will indicate how many years it has been in use.

If applicable, sheds and outbuildings

Your home insurance policy will include coverage for any other structures on the property. Your other structures should be insured at a minimum of 10 percent of your home coverage. If your home is insured for $200,000 you will have $20,000 coverage for your garage, fence, and other structures.

All plumbing, including all under sinks and shut-off valves for toilets

This document will show you the type of piping that you have, as well as any hidden leaks or sediment buildup.

The manufacturer label and the electrical panel

Older electrical systems could pose a fire hazard. This is why it is important to check the panel as well as the manufacturer. For example, tube and knob wiring is often ungrounded, which can lead to electric shocks. Circuit breakers that trip on Federal Pacific Electric panels can cause overheating and fires.

The manufacturer label and water heater

Tank water heaters typically last between 10 and 14 years. Tankless heaters can last for up to 19 years. This image will show you how long your system can last.

Take care when taking photos of your house. Have fun inspecting!



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