Iowa Home Inspection: Who built this thing?

Folks, it pays to have an Iowa home inspection done by someone who’s been there and built that. I recently inspected an 8-year-old home in a small town that was, at a glance, just dreamy on the exterior. It had an appealing architectural design and many great features.

As I was walking up the driveway though I noticed the first of many little things that led to some bigger things that, unfortunately for the buyers and sellers, caused the deal to fall apart.

As a home inspector, I get asked a lot about who is responsible for repairs that need to be done. If there is a realtor involved, I always refer to them because they are there to hopefully help you negotiate the best deal possible on the home.

A lot of times while conducting the inspection I will run into projects that have been done DIY, and many times it’s quite obvious. In this particular house, DIY was evident at every turn. One of the numerous items that jumped out was the use of “S” traps for the plumbing.

Iowa home Inspection "S" trap 

In modern construction, we do not see “S” traps used as they can potentially siphon out the seal in the trap and allow sewer gas to enter the dwelling. I have a standard disclaimer statement that I provide when I run into this on older homes but on an eight-year-old home? Why couldn’t the plumber whoever they were install a vented drain system with “P” traps instead?


Iowa home Inspection reveals negative slope on patio

Here is an interesting shot. It’s not unusual to have some settling of the backfill around the foundation over time and I speak to this quite often. It’s not a huge deal and it is easily rectified. However, if this patio had settled we would see indications of this between the top of the patio and the scratch coat that has been applied to the insulated concrete form (ICF) foundation above the slab. There are no visible indications of movement which means that this patio was placed like this. This patio is sloping towards the home about six inches from the edge to the foundation wall. Hmmm, which way was I supposed to slope that? I wonder if this could lead to water problems at the foundation? What do you think?


Iowa home inspection reveals high moisture in basement wall

Well, when surface scanning the basement wall with my survey master moisture meter, I found that there indeed was elevated moisture in the wall. Better suggest this be further evaluated and repaired as needed by a qualified contractor.

I remember that the buyer of this home had mentioned to me that they had just spent thirteen thousand dollars to replace the patio at the home they were currently in. Like Forest Gump might say. “Sometimes there just aren’t enough nice things to say about that.”

These are a few examples of what we came across in this eight-year-old home. Like I always say, “It pays to have an Iowa home inspection done by someone who’s been there and built that.”