Knox Inspection Services, Inc. sketch by Geoff Evans
Knox Inspection Services, Inc.
1410 South Terrace Drive
[1 block west of 15th and Lewis]
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Phone: 918.744.8128
Fax: 918.744.5669
Toll Free: 800.875.5474

Common Problems After “Closing”

If any of these situations apply to the home you are about to purchase, very serious consideration should be given to
the Inspection opportunities available to you now before it’s too late to negotiate.
Problem:  Following a period of heavy precipitation, especially when the ground becomes saturated, you hear a sloshing
sound, or smell a stale odor when the air system fan operates.  This is often a sign of moisture infiltration (water) into the
sub-floor air ducts.  One or two occurrences is of little concern.  However, if the problem is predictable, it is a defect.  An
air duct video Inspection will identify this problem in advance of closing.  The Seller may know about the problem too.
Solution:  There are several ways to solve this common problem.  The first is to stop the water with site drainage
improvements.  This may include a "French Drain," underground guttering, site grading changes, or a combination
thereof.  This still leaves damaged air ducts.  Lining the air ducts (coating the interior) is an excellent way of retaining the
ducts in the present configuration without modification to the home.  Another solution is to abandon the sub-floor air
ducts and re-route the system overhead.  Re-routing the ducts is for extreme situations.  See the Seller’s Disclosure.
 

Problem:  Upon removing the wall-to-wall carpet you discover stains in the wood flooring, or cracks in the concrete floor
slab.  Neither of these can be seen by the inspector unless the carpet and padding are removed for inspection.
Solution:  Seldom is the unfinished concrete floor conveniently available for inspection.  Unevenness is in the floor
covering can be the result of numerous possible situations, most of which do not comprise structural defects. If you have
concerns about this potential problem, the only solution is to remove the carpet and padding or floor covering for
examination of the unfinished floor.  This will require replacement of the disturbed covering at a cost that should be
resolved before the covering is removed.  This additional examination exceeds the scope of most Home Inspections.
 

Problem:  The sewer line becomes clogged shortly after taking occupancy.  Upon calling the plumber, you learn the
sewer line will require repair or worse, replacement.  The inspector ran a lot of water during the inspection to detect
resistance in the function of the sewer system.  Some clogs are the result  of roots that slowly swell with use after the
home has been vacant for a short time immediately prior to your occupancy.  They will drain fine at the inspection and
clog when you move in.  The clog problem may have been chronic, known only to the occupant until Inspected by Video.
Solution:  Before you need a solution, get a Video Inspection!  Run a lot of water on several occasions giving roots, (if
any), time to swell and clog the sewer line, particularly in the situation of a vacant house.  This process may reveal the
necessity for repair, (or worse replacement).  In the case of old or defective buried plumbing lines, the best solution is a
video camera examination of the sewer lines.  We offer the Inspection of the sewer system through an Affiliate Vendor.
 

Problem:  The roof begins to leak after a rain shower.  An examination of the of the reasonably visible portions of the
ceilings and visible parts of the attic area are part of a roof inspection. Future leaks in otherwise dry or undamaged areas
are almost impossible to detect.  Is the dry staining active leaks or old leaks?  Only the Seller knows for sure.  All roofs
begin to leak at some time.  Is there evidence of prior repair to the stained areas that are now wet?
Solution:  Obtaining a thorough inspection is about all the home Buyer can do, except repair the leak.  Often, the Home
Warranty company will cover roof leaks if there was no mention of leakage in the area of the roof that is now leaking, as
shown in the inspection report.  Cosmetic paint cover-up, now obvious because of dampness and staining, is a problem
of the Seller's disclosure, and should be resolved by the Buyer and Seller with the provisions in the sales contract.
 

Problem:  Upon building a fire in the "fireplace" you discover; it discharges smoke back into the house, does not draw
smoke up the chimney well, or has flue problems within the chimney stack.  The function of the solid fuel device, whether
original masonry construction, a metal free-standing addition, or combination of both, is difficult to evaluate because the
opportunity to see it in use is very unlikely. The interior of the flue and chimney crown are impossible to see without
special equipment.   An Affiliate Vendor will perform this job because they have the equipment.  Most inspections exclude
the function or deep interior portions of the flues of solid fuel combustion devices because of the difficulty of inspection.
Solution:  A chimney cleaning and repair company can often use a special equipment to examine the interior of the flue
and make recommendations for dependable operation.  This is a special service which we offer at no additional cost to
our Customers.  An Affiliate Vendor will try to provide facts about the normally hidden portions of the Chimney flue.
 

Problem:  The home was purchased and inspected during the colder months preventing operation of the Air
Conditioning system to determine if it is in "normal working order".  We presume for the purpose of this information that
there was nothing visible about the A / C equipment at the time of the Inspection to indicate malfunction.
Solution:  Purchase or negotiate for the Seller to purchase a Home Warranty to be part of the sale.  Home Warranties
are normally available through the Realtors®.  Most of the Home Warranties included with Inspection services are limited
to the items found acceptable at the time of the inspection, (if the A / C could not be inspected it may be excluded).
 

Problem:  The tile shower floor is leaking into the crawl space or surrounding floor.  The inspector will cover the drain, fill
the shower floor several inches deep, and then inspect the area that is accessible and adjacent to the perimeter for
evidence of leakage.  If the adjacent areas are not readily accessible, then problems (or past leakage), may not be
discoverable until after the home become vacant.
Solution:  The temporary solution may include what the Seller did before we inspected the shower.   That is to caulk and
seal the tile floor to temporarily stop leakage outside of the tile enclosure.  It will usually work for a period of time.  If it is
determined the "pan" is leaking, then removal of the tile floor will often be necessary to access the pan for repair or
replacement.  The Seller is expected to disclose past leakage.  Temporary repairs may cause  a follow-up Inspection to
“pass”.  Professional repair (recommended in the inspection report) is the best prevention for this dilemma
 

Problem:  Cracking begins to appear in previously repaired areas or in new locations on the exterior veneer.  See the
page entitled Maintenance Tips: Foundation.  The cracks are of concern to the Buyer and maybe a piering company
has rendered an opinion for “repair” or improvements.
Solution:  It is unusual for a house to begin moving unless there has been a change in something relating to moisture.
We will come out and review the concerns with the Buyer to find the best solution if a solution is required.  Piering
companies encourage the installation piers to stabilize the home. That’s not necessarily wrong, however the situation
often capitalizes on the homeowners fears and the piering can be nothing more than expensive preventive maintenance.
 

Problem:  A family member or guest has just run a full bathtub of water.  Shortly thereafter water is discovered leaking
out of the ceiling or around the tub area.  Since you were present at the inspection, you saw the inspector run a lot of
water into the tub without any visible leakage.  The cause is often the bathtub overflow pipe is loose or disconnected
within the wall.  Any ceiling stains that suddenly appear after you move in are suspect of a cover-up.  Did the Seller fail to
disclose?  If so, the answer is probably ”painted on the ceiling” in prior repairs.  Look closely if there is concern.  Please
remember it’s probably used plumbing and it can begin leaking at any time.
Solution:  Contact a plumber and determine the cause and make the necessary remedy.  These kind of problems may
be covered under the Home Warranty programs.
 

Problem: There seems to be a lot of little problems with various appliances and components in the home.  This common
complaint when the homes are in the range of 7 to 10 years.  We believe it is because the appliances are all showing
signs of wearing out as predicted by the manufacturers.
Solution:  A good inspection detailing the necessary repairs, and then authorizing the repairs to be performed before the
closing will go a long way to get off to a good start in your "new" home.  Another good investment is a one year Home
Warranty that is usually available through your Realtor®.
 

Summary:  Experience tell us that most of the problems that the Buyer discovers after the closing are known or
suspected by the last persons to live there, (which is usually the Seller).  Therefore, it is imperative that you very carefully
read and ask questions about the information on the Seller's disclosure form.

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The Knox Inspection Team
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Buyer Questionnaire|Home Buyers Check List
Pre-Inspection Check List  | Pre-Closing Check List | After Closing
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