Most Florida home sales are “As-Is” making a home inspection vital to determine the age, condition, and life expectancy of your home’s features. Safety is another important item we evaluate during the inspection process. We look for anything that could compromise the safety of the occupants, which also includes pets. Homeowners should always be aware and look for ongoing issues while living in their homes.
Here are the top five safety issues we find in Florida homes.
Lint is one of the top causes of house fires in Florida. Most of the homes we inspect in Florida have a dryer vent that goes up through the roof. Lint builds up inside the vent and clogs the system. Lint is highly flammable. This buildup forces the dryer to work harder with each cycle, and the lint can work its way into the heating element, causing major issues. It is very important to keep your dryer vent cleaned routinely. This not only prevents fires but will reduce your energy bill.
Excess moisture in a home can lead to Microbial Growth including mold. Home inspectors are trained to look for any signs of leaks or moisture intrusion that could lead to mold. The most common causes are shower pans improperly installed, windows not set correctly allowing rain to enter the wall, roof leaks, or plumbing leaks. If you see moisture stains or feel soft spots in drywall, these are good indicators to call an inspector to investigate.
Equipment and appliances need to be grounded for your safety. We find a lot of pool equipment not properly bonded and grounded, which can lead to shock or worse. Some older homes have Circuit Breaker panels made by brands with a bad history of known issues. These include Sylvania, Federal Pacific, Zinsco, and Challenger brands. Some insurance companies will not insure houses with these panels.
All homes run a risk of faulty wiring. If you have lights that constantly flicker or dim, it could be an indicator of poor connection that leads to sparking, overheating, or fire. If your lights are constantly burning out, it could be because of a loose connection or insulation causing overheating. Dead outlets are a potential safety issue indicating possible heat building up and melted wires. Outlets and switches that are hot or even warm to the touch indicate safety concerns and should be addressed by an electrician. Breakers that are frequently tripping show an overloaded circuit that could cause issues. Look for these signs and consult an electrician immediately if you find them.
Not a fun topic, but we find lots of rodent activity in attics during home inspections. Common pests we find in homes include rodents, bats, bedbugs, roaches, and fleas. These pests can cause health issues to include allergic reactions, asthma, and respiratory disease. Low areas outside the home holding stagnant water can breed mosquitoes which can carry many vector-borne diseases.
We joke that there are only two types of homes in Florida. The ones that have had termites and the ones that will have termites. If left untreated, termites can cause lots of structural damage to a home. It is important to have routing pest service in Florida to prevent these issues.
We live in a state with a lot of senior citizens. One in four senior citizens will fall each year. We can reduce the risk by identifying trip hazards during the inspection. These include ensuring:
For added safety after your move in, be sure you wear house shoes with rubber soles or at least socks with grips on slick flooring such as vinyl plank and laminate. You should also avoid using throw rugs that slide easily.
Keeping our homes safe is important. Hopefully, you will remember these top safety issues we find in our Florida home inspections and use this insight to keep your home and family safe and happy!