With the recent ice storm, I thought I'd write about how the winter months can affect a home inspection. People buy homes throughout the year but during the winter months, some components may not be inspected as they are not visible or cannot be operated in cold weather.
We at Home Inspection Consultants Inc. are like the post man. Our home inspector works through rain, sleet, snow and ice storms!
People buy homes year-round, so we do home inspections no matter what the weather entails. There is no doubt that the weather will slightly hinder a home inspection, however a home inspection is still imperative when you are considering the huge investment of buying a home.
Other areas affected by the winter weather are sidewalks, driveways, grade and patios. Many times these areas are covered with snow and therefore they are not visible for the home inspector to inspect. The home inspector will still educate you on what to look for when the weather clears and you can always call our home inspector to ask any question that might arise come spring.
Not all home inspection companies go up onto the roof but our home inspector does. However, if the roof is covered with snow and/or ice, this becomes a safety issue and the roof is examined from its edge. The central air conditioning unit cannot be operated if the outside temperature is not a minimum of 65 F for three consective days. However, we do inform our client on the age of the unit and any visible issues at the time of the inspection.
So, although there may be limitations on a home inspection performed in the winter, it is still a very good educational experience and well worth the money and time so that the home buyer is informed on the current condition of his/her investment.
On the other hand, having a home inspection performed during the winter can be an advantage as it will reveal issues not readily visible in warmer weather. That includes burst water pipes (usually in crawl spaces) and missing insulation which is readily visible using the infrared camera. Also, ice dams are noticeable in the winter as are areas of air infiltration such as around windows and doors.
So, don't shy away from a winter home inspection. Homes are typically cheaper in the winter and the snow and cold weather can reveal potential issues that are not visible in the summer months!
I've come across a lot of interesting tidbits of information during my 25 year career as a home inspector. I've been told that I'm pretty meticulous and a good 'teacher', so hopefully you'll find some interesting information here..