Home Inspection Fails of 2019

Date Published: September 20, 2019

Although we typically post informative articles or industry updates, we thought we would share some of the fun parts of our job as well. Our inspectors look at hundreds of houses a month, and we run into some of the most bizarre issues you could imagine. Here are some of the best home inspection fails of this year.

The ol’ spray can plug

On a one-year warranty inspection, our inspector, Brett, found a surprise on the roof. A plumbing vent was blocked by something out of place…


Clearly this plumber missed his mark on the vent pipe and didn’t bother to fix the mistake. Not only does this leave a poor seal for water to leak into the attic, but now the plumbing system is vented into the attic which can cause issues as well.

Home inspection fails. Missing the vent

Here is a look from the inside.

Watch where you dig…

During a sewer scope inspection on a fairly new home, our scope tech, Woodrow, found a surprise in the sewer line. A large piece of rebar had been driven through the sewer line.

This called for immediate repair on a line that otherwise had no issues. You never know what’s going on underground. To see more sewer scope issues, click here.

Rebar found within a sewer line during a sewer scope inspection

Fuzzy friends

We run into a lot of animals during inspections. Some run-ins are closer than we would like them to be, but they all make for a good story. We are always sure to snap a picture when possible.

Looks like the attic of this home may need a replacement screen to keep the animals out, but this squirrel has found a comfortable spot to hang out for now.

There’s a BAT! Bats in the attic are somewhat common, but they always give you a scare when you see them. This one, however, appears to be minding his own business.

Home inspection fails. Mouse in the breaker.

Ouch. What a way to go out. 150 amps of bZzzzzzZzz. The mouse will definitely need to be removed from the main breaker of this panel before any issues arise. However, looks like the mouse has some issues of his own.

Want to see another fuzzy friend found on the job? Click here.

Almost nailed it

This vent fan is venting from the crawlspace up into the attic. Looks like it was connected to the roof vent, but has since become detached. Now the moisture is just venting from one crawlspace to another!

Luckily this is an easy fix, but always interesting to see the “handy” work in some homes.

Is that… Woodruf?

A very rare occurrence to see these days is the Woodruf roofing material. This recalled roofing material was made from cement fiberboard and it did not quite perform as well as the manufacturer thought it would.

The material started to wear quickly, and leaks and water swelling started popping up everywhere. The material and the manufacturer were involved in a class-action lawsuit and settlement.

By now, most of these roofs have been replaced but you still see one every once in a while. When we do, we recommend immediate replacement.

The house still had power!

Take a look at this main breaker. The bus bar that provides power to the breaker has completely fallen apart! The bronze, metal piece with the larger cables connecting to it is live electricity. Definitely not safe! This called for immediate repair.


Some old time classics

One great thing about this job is getting to see relics of the past. If you look hard in older houses, you can spot old America in all its glory.

A very, very, very old converted gravity furnace is still in use today in this home. Not only is this thing older than most everyone reading this blog, but it’s also fully wrapped in asbestos tape!

They don’t make them like they used to. This old garage door opener may have been the reason they invented garage door safety photosensors. This opener does not look like it is stopping for anyone.

A classic drum trap! Fully cast iron, this sucker probably weighs close to 20 pounds. Drum traps were eventually replaced by P-traps because drum traps would collect all the debris from the sink and would back up if not cleaned out properly. If water is flowing, this is not necessarily an issue, but it will likely need to be replaced at some point.

Last, are we home inspectors or movers?

One thing that our inspectors run into a lot is not being able to access something due to homeowner belongings. We do not mind moving some items here and there but the picture below is a little bit outside the scope.

This electrical panel was unfortunately inaccessible during the inspection due to the stack of items. Be sure to leave good access when selling a home!

What else can we find?!

We hope you enjoyed a few of our interesting finds. If you are in need of inspection services, consider using our company. We have seen a few things ourselves…

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About the Author: Chris Scott

Chris Scott is an ASHI certified home inspector with multiple years of experience in home inspections, blower door testing, duct leakage testing, and Boulder Rental License Inspections. Chris is also the Website Coordinator for Scott Home Inspection.

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