Welcome to Part 3 in our series of helpful tips from D.C.-area home inspector and Homemark Inc. president Mark Linebaugh. In the first post, we addressed doing a pre-listing inspection. In Part 2, we tackled structural issues. This time, we’re talking electricity.
Potential hazards surrounding electricity go beyond whether lights or electrical outlets work. Electrical problems can be the precursor or cause of a structure fire, electrocution and potential injury or death. It’s an area of a home in which Mark insists on the utmost diligence.
For lights that don’t turn on, Mark says, it’s usually just burned out or missing light bulbs, but it also can indicate a broken fixture. Three-way lights that don’t work—“turn one switch on when you walk into the room and another off when you exit,” he explains can be a problem. He also notes that wires and/or electrical boxes that are open to contact and receptacles that are mis-wired or don’t work can be potential issues as well.
“Improper wiring or wires passing behind walls or cabinetry that is not rated for such [is] all amateur work done by ‘Harry Homeowner,’” he says.
If anything calls for an expert opinion—and an expert technician—it’s electrical issues in your house. It’s one of those things that you can’t see, but can potentially add up to some hefty repair bills if you don’t ensure the wiring, fixtures and all things electrical in your current or new home are in tip-top shape.
You can reach Mark Linebaugh at: (703) 537-0323 or by email.
Don’t miss Part 4 of our home inspection series where we address heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) issues.