Top 10 Home Inspection Prep Tips


You’ve accepted an offer on your home, congratulations! Now you have a home inspection, a process you may feel anxious over. Thanks to Chattanooga Home Inspectors, we know ten things to address to ensure that simple issues are avoided altogether.

Vegetation comes in contact with the structureari-he-397313-unsplash

Vegetation against your home can be viewed by bugs as a highway to heaven. You may also risk damage to the structure that the bushes and/or trees are growing against in heavy winds. To keep home inspectors and insurance agents from notating this as an issue on their report, cut back shrubs and trees if you can from your home.

Loose/No Handrails


“Handrails are typically required on any deck area that is more than 30 inches off the ground and for any stairs that have more than 3 risers” says Chattanooga Home Inspectors. Avoid getting a notation of this on your inspection report by securing handrails and ensuring you are adhering to safety requirements.

Debris in Crawl Spaces

When was the last time you checked out those crawl spaces? Probably not very often. Ensure that you don’t have any storage bins or debris hidden away in your crawl space as they can act like a sponge and absorb moisture. This is bad because it attracts the dreaded “M” word… mold. Wooden debris can also become a treat for termites, so in this case, keep it clear so as not to risk any issues with the inspection.

Negative Grading

joao-cruz-650411-unsplash The yard of your home is sloped towards your foundation instead of away. This can be an issue that seems to be no big deal but can develop into a more trying problem. Moisture problems may arise from water being funneled towards your home, avoid this by creating a swale or installing a French drain. While it isn’t the end of the world if this isn’t something you want to undergo before you sell, it can be an issue that is notated as problematic so you might want to consult with your agent to see what they suggest.

No gutter extension or splash blocks

Continuing with the water theme, clear maintained gutters are an absolute essential for directing water away from the home. “All gutters should have effective extensions or splash blocks that allow the rain water to flow away from the structure properly,” says Chattanooga Home Inspectors. Both of these gutter accessories cost less than $20 for simple ones, so it is a relatively simple step in ensuring your home inspection goes well.

Chimney Cap and/or Spark Arrestor missing

Finishing up on the water theme, one of the most common issues found when a chimney is inspected is one or both of these parts are missing. To prevent water from leaking into your home via your chimney or small pests from entering, install a chimney cap. The price varies depending on what you get but it is a simple way to avoid a write-up. You also want to ensure you have a working speak arrestor installed as that prevents embers from getting out as well as pests from getting in.

Closed or Blocked Crawl Space Vents

Remember those crawl spaces we mentioned earlier? Well another issue that inspectors often see with them are vents being closed or blocked to them. As we live in a warmer climate, closing or blocking crawlspaces is not as essential. So unless it is below freezing for several days straight, keep your crawl space vents open come inspection time!

sunyu-kim-1053380-unsplashMissing GCFI

Woah, what in the world is a GCFI??? GCFI is a ground fault circuit interrupter and is found in your power outlets. It is common for homes that are built prior to the 1970s to not have them. As a GCFI was not required before the late 1980s, this is a common problem to have in many homes in the greater Chattanooga area. These sorts of outlets are best to have in place outside, the garage, the bathrooms, and in the kitchen “within 6 feet of the sink” as recommended by Chattanooga Home Inspectors. If not all of your power outlets are GCFI, don’t panic, they might be upstream of GCFI outlets or they may not be in areas that are as important for them to be in.

Loose Toilets

Perhaps one of the easiest things to address before a home inspector comes is a loose toilet. “A loose toilet can cause the wax ring it sits on to become compromised and allow a substantial water leak,” says Chattanooga Home Inspectors. To remedy this issue, tighten the nuts on the anchor bolt on the bottom of each side of the toilet… it really is that simple.

Restricted Access

Going back to our Marie Kondo Your Move post, too much clutter can not only prevent the sale of the home but it can also complicate your inspection. If it is difficult to access parts of your home due to clutter than a home inspector will have to notate that the area was not inspected and will need to reschedule another home visit, which can be costly. Keeping the areas that are around your electrical panels, attic doors, water heaters, and other such places clear will help the inspector do their job and also make your own life easier when it is time to move!


So there you have it, ten things to look out for before you have the home inspector come out! It might feel a bit overwhelming now, but remember, the end of your home sale is near and you aren’t doing this alone! We are here to help and as the top real estate team in the Chattanooga area, we have the expertise to guide you on the path to a smooth closing process.

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