When purchasing a house, a home inspection should always be a part of the buying process. The services of an inspector who is certified by The American Home Inspectors can identify numerous types of problems in the home. However, it is not fail proof.

Male supervisor looking up while writing on clipboard against blue house standing with energy ratingEven the most experienced home inspector cannot detect everything. In some cases, you may consider hiring a specialist to inspect the problem areas that are missed during a home inspection. Here are some common issues that may arise after you move in:

Sewer Lines

While inspectors can determine if a line is entirely blocked, partial blocks are frequently missed. The water may need to run for substantially longer for the problem to appear, or it may worsen after your family moves in. Damage to the pipes may not show, particularly if the home has not been in use for a while.

Electrical Troubles

A home inspector does not have the training nor time to perform an in-depth inspection of the electrical workings of the home. They will check all of the outlets and switches in the home, but may not be able to determine deeper troubles and malfunction origins. For these, you will need to hire a certified electrician.


From the roof to the piping beneath your home, leaks can be caused by a variety of home problems. Left untreated, they can be a source of mold and create damage to the foundation and structure of your home. However, they are not always easy to detect.

If your home inspection is during the dry season and the previous homeowner has painted any stains or otherwise covered the visible damage from the leaks, your inspector will likely not find it. For leaks inside of the home, if the previous residents have already vacated the building, the water may have already dried, leaving no trace of leaks. The water may need to be on for a few days before they become visible again.

Concept image of Business Acronym HVAC HEATING VENTILATING AIR CONDITIONING written over road marking yellow paint lineHVAC

Determining when an HVAC system is going to fail is virtually impossible. It may operate powerfully for years or have a vital part malfunction tomorrow. If an inspector checks out your home during moderate weather, the system will not be put through the same rigors as during extreme temperatures. One heat wave or freeze snap may be all it takes to cause system failure.

Because the price of an additional, thorough inspection is so high when compared to just replacing a unit, most inspectors do not recommend it. Check the maintenance records of the previous homeowner. The more diligent they were about regular maintenance visits, the greater the chance it is in good order.

However, if you have an old furnace, you may want to have the heater exchange inspected separately. A cracked one can be dangerous by raising carbon monoxide levels in the home.

Structural Damage

The roof, foundation and internal walls can have problems that are not detected in a traditional home inspection. In some cases, the inspector may suggest that you bring in a contractor who specializes in the area in question to make an assessment, including the cost of repairs.

Septic System

One advantage to using the public sewer system is that you need not worry about this one. However, if the home has a septic system, you will be responsible for it. Some states require an inspection of the system. Even if yours does not, you may want to see if the previous homeowner pumped it regularly and performed other relevant maintenance tasks.

Buying a home is the largest investment most people make in their life. Make sure that you are choosing wisely by having the house inspected and being aware of troubles that may arise once you move in. These are some of the most common issues you will encounter that even the best inspector can miss.