If you’re thinking of ghost stories, that’s not exactly the kind of “scary” we have in mind. But these scary home inspection finds from across the country are scary for lots of other reasons. Prepare your common sense for a spook!
1. Scary Find: Baseboard heater inside an underground crawl space. Why it’s scary: It’s a serious fire hazard!
While warming up the crawlspace to avoid frozen pipes might sound like a good idea, this particular way of doing it could burn the whole house down. The proper way to deal with cold, mold or dampness in a crawlspace is with insulation and encapsulation. You’ll save money and avoid frozen pipes without turning your house into a tinderbox.
2. Scary Find: Duct tape covering outdoor HVAC vent. Why it’s scary: HVAC systems rely on fresh air to provide you with safe air to breathe.
Not only does blocking ventilation prevent fresh air from coming into the system and your home (a necessity) but it could lead to a deadly situation with Carbon Monoxide (CO). CO is an odorless, colorless gas that kills. Every component of your HVAC system is there for a reason and has a purpose. Trying to thwart the way it works not only damages your system but risks your life as well.
3. Scary Find: Electrical panel under the sink. Why it’s scary: Water + Electricity = Electrocution.
A simple and very minor leak could lead to serious complications that put someone at risk for electrocution. Major electrical components such as electric panels and breaker boxes should never be housed in the same place as a major water source.
4. Scary Find: Steel and copper pipes directly connected. Why it’s scary: Mixing metals can cause interactions between the two metals that can prove damaging or dangerous.
In this case, connecting copper and steel piping directly to each other causes something called galvanic corrosion where the pipes corrode around where the two metals meet. This corrosion can cause chemicals and minerals from the pipes to leach into your water supply and can cause damage that results in a major pipe leak. While there are correct ways to use multiple piping materials, connecting two different metals together directly is always a bad idea.
5. Scary Find: Power outlet behind the toilet tank. Why it’s scary: Like we mentioned in #3, water and electricity don’t mix.
Toilets sweat and sometimes leak. As much as charging your cell phone while on the commode sounds like a great idea, we promise that it’s not. This is another case where electrocution is a possible outcome.
6. Scary Find: Wooden beam going through the chimney. Why it’s scary: Chimneys are usually attached to fireplaces. Fireplaces burn wood.
First, wood is flammable and chimneys are usually connected to fireplaces or wood-burning stoves. Secondly, if the beam is a support beam, when it catches on fire from the heat and flames of the fireplace, it can compromise the structural integrity of the whole house.
Home inspectors find some scary things every day. These are some examples of the scariest things inspectors have found and reported about. We’re still shaking our heads and we bet you are too. The lesson here is not to repeat any of these scary situations in your home.